Lee's favorite drink to make is: The Belltown Passion (photographed with Lee by Laura Onstot, above), a gin-based concoction served in a martini glass which Lee, previously a ginophobe, says "makes me like gin."
What's in a Belltown Passion: Bombay Sapphire gin, Parfait Amore, and fresh lemon. Per Lee, the drink was invented by a former Belltown Pizza bartender named Marcus, and won best "freestyle" cocktail in Bombay's annual corporate-sponsored mix-off.
What makes it distinctly Seattle: Beyond the neighborhoodsy name, the Belltown Passion, in Lee's opinion, carries on the Seattlke tradition of favoring "classic stuff" more than, say, San Fran. "If you want a classic martini or a gin or bourbon drink, we have places like the Zig Zag," says Lee, a nod to our town's undisputed master of mixology, Murray Stenson.
Bet you didn't know: That gin, unlike other liquors, is nature's Viagra. Or at least that's what my buddy Brent has been claiming for years. I've never had sex.
What a functionally alcoholic managing editor thinks of the Belltown Passion: My first go-round with Lee's potion was sort of icky, but I decided to give her passion a second chance -- and was rewarded for it. I conveyed my thoughts candidly to Lee, a four-year veteran of Toi, who admitted to being a tad nervous when mixing my first Passion. This being Election Night, I soon switched to straight Maker's at the Two Bells. That's more my speed. If, like most people, a creamy little mixed drink with clear liquor is more your speed, go see Ms. Lee.