Mix It Up

Bellingham Cocktail Week

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The time in her life when Sara Holodnick concocted Mad Dog 20/20 martinis and margaritas from “just add tequila!” mix is long gone.

These days, the Bellingham-based history tour cofounder/writer/photographer/blogger/artist/tarot reader/whatever the hell else she sets her mind to/bartender is known for her masterful mixes, which are known to utilize everything from songs to spirits. (Example: “Major Tom,” a cocktail tribute to David Bowie combining gin, vermouth, Angostura bitters, and bitter lemon.)

“I started to conceptualize what it meant to translate story or feeling to flavor,” Holodnick says of her epic evolvement. “I eventually started a blog where I explored these ideas further ( and then took my creations public.”

Via hosting “A Study in Drink” watching and tasting parties at Temple Bar, creating singular sippers for the Pickford Film Center’s annual Red Carpet Affair, and bartending at various events throughout Whatcom County, it’s safe to say Holodnick is well-qualified to get behind the wheel for the second annual “Bellingham Cocktail Week,” which will take place Feb. 1-8 at a variety of venues ranging from downtown Bellingham (Black Sheep, the Redlight, Uisce, Pickford Film Center, Temple Bar, Rook & Rogue) to Fairhaven (Ovn Wood-Fired Pizza, Gainsbarre) and beyond (Northwater, the Blue Abode. BelleWood Acres, and more).

Special drinks and food menus, a cocktail art competition taking place during the Feb. 2 Art Walk, a CLUE-style murder mystery featuring themed cocktails and small bites, whiskey flight tastings, a vermouth showcase, a visit with St. George Spirits and a BCW Recuperation Brunch dubbed “Bellingham Rhapsody” are among the many offerings.

“Bayou on Bay is sponsoring a Bloody Mary brunch, Bellingham Coffee Roasters will be making a coffee cocktail and the fine folks at PFC will be showing Wayne’s World,” Holodnick says of the latter event, which takes place Feb. 4 at the Pickford Film Center. “It’s all a fundraiser in support of PFC’s 20th anniversary programming, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday.”

When attendees are mixing it up, learning more about what they’re drinking and supporting the various bars, restaurants and distilleries taking part in the celebratory week of happenings, they should also remember to imbibe responsibly, and to take note of the fact that one of the goals of Bellingham Cocktail Week is to pay homage to the area’s stellar bartenders.

Holodnick has a few ways to spot the pros.

“I think a combination of creativity, comfort with improvisation and good social skills are probably the first qualities that come to mind when thinking of what makes a good bartender,” she says. “We are awash in talented, thoughtful humans looking for where they fit in in this town, and I don’t think it’s a mistake that some of our best artists just so happen to power the bar/restaurant industry here.”

More Food...
Leaf Love
The kale conspiracy

Kale has reached that point on the popularity curve where people are hating it because its popular.

Once, it was easy to file away this dark-green leafy vegetable as just some hippie food, but now it’s everywhere. Still, many people don’t enjoy eating it. And sometimes these haters get…

more »
All That Razz
A very berry July

After dealing with multiple harvests of ripe raspberries last weekend, I’ve determined it’s a berry good time to be alive.

By Sunday afternoon, I’d added the perennial fruit to a bowl of Puffins, tossed a handful in a couple of different salads, eaten plenty off the vine, placed some atop…

more »
Bigger in Blaine
Peace Arch City Cafe

It’s a Wednesday night in Blaine and from the sidewalk I can hear the melodic voice of a vocalist filling the Peace Arch City Café & Bar with music. The 5,000-square-foot building on Peace Portal Drive is full of appreciative diners who’ve come for the combination of food, atmosphere…

more »
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:30pm|Vanier Park

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Festival of Music Community Concert

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Wednesday Farmers Market

3:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Downtown Sounds

5:30pm|Downtown Bellingham

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Swing Connection

6:00pm|Seafarers' Memorial Park

Backpacking Basics


Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Vegetarian Pakistani

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Brewers Cruise


Intro to Improv

7:00pm|Improv Playworks

Village Books
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Kids Can Cook, Science Edition

10:00am|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bow Farmers Market

1:00pm|Samish Bay Cheese

Blues and Brews

5:00pm|Hotel Bellwether

Poetry Writing Group

5:30pm|Village Books

Jazz Jam

5:30pm|Illuminati Brewing

Ales & Sails

6:00pm| Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Pub Run

6:00pm|BBay Running

Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series

6:00pm| Elizabeth Park

Riverwalk Concert Series

6:00pm|Riverwalk Plaza

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Commedia in the Park

7:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Trove Web
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Commedia in the Park

7:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Wild Things

9:30am|Boulevard Park

Take a Swing at Arthritis

9:30am|North Bellingham Golf Course

Northwest Raspberry Festival


Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Beachside Barbecue

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Beachside Barbecue

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Beachside Barbecue

5:30pm|Semiahmoo Resort

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Commercial Street Night Market

6:00pm|Commercial Street

Burlington Summer Nights

6:00pm|Burlington Visitors Center

Seafarers' Summer

6:00pm|Seafarers' Park

Salmon Dinner Sail

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Dancing on the Green

7:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Summer of Blood

7:00pm|Rexville Grange Amphitheater

Poetry Party

7:00pm|Village Books

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Joey Curtin and Jon Mutchler


Charlie King and Rebel Voices


Festival of Music Finale

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall


9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Trove Web Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 2018 Cascadia Kids