1022 South: Tacoma's Hidden Jewel

We ventured to Tacoma to sample libations from a praise-worthy bar.

The New York Times recently named 1022 South (1022 South J St.; 253.627.8588; 1022south.com) in Tacoma’s Hilltop district “home to some of the most fascinating apothecary cocktail work on the West Coast.” Given such praise, we ventured outside our usual Bar Hop range to explore the 2-year-old space, which is co-owned by Chris Keil and Neil Harris, and boasts house-made mixers and an extensive collection of infused liqueurs.

THE VIBE: Tucked inside an unassuming corner building, this cozy sliver of a
space is minimally decorated with candles, exposed light bulbs, scattered books and a long black banquette. A dark wood bar sits in front of a high wall of shelves housing bottles of booze and all manner of mysterious tinctures, and an arty, casual crowd shares tables and conversation.

Gourmet snacks are minimal but tasty, including the delicately crispy chèvre crostini, heaped with Blue Rose goat cheese, drizzled with balsamic reduction and sprinkled with Yakima applewood smoked salt ($5). A charcuterie plate ($10), salads ($3–$8) and a variety of panini ($8) are also available.

THE DRINKS: Don’t order a well drink; half the fun is watching the mad-scientist bartenders measure and mix house-made infusions. Clear your sinuses with a ginger-heavy Drunken Boat (black strap rum, ginger liqueur, house-made ginger beer and flamed angostura bitters; $8) or try the Lavender Cocktail (vodka, lavender, coconut and lemon; $8). Feeling picky? Let the barkeep customize something to your taste with the Apothecary Cup (price depends on concoction).