Don't Miss Little Water Cantina

Tucked into the ground floor of a nondescript apartment building, it’s easy to miss this gem.

Sotol, Tequila and Mezcal
Little Water Cantina’s big wooden bar is hefty and backed by an impressive array of bottles, an instant hint that cocktails take center stage here. The menu proves it, with libations that feature a trinity of Mexican spirits: tequila, mezcal and sotol.

A spirit made in Mexico from the desert spoon plant, sotol is smooth and slightly smoky, available in three differently aged versions: plata, reposado and añejo. Bar manager Ryan Minch uses sotol to perfection in The Dog Fighter cocktail: a crisp, citrusy affair that blends sotol with El Jimador tequila blanco, maraschino, lemon juice, Cointreau and peach bitters ($9). There’s an array of innovative drinks that make use of the three spirits, as well as house-made tamarind bitters.

A Worthy view
Though I wouldn’t usually counsel sitting anywhere but the bar, Little Water Cantina’s deck is hard to resist. Sitting with Lake Union before you, nibbling on some lush wild mushroom and cheese empanadas or the tangy escabeche ($8 and $1, respectively, during happy hour), it’s easy to forget the year’s stormier months.

2865 Eastlake Ave. E; 206.397.4940;

Discover cocktail talk, recipes, videos and more on columnist A.J. Rathbun’s blog, Spiked Punch, at