Kate Mcmahon has been on the Brimmer & Heeltap team as a bartender and server since last spring. Originally from New England, Kate loves the beautiful Pacific Northwest and stays active outdoors with friends and her pup Maggie. She’s also very fond of drinking beers at local breweries and honing her tiki drink-making skills behind the bar. She’s got a knack for soccer, knowing where to find all of the best dive bars, and making genuine connections with her guests. Always laughing and up for an adventure, Kate is a wonderfully kind, big-hearted, and talented member of the Brimmer & Heeltap team. You can learn a little bit more about her in this Q&A.
What is your go-to cocktail to make when you’re trying to impress someone?
KM: Hmm…When I want to impress a bar patron, I usually just pour a good whiskey…but with LOTS of flair.
What spirits and ingredients have you been most drawn to when crafting special cocktails lately?
KM: We've been into making our own ingredients for the bar from shrubbery to Worcestershire sauce for bloodies to Cynar falernum. Hopefully guests appreciate all of the thought and effort that goes into that. If that doesn't do it, I resort to lighting things on fire.
What is your favorite part about making tiki drinks? How did you first get into/inspired by tiki-style drinks?
KM: Tiki drinks?! I don't like tiki drinks, who told you that?! I think it was me trying to escape winter somehow and imagining myself on a tropical beach somewhere, anywhere, sipping island booze and feeling so relaxed - and wanting others to feel that way when they drink tiki vibes. That's why tiki bars were first invented, to transcend. It's better than nothing, right?
Where are some of your favorite watering holes around Seattle?
KM: Grizzled Wizard in Wallingford, Pacific Inn in Fremont, Duck Island Ale House in Green Lake, Essex (is that still Ballard?) and the Independent Beer Bar in....Everett.
What differences have you noticed about Seattle vs. Boston bar culture?
KM: Boston drinks more! I don't think Boston is really into Duck Farts (I think they originated in Alaska and didn't catch on out there) or Touchdowns - cocktails that is. Millennials really seem to like Touchdowns, and Trash Cans. Kill me.
Kate also says that “It's inspiring how many breweries and distilleries exist these days...obviously if they're putting out good product, the more local the better…get it while you can before Trump reinstates prohibition.”
Be sure to say hi to Kate on your next visit to the restaurant. Better yet, ask her to make you a tiki drink!