How to make the Apricot Sparkling Gimlet from William Penn’s Speakeasy
The Apricot Sparkling Gimlet at the Speakeasy in the basement of the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh’s Downtown is made with apricot liquor, vodka, in-house agave sours and topped with a little bubbly and an orange twist.
But bartender Dawn Young hopes you’ll taste a little bit of her love for the job as well.
When you walk in the door you seemingly step back into the days of prohibition.
This best-kept secret was named by Thrillist as one of “12 Most Essential Bars in Pittsburgh.” A secluded space used as storage for decades, it has been restored to its former historic glory.
The Speakeasy references the noir era with plush scarlet seating surrounded by a lavish flocked wall covering and topped by a tin roof to remain true to Pittsburgh’s classic elegance and prohibition discretion. Dark and sensual, cozy and private, it is the ultimate urban getaway. Some of the original items remain, including some of the liquor bottles donated by the Overholt family.
Inside, Young creates state-inspired cocktails and appetizers. Also an actress, on this stage she’s concocting an apricot sparkling gimlet.
The ingredients are:
1 and ½ ounce Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka
½ ounce Orchard Apricot Fruit Liquor
A dollop of Agave Sours
Top off with Kenwood Sparkling Wine
Mix in a Boston Shaker
Strain it into a Martini Glass
Add a nice orange twist
“We offer a ‘twist’ on old-school cocktails,” says Young, as she stands behind the curved bar. “I love, love, love what I do. This is a career I am passionate about. I consider this my home and the guests are welcomed into the living room to kick it back and relax, enjoy a drink or two and some light bites.”
Young says it takes “patience” to be a good bartender. In her 25 years in this profession she has met so many wonderful people and enjoyed all of the conversations. It is important to know who wants to talk and who might just want some quiet time to themselves. It’s also important to be on top of the trends in spirits, she says. Making a good drink can be compared to that favorite sandwich your mother made – it tasted perfect every time because she made it with love, Young says.
“Right now, so many people are into the throw-back cocktails,’ Young says. “There is trust in an old classic. I know if I am making a cocktail that needs to be shaken that it’s ready, because I can hear it.”
Young shows how to mix up the refreshing cocktail and shares a bit about why she enjoys making it in this video.
And check out Jeremy Bustamante from Superior Motors mixing up the Braddock restaurant’s house vodka cocktail .