A Hpnotiq Specialty at The White Rabbit

Dusty Chenault
Tate mixing The Looking Glass.
The Watering Hole: The White Rabbit, 513 N. 36th St., 588-0155, FREMONT

The Atmosphere: Quiet on a typical weekday; even when its happy hour is in full swing, things aren't usually hoppin' until someone steps onto the stage to host Tuesday's open mike or play a late-night gig. Owner Robert Kim (who also operates Shiku Sushi in Ballard) set up the new nesting ground just weeks ago in the former ToST space, filling it with Alice in Wonderland decor like a painted Cheshire cat above the bar and a disappearing rabbit hole on the wall. Serving more as a venue than as a lounge, seats and tables are limited, with not a whole lot of elbow space to munch on bites such as mini-pizzas or a plate of the seven-spice-seasoned tater tots.

The Barkeep: Jason Tate, a Bremerton native who spent three years in the navy before discovering Seattle's food scene. Having worked at both sushi hubs Nijo and Shiku, Tate is no stranger when it comes to preparing delights (from the kitchen or bar) that are loaded with flavor and artistic design. Although only 25, Tate admits he's an "old soul," exerting his youthful energy in his drink-making more than anything else.

The Drink: The Looking Glass. The aqua-colored cocktail consists of blueberry Stoli, hpnotiq liqueur (a blend of fruit juices, premium vodk,a and cognac) and a splash of sour.

Bottoms up to blue magic.

The Verdict: Dangerous. One too many, and you'll be spitting out riddles without answers like the Mad Hatter, or end up swirling in your own fantasies beneath the watchful gaze of rabbit statues. Follow up the sweet punch-like cocktail with an espresso-infused sipper like the Hair of the Rabbit, a combination of vodka, Bailey's, and Americano. Or, better yet, have Tate show you some of his magic from behind the counter, creating a drink without a name that'll make you wish every night was a date with Alice and her friends.

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