The Watering Hole: Die Bierstube at 6106 Roosevelt Ave NE, 206-527-7019.
The Atmosphere: With its large tables, old beer advertisements, and oversized, illuminated posters of German women, horses, and kegs, Die Bierstube is exactly like how you'd imagine a German pub to be: cozy and comfortable. It's not unusual for other bar goers to sidle up to already occupied tables and ask to take a seat. If this happens, which it likely could, let said strangers join -- and not just because you don't want to be seen as a Level 1 table hoarder. Do it because it's good to keep with the friendly, neighborhood vibe that owner Chris Navarra, German pub/restaurant extraordinaire of four other places like Prost! and Feierabend, tries so hard to uphold. Die Bierstube is the type of bar that melts away some of the Seattle freeze, encouraging talk over German-imported beers and bratwurst sandwiches.The Barkeep: Everybody, meet Mary Collins, who seems like the sunniest biertender you'll have pour you a drink. Collins has been with Die Bierstube for about five years, on and off. She said that Die Bierstube's manager always went to the coffee shop that she used to work at. She asked him for a job, but he told her to wait until she turned 21. So she did, and the rest is history. Now Collins spends her time biertending and traveling, and was even recently in Berlin visiting a friend.
The Drink: When I told Collins about the first call challenge, she smiled and asked, "So, I can make any drink that I want?"
That's when the red flags went off in my head.
"I'm just gonna call that a 'sudden weather change,'" she said, in what could have only been a dedication to the week's crazy weather. Earlier that day, it had gone from hail to sunshine in a few hours.
Collins' "sudden weather change' is Hussongs tequila, house-infused jalapeno vodka, and barenjager honey liqueur, garnished with a sliver of cucumber and a slice of lime.
The Verdict: To say that this drink has a kick is an understatement. That's why this drink is more accurately described as a slap in the face, even for the folk who do things like order 4-star curries or eat wings so hot they come with waiver forms. It's like drinking liquid fire. The vodka, infused with Serrano peppers and black peppercorns, is the boldest flavor, but is luckily balanced with the Barenjager honey liqueur for a truly spicy and sweet experience. The cucumber, while slight, helps quell the jalapeno fire that's lit in your mouth.
If you're hoping to alleviate some of that nose burning, be careful if you reach for one of Die Bierstube's soft Bavarian pretzels. They're undeniably awesome -- the perfect bar snack -- but the mustard will definitely make you question your spicy threshold.
Die Bierstube shouldn't take much heat, though. It's a comfortable space -- clearly a hot spot for people in who live in Ravenna or go to the University of Washington -- that serves up decent German lagers and apparently, great liquid antidotes for Seattle's crazy sudden weather changes.