Published on October 1st, 2013 | by Jason Sipe


Menu preview: the Hilltop Kitchen Dune cocktails

On October 8, Hilltop Kitchen celebrates the birth and life of Frank Herbert, a Tacoma native and creator of the venerated Dune series.

Hosted by Chris Keil, his team at Hilltop Kitchen, Post Defiance, King’s Books, and author Erik Hanberg, this special cocktail event honors Mr. Herbert and the expansive universe he built.

I recently had the opportunity to preview five of the six cocktails that will be featured at the event. Each is constructed with the laser-like focus that Chris Keil is known for, and bears a name that references a character or part of the Dune story. Cocktails during the event will be the usual $10.

Duncan Idaho cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

Duncan Idaho cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

The Duncan Idaho, a cocktail I have written about previously, features rum, overproof rum, drambuie, mole bitters, and lime oil. Not only is this cocktail delicious and boozy without being overbearing, but it plays nicely into my penchant for a well-made Old Fashioned.

Orange Catholic cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

Orange Catholic cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

The Orange Catholic, a reference to one of the orthodox religious texts in the Dune universe, is a drink built with rum, amaro, Barolo chinato, and rogue bitters. It’s a sweet and complex cocktail; the amaro and Barolo chinato add depth, while the slightly tart cherries (served on a skewer) are a perfect complement to the sweet and bitter flavors in the glass.

A mysterious and powerful order, the Bene Gesserit women aren’t fond of putting all their cards on the table or sharing many of their secrets. Their namesake cocktail honors that tradition, with a seemingly simple three-ingredient list that packs a surprising wallop of unexpected flavor and incredible depth.

The Honored Matres, violent and sexual adversaries to the Bene Gesserit, also gets a fitting cocktail from Hilltop Kitchen. Unflinchingly brash, the Honored Matre is strong and punchy with mezcal, tomato water, habanero/lime cordial, and a smoked lime salt on the rim of the glass.

Honored Matre cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

Honored Matre cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

The last cocktail I sampled is named for one of the noble families in Dune and the primary antagonists of the first novel.

The Harkonnen, a blend of mezcal, rum, and smoked demerara salt, explores the darker side of the Dune universe. The Harkonnen was first created for one of Keil’s 1022 South menus and was featured in Food & Wine. Harkonnen ice cream has been known to pop up on Keil’s menus as well.

Harkonnen cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

Harkonnen cocktail by Hilltop Kitchen

The final cocktail, called The Golden Path, is a hot drink made with cinnamon-infused tequila, becherovka, and mulled apple cider. Although I didn’t have the chance to sample this drink, I did taste some of the components; the final product is going to be amazing.

Come join us on October 8 and lift a glass to Mr. Herbert and to Dune. The story is legendary, the drinks are delicious, and the company can’t be beat. We’ll see you there.


clockwise from front left: Duncan Idaho, Orange Catholic, Bene Gesserit, Honored Matre, and Harkonnen cocktails

Five out of the six Dune cocktails: clockwise from front left: the Duncan Idaho, Orange Catholic, Bene Gesserit, Honored Matre, and Harkonnen.


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About the Author

Jason Sipe is a food writer in Tacoma, Washington. His writing career began in college when he created a weekly food column in his university's newspaper. Jason has worked in a number of kitchens and restaurants, but now spends more of his time writing than cooking. You can follow Jason on Twitter (@jason_sipe) and Facebook for instant updates on the tastiest news in Tacoma.

2 Responses to Menu preview: the Hilltop Kitchen Dune cocktails

  1. johanna says:

    Ooh gurrrrl, you forgot your full disclosure statement! How tacky. I fixed your tagline, okay?

    Post Defiance, for Tacoma, about Tacomans (who are bf or bff of Katy Evans), and by Tacomans (who like to promote their inner circle but not disclose that, nope.)

    • Katy Evans says:

      It’s true we did publish a preview of an event we’re hosting. Always happy to get tips on new topics to cover & new best friends to make!

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