Walk into Clever Bottle and you’ll probably feel a bit enchanted by its contrast to the outside world: With an airy design highlighted by candles, white walls, Edison lightbulbs and the occasional palm frond, the bar seems less “downtown” and more “French countryside.”
Owner Kristen Burns (a former manager at the Space Needle’s Sky City restaurant) is devoted to using local spirits and ingredients, with a focus on creative cocktails. One back wall is a chalk board, where cocktails as well as spirits from Washington and Oregon are listed, along with house-made bitters and tinctures, including chocolate, bluebell flowers, cinnamon spice, rose and more.
The tempting cocktail list is highlighted by the Reckoner ($9), which mingles fig-infused bourbon, cardamom, fresh sour and egg whites. Its flavors are nicely balanced, with hints of fig, spice and citrus circling the bourbon’s sweet kick, and the egg white provides a full mouthfeel. It’s creative without seeming forced.
There is a small but well-planned food menu, which makes use of ingredients picked up at Pike Place Market. Share the Market Tour Plate ($12), an assortment of meats, cheeses, bread, almonds and honey.
2222 Second Ave.; 206.915.2220; cleverbottle.com