Columbia Bar: Strawberry Fairway

Matt Owen, a bartender at the Putter Room inside the Seaside Golf Course, with a Strawberry Fairway.

You don’t need to wear a collared shirt or a pair of spikes to visit the Putter Room at the Seaside Golf Course on Avenue U, just blocks from the beach. In fact, you don’t even need to be a golfer: This sports bar caters to all fans.

The Putter Room, also known as the Par Tee Room — hey, golfers love their puns! — is an open, spacious affair with plenty of natural light from the wall of windows overlooking a large patio. With blonde wood paneling and matching tables and chairs, it reminded me of a country grandmother’s dining room — if that grandmother was fond of cow skulls, long horns and other touches of ephemera, which she very well might be. For a sports bar, the TVs are not the focal point of the layout, which is always nice, but rather the bucolic view of the links out back, as the first hole spills out from the club and disappears into the rough.

On a recent slow afternoon, I put it to bartender Matt Owen to make me a drink of his choice. Taking stock of what he had, he pulled together something new. Owen said he always enjoys coming up with new cocktails until it comes time to name them.

We consulted three out-of-town gentlemen at the bar, who were renting a house down the street as part of an annual family reunion. Owen mulled it over with guys in the pro shop. Eventually we landed on the Strawberry Fairway, which pays respect to the fruit-forward nature of the drink as well as the view from the bar.

While the booze is there, it’s the fruit juice that really pops in this cocktail. You could sip one on a hot afternoon, and it shouldn’t affect your handicap. “I was going for a summery feeling,” Owen said. “You could drink a few of these and still walk home.” Or, of course, to the beach.

• 3/4 ounce Bacardi Silver Rum

• 3/4 ounce Stoli Raspberry Vodka

• 1/2 ounce Strawberry puree*

• Freshly squeezed orange juice as needed

• Splash of cranberry juice

• Orange wedge

• Fresh strawberry

• Ice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in rum, raspberry vodka and strawberry puree. Shake until well mixed and strain into a hurricane glass packed with ice. Top off with freshly squeezed orange juice and the splash of cran. Flit the orange wedge and strawberry onto a bar toothpick and garnish.

*Strawberry puree is as easy to make as adding fresh strawberries and sugar in a blender. There are also many commercial versions available at grocery and liquor stores. The Putter Room uses Finest Call.

—Recipe courtesy of Matt Owen, bartender at the Putter Room inside the Seaside Golf Course, Seaside, Oregon


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