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Q&A with Amanda Reed

How did you come up with the Savory Martini on the new Metropolitan Grill beverage menu?
It all started with the quintessential steakhouse garnish – blue cheese stuffed olives. I went on to build a traditional martini featuring Hayman’s Old Tom Gin and Dolin Dry Vermouth. Old Tom Gin is a classic style that is less juniper-forward and shows more citrus and savory notes. Additionally, I added Scrappy’s Celery Bitters for a briny kick. In my opinion, blue cheese & celery are a perfect combination. This drink is finished with a little olive oil over the top. Think past meets present.

Savory Martini: Old Tom Gin, Dry Vermouth, Celery Bitters, Olive Oil, Blue Cheese Stuffed Castelvetrano Olives. 16

What makes the cocktail “The Usual”?
The Usual has a fun story and a meaning you might not expect. As a bartender, you often get asked to create off the menu cocktails for adventurous guests. The most common request is whiskey forward and bitter (think Manhattan or an Old-Fashioned). After creating this “pocket cocktail” in Needle and Thread, I saved it for just the right menu placement. This drink was a Heartwood classic. Although I don’t typically carry drinks from one program to the next, it felt especially fitting for The Met bar program. So really, this drink is my usual and probably my most signature cocktail.

The Usual: Rittenhouse Rye Whisky, Amaro Nardini, Demerara, Cardamom Bitters. 18

Tell us about one of the ingredients you are most excited to introduce on this new beverage menu?
I have a love affair with sherry. Not only is sherry a favorite sipper of mine, but it is a go-to mixing ingredient when I am developing cocktails. Although sherry has come in and out of popularity over the years, it is one of the most classic beverages and has become a Somm and Bartender favorite in recent years. I was excited to feature the dry and nutty amontillado style in the seasonally inspired Seattle Sour. In addition to sherry, this drink features apple brandy, a medley of winter spice and bitter flavors, and is balanced with lemon juice. Insider tip — ask for the egg white version for the full sour experience.

Seattle Sour: Apple Brandy, Amontillado Sherry, Becherovka, Lemon, Whiskey Bitters. 15

Can you share more about the newly released signature Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon Selection?
Nearly 40 years ago, Blanton’s Bourbon changed the whiskey game by offering the first-ever commercially sold single barrel bourbon.

The Met’s single barrel bourbon selection just arrived, and we’re offering it on the menu (limited availability and will sell out fast). This style allows distillers to provide a unique product from batch to batch while keeping the quality and process consistent. We believe the barrel we chose is an exceptionally delicious bourbon expression with layers of dried fruit, leather, cedar, honey with a long spicy finish. Perfect for sipping!

About Amanda Reed

Amanda Reed’s beverage career began in San Francisco, where she led bar programs at some of the most innovative restaurants in the city. Amanda moved to Seattle in 2011 as the lead bartender at Michael Mina’s RN74. From there, she joined the bar team at Tavern Law and Needle & Thread, where she directed the bar program as the General Manager. In 2014, Reed was recruited to E3 as the Beverage Director of Heartwood Provisions. Amanda was brought on during the earliest phases of concept development, allowing her the opportunity to design a “bartenders bar.” During her time with Heartwood, she continued to evolve as a beverage professional. She contributed to several beverage seminars and publications, created award-winning cocktails, and as of 2019, achieved the Advanced Sommelier title through the Court of Master Sommeliers. In 2020, Amanda moved on to create the beverage program for Charlotte Bar and Lounge in downtown Seattle’s newest luxury hotel, Lotte Hotel. During her time at Lotte, she built an elevated hotel bar program that featured ties to the hotel’s Korean roots. In the fall of 2021, Amanda returned to E3 Restaurant Group, taking on a new role in the company: Director of Beverage.