We’re always telling you where to drink, but often the reason we choose each spot has less to do with the bar itself and more to do with the fact that the person mixing your drink there knows exactly what they’re doing. Want to make sure that’s the case? Order from one of these cocktail-crafting ladies who dominate the Seattle scene.
Specialty: Experimenting with new things and revisiting classics
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Trying to date emotionally unavailable men, watching The Bachelor and other equally bad television, traveling, visiting her friends at their work, checking out new bars and restaurants, nerding out on cocktail stuff, and running Women Who Love Whiskey, a whiskey society that she founded with her business partner, Jamie Buckman.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: The beauty. She’s originally from Alaska, so she loves that she still has mountains, but also all the benefits of living in a large city with hiking, camping, and snowboarding near by.
Where to find her: Oliver’s Twist Magnolia (address and info) and Rumba (address and info)
Specialty: Amari. Also rum and cachaca. And watch out, she’s getting into mezcal.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Yoga, Zumba, and nature time to get her mind and body right. Writing and singing in her band Pisces Mother for similar reasons.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: She just moved here from Minneapolis six months ago, so she’s still learning how to be a human in this beautiful city. She’s been doing it by asking people their favorite thing about Seattle and then doing or seeing that thing.
Where to find her: Poppy (address and info) and Lionhead (address and info)
Specialty: Seasonal cocktails and darker spirits like rye at Poppy. Baijiu (a Chinese liquor pronounced “bye-joe”) at Lionhead.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Slowing down, enjoying the scenery, meeting people and animals -- and saving the experience by taking photographs.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: The changing seasons, especially fall weather: the crisp smell in the air, somewhat smokey from end of summer season barbecues and the start of kindling fireplaces.
Specialty: Hospitality. She wants people to be comfortable sitting at her bar and at ease trying something they may have never heard of.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Thinking about her next meal -- she loves food and the way sharing a meal brings people together.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: Living in a place with so much natural beauty, being constantly bowled over by the sights of the mountains and water.
Specialty: Pairing cocktails with the food
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Technically, it’s still working, but she also likes making the apothecary-style tonic for her soda company Scapegoat Trading Co. -- and hanging with her pup, Ethel.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: The neighborhoods, climate, and landscape.
Specialty: Customer service -- and classically-driven cocktails with a modern twist
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Reading, writing, eating out at restaurants, and spending time with her lovely wife.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: That she can roll out of bed into a coffee shop, and that all of her favorite places to eat and drink are nearby.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Traveling as much as possible to check out other city's scenes. Locally, eating and drinking around Seattle -- she believes receiving hospitality is important to giving hospitality, like a battery recharge.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: That it's ever-changing, constantly evolving, and growing. Stagnation is boring.
Specialty: Ever-changing -- her specialty is basically whatever new ingredient she’s gotten her hands on to work with.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Cooking, baking, and hosting family and friends (and maybe some movies and popcorn thrown in there somewhere).
Her favorite thing about Seattle: As one of the rare natives, she loves that no matter where she travels, Seattle will always be home.
Specialty: Incorporating interesting herbs and spices into cocktails.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Still working! She’ll be opening two new bars in 2016 both with different concepts than Rob Roy.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: Everything. From sunrise to sunset, she loves the way the air smells when the seasons change; the food, the drinks, the friendly people from all over the world that move here; the Sound, the lakes, the hilly terrain.
Where to find her: Bastille (address and info) and Stoneburner (address and info)
Specialty: Whisk(e)y. Particularly single malt Scotch.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Traveling, camping, barbecuing with friends, going to sports events, frequenting the local cocktail bars, and running a whiskey society with her co-founder.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: The camaraderie that is found here. People are keen to take care of each other and to help one another out. Whether that's loaning someone your bar tools for the night or helping a stranger with directions, the Seattle scene is all about taking care of one another.
Specialty: All things apéritif, and particularly vin maison -- a seasonal French cordial that translates literally to ‘house wine.’
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Meditative activities like long bike rides and running, but she really lives for travel: whenever they can get away, she hits the road with her sweetheart, a car full of books, projects, and coolers of yummy things to cook.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: How when the Seahawks won the 2014 Super Bowl, celebrating Seattleites refused to jaywalk. That Gore-Tex and polar fleece are considered black-tie and that a gum wall, a bridge dwelling troll, and a giant statue of Lennon are touring highlights.
Specialty: Whiskey. Or ask her for the Mischief Martini.
What she’s doing when she’s not working: Playing golf, watching Seahawks’ games, or doing Sunday group tastings.
Her favorite thing about Seattle: Her walk to work -- from the north end of the Hill -- because it shows off the amazing Seattle skyline view every time she leaves the house.
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Naomi Tomky thinks it’s five o’clock somewhere, so stop reading and go get a drink from one of these bartenders. Follow her on Twitter @Gastrognome and Instagram @the_gastrognome to see if she’s doing the same.
1. The Sexton5327 Ballard Ave NE, Seattle
2. Herb & Bitter Public House516 Broadway E, Seattle
3. The Walrus and the Carpenter4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle
4. Vito's Restaurant & Lounge927 9th Ave, Seattle
5. Rumba1112 Pike St, Seattle
6. Canon928 12th Ave, Seattle
7. Rob Roy2332 2nd Ave, Seattle
8. Bar del Corso3057 Beacon Ave S, Seattle
9. Von's 1000 Spirits1225 First Ave, Seattle
Despite a name that makes people irrationally worry it will be terribly overpriced despite hitting just .205 in 2007, The Sexton -- whose final syllable thankfully starts with a "T" instead of an "S" -- promises that it never played for the Mariners, and is only trying to turn the Ballard storefront that once housed Madame K's Pizza Bistro into a fully boozed dispenser of sweet Southern eats.
Italian amari steals the scene at this addition to Broadway’s drinking scene: libations are smart and mature, and the space -- with its dark ceiling and beautiful chandelier -- is impressive, especially the oversized patio with optional covering for those Seattle drizzles. When the weather's nice, enjoy your drink on the oversized patio with a retractable roof that might be one of Seattle's best outdoor drinking spots.
This chic oyster bar serves neither walrus nor houses carpenters (that we know of) but it does dish out mounds of delicious shellfish in a comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, this cozy, neighborhood spot -- which has been recognized by The New York Times also serves incredible desserts, with highlights being maple bread pudding and roasted Medjool dates.
Vito's serves boot food ranging from antipasti (sirloin Carpaccio w/ arugula, shaved Parmesan & capers), to pasta (the black tiger prawns/black angel hair pasta/spicy red sauce'd Scampi Nero d'Angelo), and specials like the red sauce covered 12oz ribeye Steak Piazzola.
If you like rum and anything Tiki-related, hit Rumba and enjoy a selection of over 250 different kinds of rum, and a small but deliciously packed menu. Inspired by '50s-era Havana drinking rooms, Rumba's boozy and fruity libations pair well with a menu of Caribbean eats like baked empanadas, jerk chicken wings, and pork belly tostones.
This snug bespoke whiskey bar and bitters emporium makes up for its cozy quarters with an astounding collection of wine and spirits (peep the 94-page menu!). If that weren't reason enough to check out this Capitol Hill spot, Canon Whiskey holds the title for having the largest selection of American whiskey in the world... score!
This 50s' style cocktail lounge in Belltown serves classic libations in addition to a solid beer selection and smattering of small-plate bar dishes to soak up your booze. Besides offering all the traditional tipplers (Negronis, Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and of course, Rob Roys), Rob Roy's rotating artisanal offerings like the Campari and pineapple soaked Jungle Bird will whet your whistle if you're seeking a more creative boozy beverage.
Opened in the seriously overhauled Beacon Pub by an industry vet (Harvest Vine, Betty, etc.) who got his pizza chops working in Italy, BDC's serving up a seasonal menu of inventively topped, wood-fired pies including the fava bean puree/ cherry tomato/ sa
Three of said 1000 spirits were created at Von's in-house alchemy bar, and all of them match nicely with edibles like brisket burgers on housemade sourdough brioche, and French country-style pizzas with a sourdough crust.