The Gin’s the Thing
Sitting on a stool at the long wooden bar—and I strongly suggest it—is a singular experience. While sipping, you can gaze through a glass wall into the backroom distillery and see the 200-year-old Scottish still that Sun Liquor’s Hedge Trimmer gin is made in.
When creating Hedge Trimmer gin, distiller and bar manager Erik Chapman wanted a cocktail-friendly spirit. After much testing, he hit on a gin with a welcoming balance of juniper and herbal and spice hints; its signature taste blossoms in menu highlights like the Bijou ($9), a rediscovered classic combining gin, green Chartreuse and sweet vermouth with dashes of orange bitters under an orange twist.
The Sun exudes an artistic cocktail-diner character, with inviting booths. When a basic burger (veggie or meaty, $8–$10) or grilled cheese is brought out in a cheery red basket, you’ll almost expect the waiter or waitress to call you “honey.” This combination of comfort and creativity, in atmosphere and in cocktailing, draws in stylish locals. Well, that and the Hedge Trimmer gin.
Open daily, 5 p.m.–2 a.m. 514 E Pike St.; 206.720.1600; sunliquor.com
Bar Hop columnist A.J. Rathbun’s newest book is Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz. Learn more at ajrathbun.com.