The People Have Spoken: Locals' Favorite Bars and Cocktails

By: 
A.J. Rathbun

It’s that time of year, when pundits of all disciplines, from movies to books to boozes, are making their picks for those "Best" and "Most" end-of-year lists. I thought it’d be a good balance to let the people have their own say. So I asked five folks about their favorite cocktails and watering holes. Here's what they had to say:

Emi Matsumoto
Ballard

What's your all-time favorite cocktail?
A rye Manhattan.

What's your favorite new cocktail from last year, and where did you get it?
I don't love vodka, but I had a drink at Pok Pok in Portland that was great. It was celery drinking vinegar, lime, and chili vodka. Then I had a Tamarind Sour (tamarind, lime, sugar, bourbon) after that, which was also delicious. Then I burned my remaining taste buds off with a bunch of spicy food.

What's your favorite Seattle area bar for a cocktail?
I immediately narrow this down to bars within walking distance from my house. That said, probably Oliver's Twist. Good drinks (my favorite is the Duff and Blathers, which mixes rye, Averna amaro, maraschino liqueur, orange bitters, and a black pepper tincture), cozy, and tasty snacks.

What's your favorite new Seattle area bar?
The Inkeeper
became our go-to place for after work drinks last year. I discovered the Blood and Sand there and the house-made rosemary chips, which are really good. I love the huge back patio in the summer, and it's dark and cozy inside the rest of the year.

What's your favorite local spirit/liqueur?
I just tried Woodinville Whiskey Company's rye whiskey and liked it lots. Apparently it's the first rye whiskey produced in Washington State since Prohibition. Pretty cool and pretty tasty.

 

Natalie Fuller
Ballard

What’s your all-time favorite cocktail?
The Diablo, which combines Tequila, creme de cassis, and ginger beer (Rachel’s ginger beer is best).

What’s your favorite new cocktail from last year, and where did you get it?
The Thank God For The Worker Bees from 1022 South in Tacoma (a delicious drink that includes mezcal, ashwaganda honey, lime, and Sriracha). I dream of it often! Super worth the trip from Seattle.

What’s your favorite Seattle area bar for a cocktail?
Either the Rob Roy or the 1022 South.

What’s your favorite new Seattle area bar?
Macleod’s
in Ballard. A little older crowd so I can enjoy a tasty drink without worrying about being hip!

What’s your favorite local spirit/liqueur?

Woodinville Whiskey Company’s Peabody vodka – it’s great for just for sipping by itself.

 

Michael Narayan
Madison Park

What’s your all-time favorite cocktail?
The Negroni [an Italian classic with gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth] is my go-to cocktail. I can drink that pretty much anytime and anywhere. And you can vary the ingredients and proportions to mix it up on occasion.

What’s your favorite new cocktail from last year, and where did you get it?
A Benjamin Barker Daiquiri (Gosling’s rum, Campari, lime, absinthe, Demerara syrup). A friend made it for me while I was making dinner.

What’s your favorite Seattle bar for a cocktail?
Canon
. I don’t bother looking at the list. I just give them a base liquor and ask them to make me something good.

What’s your favorite new Seattle bar?
Vessel
. Even if it’s a reincarnation. They’re open for lunch which is a bonus.

What’s your favorite local spirit/liqueur?
Woodinville Whiskey Company’s bourbon.

 

Mark Butler
Ballard

What’s your all-time favorite cocktail?

The Manhattan. Up, as if there's some other way. Rye, ideally. Kissed by bitters and finished with a boozy cherry.

What’s your favorite new cocktail from last year, and where did you get it?
The Toronto from The Blue Glass (Bulleit rye, Fernet Branca, simple syrup, Angostura bitters). Honorable mention: The Journey To The End Of Night at 1022 South. When you hate the main ingredient (cold press coffee, which in the drink is mixed with rum, cacao, and cayenne) and still love the drink, that's a good cocktail.

What’s your favorite Seattle area bar for a cocktail?
Cafe Presse
. I like a place that's not afraid of lights – and I love their Fourth Regiment along with a little late night repast at the bar.

What’s your favorite new Seattle area bar?
1022 South in Tacoma. (Sorry, Jet City, but I had my best kicks this year down yonder.)

What’s your favorite local spirit/liqueur?
I've tried a lot of the New Breed, but nothing has knocked my socks off, so I'm going to say Deluxe Foods' Earl Grey Syrup to enhance any number of cocktails. I like it in my Prosecco of all things.

 

Christine Scharrer
Capitol Hill

What’s your all-time favorite cocktail?
A gin Martini. I like it as a Gibson, and I like it with vermouth – this nonsense about making a Martini so dry that there's no vermouth at all is just that – nonsense. About a 5-2 ratio is just right in my book.

What’s your favorite new cocktail from last year, and where did you get it?
My favorite cocktail this year is from Lucky 8's China House on Capitol Hill. It's the Golden Needle – Oola Gin, Golden Needle syrup, Lillet, and a bit of lemon. It's shaken and served up and I have to say I've had more than a couple in 2012! Refreshing and delicious.

What’s your favorite Seattle area bar for a cocktail?
Artusi
. Great atmosphere, friendly and fabulous bartenders, and suberb small plates. It doesn't hurt that it's two blocks from my house.

What’s your favorite new Seattle area bar?
Lucky 8's. It's dangerously close to my house and offers amazing cocktails, super friendly and talented bartenders, and delicious food. It's one of Capitol Hill's best kept secrets right now. They show Bruce Lee and Hong Kong Phoey movies on the wall. Also: they have a gong.

What’s your favorite local spirit/liqueur?
I really like the new Oola gin. It makes a very nice Martini. See also question #1....and #2!

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