Canon, Seattle, WA
If you like options, Seattle’s Canon will be right up your alley: The bar has a mind-boggling 3,500 labels to choose from, as well as an extensive cocktail list. Whiskey lovers will be especially pleased with the selection of bourbons, scotches and American whiskies, which are also available in spirits flights like the pricey Ghost of Pappy Past flight that comes in at $1,051 and includes tastes of Old Fitzgerald 8-year-olds from 1950 and 1951, plus a 7-year-old bottling from 1952. If you have more of an eye for cocktails, try one of their creative concoctions, like the Toucan Gin Fizz (gin, Froot Loop milk, orange blossom water, fresh lemon, egg white, mallow fire) or the Campfire in Georgia (mezcal, peach-habañero shrub, fresh orange juice, cinnamon french oak, bitters).
Portland’s food and drink scene has plenty of standouts, but when it comes to cocktail bars, Clyde Common is the one you absolutely can’t miss. The European-style tavern is adjacent to the Ace Hotel Downtown and features interesting eats like anchovy toast and lamb neck. The craft cocktail program is led by beverage director Jeffrey Morgenthaler, who’s known for his attention to detail and tendency to resurrect ‘80s-era cocktails and make them worth drinking again—not to mention his three James Beard Award nominations. Choose from elixirs like the Broken Bike (Cynar, pinot gris, water, lemon oil) and the Sound + Vision (gin, Swedish Punsch, lime, orgeat). Downstairs can get very lively, so head upstairs for a more intimate night out if that’s what you’re craving. While you’re there, be sure to pop into the Ace Hotel’s basement bar Pepe le Moko, where you can try one of Morgenthaler’s reinvented classics.
No trip to this Midwestern city is complete without making a stop at Port Fonda, the fun and funky Mexican restaurant owned by Patrick Ryan, a James Beard Foundation 2015 Semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest. There’s something for everyone between the bar’s menu of drool-inducing tequila and mezcal cocktails, its flights of tequila and Margaritas, and a number of other agave-based spirits including sotol and bacanora. Pair chicharrones, pozole and carnitas with one of the zesty Margaritas—we’ve got our eye on the Pineapple Serrano (serrano-infused plata tequila, pineapple juice, lime, chile-infused salt)—or an agave-fied classic like a Tequila Gimlet (plata tequila, lavender, lime) or The Port Fonda Colada (Milagro reposado tequila, coconut cream, pineapple, lime, toasted coconut, brown sugar and a chile-salt rim).