BA|SA is the new kid on the block in downtown Winslow where cocktails and mocktails alike are gaining momentum. Already known island-over for their amazing food, BA|SA joined the landscape of downtown Winslow this summer.
BA|SA is a restaurant envisioned by the second generation of the Nguyen family; the first already own the award-winning Pho T&N in neighboring Poulsbo. Siblings Thai & Trinh have opened a restaurant that showcases traditional Vietnamese dishes inspired by French techniques and local Pacific Northwest fare. And the fare is wonderful. (My personal favorite menu item- the Braised Ba Sa Catfish served with shallots, fish sauce and garnished with fried garlic, bird's eye chili and served with rice)
Owners, Thai & Trinh
The bartending staff works to pair their cocktails with the menu itself. BA|SA bartender and island staple, Chris Kelly, has been serving drinks for over 20 years and is happy to call BA|SA home.
"I work directly with the owners/chefs, Trinh & Thai to test and pair drinks with the dishes. It's a balancing act- you don't want to take away or distract from experiencing a dish. The goal is to do my best at making sure that all drink pairings balance or add another layer to a dish when pairing. This works for all the beverages we offer including our low or non-alcoholic ones."
Chris Kelly in his element
Kelly has a new love in the world of mixology. The fine art of mocktails (although you won’t catch him using that word). Drinks that harvest the best of the fancy cocktail, without any proof.
"My passion for low alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages comes from listening to guests while working in the hospitality industry. A lot of guests don't want to consume alcohol, but you can tell they don't want to be left out- so I've always gone the extra mile to create drinks for these guests. I want to take it a step further by making sure these beverages have an equal opportunity and space on our beverage menu. That would take away a lot of the social pressure to consume alcohol, especially if the drinks taste amazing"
SPYcy Blood Orange Margarita
Bold and beautiful. Sweet and spicy.
Blood orange juice
Birds eye chili infused honey syrup
Asian spice salted rim
Another Bainbridge Islander, Heidi Watson, aka the Mocktail Maven, has taken mocktails to a new level. Freelance writer and self-described "I used to drink-too-mucher”, Watson started a website showcasing some truly wonderful celebratory zero-proof drinks.
In Watson's own words:
"Because there was a lot of ritual around my drinking, I wanted to replace cocktails with something that felt equally special. The feeling of a chilled coupe glass in my hand or a giant ice cube in a crystal rocks glass felt right and familiar. So, I started experimenting.
I use ingredients and recipes in an effort to mimic my favorite cocktails, but I’m quickly discovering other flavors that taste just as sophisticated as a cocktail. At the request of friends and Instagram followers, I created The Mocktail Maven so I can share recipes with others who are searching for a special drink without alcohol.
Together, I and others like me around the country are creating inclusive drinking environments that take the focus off of alcohol and redirect it to the connections we can make in social situations. Removing the question, “Why aren’t you drinking?” and replacing it with, “Hi, tell me about your day,” is the culture I hope to help create.
At times, going out to restaurants and bars can be a little challenging for a teetotaler*. However, we’re fortunate that here on Bainbridge we have some very talented and accommodating bartenders (Like BA|SA's own Chris Kelly) who can serve up some delicious, inspired zero-proof cocktails on request. In fact, many of the mocktails I’ve had on the Island have been better than any cocktail I had in my drinking days.
This fall, I felt the call of the apple. This used to be “Manhattan weather,” but it does really belong to the apple — I mean, this is Washington! A few hours of experimentation led to this new favorite fall recipe.
*a person who never drinks alcohol
This is reminiscent of whiskey flavors without the whiskey.
Use a good non-alcoholic apple cider.
3 parts non-alcoholic apple cider (stands at Bainbridge farmer’s market has great ones!)
3/4 part oleo-saccharum syrup (store-bought or homemade)
2 droppers of Cassia bark bitters from Infuse Bitters
Place large ice cube in rocks glass. Add ingredients and stir gently. Top with touch of soda water if desired.