A cocktail isn’t just a drink at Daphne’s Fairhaven. It’s a sip of history in a glass and a travelogue by way of liquor and liqueurs.
At the intimate cocktail lounge, with its timeless air and its drink-making tools on display, the primary focus is on the classics, including such favorites as The Last Word — made with gin, lime, green Chartreuse and Luxardo maraschino liqueur — and Manhattans — bourbon, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters.
“We have one of the best Manhattans in town,” says Tom Grayling, head of the bar program at Daphne’s, which is now in its sixth year.
An ode to the classics requires research, lots of it.
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At Daphne’s Fairhaven there’s “happy minute” - at 5 p.m., patrons have one minute to order a featured cocktail or special cocktail for $5.
Grayling says Daphne’s will follow a classic cocktail back to its origin and stick as close as possible to the recipe and technique from the original bartender to achieve the intended result.
If the intent is to make fans of educated drinkers in Bellingham’s emerging craft cocktail scene, then Daphne’s is succeeding, judging by online reviews.
Still, Bellingham is a town known for its beers, so the bar at Daphne’s also has three local beers on tap, a stout and IPA from Wander Brewing and a Chuckanut Brewery kolsch.
Do yourself a favor, though, and try a cocktail when you pop into Daphne’s for a date night or to hang out with friends.
If you’re not a fan of the classics, try something from the seasonal craft cocktails list; a menu that Grayling changes four to six times a year.
Grayling says he uses Old World and New World liquors and liqueurs to create fun and innovative drinks. So there are American bourbons and ryes, as well as French and Italian liqueurs.
There’s also fresh ginger and freshly squeezed citrus, as well as a variety of teas, aromatics and herbs, combined with classic ingredients from the Americas, Italy, France and Germany to make people happy, he says.
If you’re not sure, go to the bar with its kind of “Mad Men” vibe for happy hour or, better yet, happy minute. The clock at Daphne’s is stuck at 5 o’clock and when your watch hits 5 p.m., you have a minute to order its featured cocktail or special cocktail for just $5.
“It’s been really fun,” Grayling says. “People have been digging it.”
Location: 1200 10th St., Suite 102
Hours: 3 p.m. to midnight.
Details: 360-778-3462, Facebook and Instagram