Primo Grill and Crown Bar - the restaurant and bar on Sixth Avenue owned by Charlie McManus and Jacqueline Plattner - have forged a spirit partnership with Seattle distillers Big Gin and Rain City Vodka. Cocktails made with those and other Northwest spirits can be found at both Tacoma restaurants.
Wrote Plattner in an email, "Working with Crown bartender Chelsea O’Sullivan, Charlie and I have been adding local distilleries to our cocktail menus at both stores and we are really excited about the outcome." She added, "The interesting thing about Big Gin and Rain City is that they are true start-ups. In fact, when we first picked up Big Gin about a month ago, I called the distillery on the off chance I might get a staff person to tell me how to garnish a martini made with the gin. The distiller/owner Ben Capdevielle answered the phone and gave me a thorough description of the gin and the ingredients he uses to make it (which include orange peel). He made excellent recommendations about garnishing and blending with his gin."
In addition to Big Gin, Crown and Primo are serving cocktails made from Rain City Vodka. Wrote Plattner, "Both Ben of Big Gin and Cory of Rain City Vodka are passionate about what they are doing. Ben is a third generation distiller and he hopes to bring his daughter into the business when she is of age. His objective for his gin is to compete with large brands such as Bombay and Beefeater. Cory comes from a hospitality background (he was involved with Sip Restaurant and Wine Bar). He has big plans for blending Northwest flavors such as apple and blueberry into his base vodka to create specialty liquors."
Watch for a tasting from Big Gin at Crown Bar this fall.