What’s Hot: Monsoon East’s Creative Craft Cocktails

Head to the (far) Eastside for a lineup of libations that’ll please your palette.

Since 2010, bar manager Jon Christiansen has worked diligently, like a devoted scientist, experimenting, researching and tasting, to create a line up of craft cocktails that will one day possibly be considered the best in all Seattle.

The Sayulita. Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Smith.

The wait is finally over. Christiansen’s hard work has come to fruition with the unveiling of Monsoon East’s new cocktail program, a lineup of unique drinks that pays homage to the flavors and traditions of the exceptional Vietnamese cuisine that Monsoon has come to be known for.

“I take some liberties, leaning toward other tropical flavors and herbs that are either indigenous to Vietnam or compliment the bright flavors of citrus, fish sauce, spicy herbs, and savory sauces. The vast majority of our cocktails have a balance of acidity and sweetness that is designed to dance with the food,” says Christiansen.

What’s unique about his lineup of cocktails is the attention to detail. All drinks are made with fresh, in house ingredients; from the homemade tonic — a combination of quinine and soda, to one of a kind, made from scratch syrups — such as pineapple and cinnamon. Even the type of ice and glass that holds these tasty elixirs are specifically chosen with care.

The new cocktail menu includes:

The Dubois. Photo Courtesy of Geoffrey Smith.

Faire le Bec: Pastis, Lime, Lychee Thyme Syrup, Shochu over crushed ice.

Tourane Tea: Swedish Punsch, Guava, Bonal Vermouth, Aged Rum, Wu Wei Syrup shaken over ice and topped with soda.

Bavarian Hayride: Noissette, Schladerer Raspberry Brandy, Grapefruit, Mint, and Lemon Bitters served up.

Sail Tonight for Singapore: Sour Cherry, Rum, Condensed Milk, Cardamom Bitters, Canton Ginger Liquor, touch of Grey Sea Salt, frothed in a coupe.

Lonely Taureau: Armagnac, Amaretto, Ramazotti, Sweet Vermouth, and Rhubarb Syrup over big rock ice.

Melonious Monk: Melon, Cachaca, Benedictine, Lime, Orange Bitters, and Simple Syrup on cracked ice with a Dark Rum float.

With the weather heating up, Christiansen’s one-of-a-kind carbonated coolers will be taking center stage. A fancy take on a wine cooler, the Queen Charlotte, is a subtly sweet drink made with crème de Violette, Lillet Blan, Gruner Veltiner, and Lemon. Or the citrusy Hadrian’s Wall is a rosemary and fennel infused gin drink mixed with tangerine juice, grapefruit bitters, and topped off with Pinot Griogio.

If you’re no stranger to the classic cocktail menu offered at Monsoon East, have no fear, because favorite standbys such as The Queen of Siam –– a shaken concoction of muddled Thai Basil, Hendricks Gin, grapefruit, and lime juice, simple syrup with a  splash of Cointreau; and the Dubois– a smoke infused rum cocktail chilled with Bulleit Rye, Barolo Chinato and a pinch of Campari, will still be available. Happy Hour favorites remain as well including the gin based Twilight, and Sparkling Nightshade, the White Lion, a chili infused tequila and triple sec cocktail served up with a sweet and salty paprika rim, and the French Pearls Martini. At $7 each, these happy hour drinks are not to be overlooked.

Christiansen is constantly challenging himself to bring new and adventurous cocktails to the average drinker. Already in the works is barrel cocktail program that will feature a selection of five barrel-aged cocktail options with Woodinville Whiskey as the base spirit.

Monsoon East| 10245 Main Street, Bellevue | (425) 635-1112