I can’t say how many times I’ve driven by the historic Shelburne Hotel — maybe 200? I decided to check it out on a recent blustery afternoon and quickly succumbed to its many charms.
Having transferred ownership a little more than a year ago, the Shelburne is now part of the Adrift Hotel, Inc. group, led by husband-and-wife team Brady and Tiffany Turner.
The property itself has seen some massive renovations since being built in 1896. Bartender Ivy Kotek recounted that the original structure — which first resided on the other side of the street in the space now occupied by Sid’s IGA — was drug by “horse and log” so the owners could expand. Which they did, consuming two houses on the current property into the interior of the inn.
The recent ownership change doesn’t seem to have had such a drastic effect on the property. There’s a fresh coat of handsome dark blue paint that really pops the honey out of the heavily wooded walls and bar. The imported stained-glass windows, excavated from a European church, still remain. Kotek, who started at the Shelburne five months before the ownership change, called the renovations “streamlined,” a term I like. It means what was working is still working. What wasn’t: poof — it’s gone.
One major change to the new and improved Shelburne Hotel and Pub is what’s behind the bar. Having opened their own distillery a few years ago, the Shelburne is now stocked with the Adrift’s own line of craft spirits.
This White Whiskey Sour is not your grandfather’s whiskey sour. Or perhaps it is, if your grandfather was a moonshiner who sponged fresh citrus into cocktails instead of using the fluorescent, sweet-sour mix found behind most bars.
White whiskey is the un-aged, clear grain spirit often tossed into barrels to mature until it reaches the golden hue associated with whiskeys and the Shelburne’s walls. White whiskey is left pure and untouched; the Adrift’s blend of wheat and rye is strong, too, clocking in at 88 proof.
No, this is not your grandfather’s whiskey sour, but it is possibly closer to your grandfather’s grandfather’s whiskey sour. While the inclusion of the Adrift’s cranberry liqueur is pure peninsula, the addition of an egg white is a classic whiskey sour move, first recorded in the recipe back in 1862. It adds a frothy, Orange Julius-quality to the drink that adds body to every sip.
For your best bet, separate the yolk from a fresh and scrubbed farm egg. Good rule of thumb: If you wouldn’t use the yolk in a Caesar dressing or spaghetti carbonara recipe, you shouldn’t chug the white.
All together, this is a whiskey sour that will make you pucker and savor every sip.
WHITE WHISKEY SOUR
• 2 ounces Adrift White Whiskey
• 1/2 ounce Adrift Cranberry Liqueur
• 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 ounce simple syrup
• 1 large egg white
Add all ingredients except the cranberry liqueur and the ice into a cocktail shaker and perform an initial dry shake to thoroughly incorporate the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Strain into a rocks glass and then spoon the cranberry liqueur into the drink, lapping a purple puddle onto the froth that will dissipate throughout the cocktail.
—Beverage chosen by Angie Jansma, assistant manager. Poured by Ivy Kotek, bartender. Recipe credited to Juan Meza and Haley Gustafson, bartenders, and Brittany Derting, beverage manager. All are members of the Shelburne/Adrift family and the cocktail is available at both the Shelburne Hotel and Pub as well as the Pickled Fish just up the road at the Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, Wash.