It’s Pouring in the Pacific Northwest

by Daniel Ramirez on January 17, 2020 in Food+Drink, Drink, Travels,
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Where to drink in Seattle and Tacoma? Here’s where!

Canon Bar

Named one of the best bars in the world, Canon lives up to its reputation and exceeds it in a way that has to be seen to be believed. Despite the fact that their cocktail list is multiple pages and includes a drink named “Whole Paycheck,” which combines bourbon, peach, amaro and mint and comes in a glass in a paper bag that is then placed in a miniature shopping cart, the whiskey bible they call a “Captain’s List” completely eclipses it, along with any catalog of bottles anywhere, except perhaps Louisville – and it would be close.

Photo courtesy Canon Bar Seattle

They have whiskeys and bourbons and other spirits categorized by column, row, and shelf position, to keep track of the literally hundreds of bottles on the 180+ page list of their inventory. Canon is a national treasure for fine liquor enthusiasts.

Life On Mars

Photo courtesy Life on Mars

Seattle is inextricable from its musical DNA. A vinyl bar that hosts daily and weekly happy hours, where patrons are encouraged to choose from their expansive collection of LPs and bring them to the bar to be played fits in, perfectly. Life On Mars is just such a bar, with cocktails that draw their name from song or the cultural arts, the environment is retro chill, with comfortable couches surrounded by stacks of vinyl at nearly every turn. It is as laid back as life in Seattle can get, and Austinites would feel right at home.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Photo courtesy Starbucks

Yes, they make craft cocktails within the palace dedicated to that inescapable roasted bean. Here, they combine a vast and extensive knowledge of coffee with a curiosity for experimental mashups with liquor. Thus, the “bar”-istas serve double duty and are well versed in cocktail culture as well as single origin beans. They serve a pour-over cocktail or two, using the ground beans as an infusion into a particular drink, and the results are electrifying.

Lucinda Grain Bar

Photo courtesy Lucinda Grain Bar

Around the corner from JuneBaby in Seattle is the perfect definition of a neighborhood bar. Lucinda barely seats 40, most of whom sit at the bar that adorns the walls, or a couple of tables at center, and it is cozy enough to order your next beverage from anywhere in the room, though no one would need to, so attentive is their small staff. The cocktails range from purest classics to modern combinations of flavor into tried and true cocktails (try the harissa margarita). Rather than being recognized as a regular at a sports bar, Lucinda is the elegant and classy place where you wish everybody knew your name.

McMenamin’s Elks Temple – The Old Hangout in Tacoma

Photo courtesy McMenamins

In nearly every movie that Hollywood deems, “cool,” (and in a majority of Tarantino films) there is a bar that is almost too good to be true. Jack Rabbit Slim’s, Rick’s Café Americain, Jack’s Crocodile Bar, and The Winchester all appear to be legendary watering holes. But, surely such lively places don’t actually exist. Well, descend through the “indoor pub crawl” that is the McMenamin’s Elks Temple in Tacoma, and stop when you see the sign for The Old Hangout and the stairs that lead into the bar. You won’t be prepared for how quickly this repurposed hotel and bar complex transport you into a favorite movie bar. It’s a Tiki-themed bar, complete with thatched roof structures indoors, extremely Polynesian presentation of cocktails, and an indoor waterfall, to add to the ambience. With a long bar down the center of this majestic space and ample booth seating in semi-private cabanas, The Old Hangout is more than just a show, it’s a show stopper.

This is the last in a three-part series by Daniel Ramirez, including #TravelTuesday: 7 Reasons to Visit Seattle Now and #FoodieFriday: Visiting Seattle? Here’s Where To Dine.

Cover photo Oakie on Unsplash