This is my first time experiencing Fur Rondy, which is an 80-year old Alaskan Winter Festival. After a morning checking out furs (seriously!) and snow sculptures (that’s another post!), I was ready to warm up somewhere inside and up popped an event reminder from my friend Tim Paszalek. Coffee and Cocktail Party over at the historic Pioneer Bar. Sign.Me.Up.
I was one of the early arrivers and was met by Doug Griffin, the coffee roaster for The Black Cup. He remembered me from that Beer and Bacon Festival (great memory!). Doug is very passionate about straight black coffee and he shared with me that he wanted to partner up with The SawBuck team to bring coffee-infused and inspired drinks to this Fur Rondy event. He definitely had my attention.
But I what I really wanted to know was – what exactly was The SawBuck? I was impressed when I learned that The SawBuck is a traveling speakeasy that crafts custom and classic cocktails for private events. Um, say what?
Not only were they using top-shelf ingredients, but they had really hot guys dressed in classic Speakeasy attire. The whole presentation instantly created a unique drinking experience that I wanted to be a part of. I did not expect that in the Pioneer Bar, which is old school, but not classy old school.
I checked out The Sawbuck’s custom menu for the day’s event and ordered the Columbian Flip. It had cognac, ruby port, cold-brewed Black Cup CDM coffee, simple syrup, and a whole organic egg. I have never had a cocktail that had an egg in it before, so I was definitely paying attention to how this was made. Oh, I might have it on video too…
A video posted by Kristi Trimmer (@kristitrimmer) on
Let’s just say that Columbian Flip made me an instant fangirl for The SawBuck! Next up I tried the Cafe Havana which was white rum, amaro montenegro, muddled coffee beans, simple syrup, lemon juice and a lemon twist, kicked up a notch with an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Coffee ice cube. Delicious. Damn delicious, in fact.
I’ve never ventured far into the cocktail world, but after trying the SawBuck’s drinks I am rethinking that oversight! Check out this Old Fashioned made with bourbon, Kenyan Kiandu coffee, simple syrup, coffee-pecan bitters with a lemon twist.
Then they made one of my favorite cold-weather drinks… an Irish Coffee. Yum, yum, yum!
I had the pleasure to talk to the guys behind The SawBuck before the place got downright crazy. There are three owners to this Speakeasy cocktail party. Steve Trimble is a founder who has a classic eye for detail, creativity, and is experienced in flavor profiles. He met Trevor Fulton way back in high school (just yesterday, right?) and co-work out of The Boardroom in downtown Anchorage – another space that I love. Trevor has an appreciation for quality and presentation, which is evident in every ounce of The SawBuck. The last owner, Spencer Shroyer, I met at the End of Summer Camp last Labor Day in Homer, Alaska. Spencer is a true entertainer and is a master connector. These three have a solid foundation and team! I might need to get on their Board of Directors as I hear their R&D sessions are right up my alley. 😉
The other three guys that make up The SawBuck team are brothers, Craig and Brian Zematis. They were so incredibly nice and patient as I was photographing the drinks and taking the video. The third guy helping out was Executive Chef Aaron Apling-Gilman that is behind the creativity at the luxury mountain-top restaurant, Seven Glaciers at Alyeska Resort in Girdwood. Yep, that place I have been hanging out every week to write my book. Small world, right?
Speaking of End of Summer Camp… look at all the friends that I met at the Pioneer Bar that were at this Coffee and Cocktail Party. Yep, I love the small town feel of Anchorage!
Want The Sawbuck guys to bring the Speakeasy concept to your next party or private event? Give them a ring and let them know I sent you!