Seattle is known for its incredible food, waterfront real estate, football team, bustling neighborhoods, microbreweries, and craft cocktails. Although I could dive into each of these categories, and maybe I will at some point, I’m going to choose a focus here: craft cocktails.
For me, it’s not easy to find a cocktail bar that I truly love and want to continue coming back to. Some try really hard, but very few are the real deal.
Here are some of my favorite craft cocktails in Seattle and where you can find them.
- Diablo’s Revenge at the Upstairs. The Upstairs is a speakeasy and hidden gem in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle. You have to enter from the street and walk up a set of stairs into what feels like the living room of a chic apartment, from there the bar is straight ahead and the board game room to your left. I recommend, if you’re brave, ordering the Diablo’s Revenge. The cocktail is smooth and spicy and made up of house-infused spicy ghost chili tequila, thyme-infused vodka, raspberry liqueur, lime, and ginger beer. You’ll need a glass of water as well.
- Old Cuban at Rumba. Rumba is one of very few, or maybe the only worthy Seattle rum bar. Located right where downtown meets Capital Hill, this bar will make you feel like you’ve just stepped into Havana. Decorated with Caribbean decor and boasting more rums on the shelf than you could possibly count, this place serves up a mean rum cocktail. My recommendation is the Old Cuban, which is made of rum, lime, mint, honey, bitters and bubbles.
- The Model T 11 at The Tin Lizzie Lounge. The Tin Lizzie Lounge is also a Seattle neighborhood speakeasy, but boasts a very different environment than The Upstairs. You walk into the Tin Lizzie and are immediately transported back to the 1920s with their Gatsby-like decor, low light and the live jazz playing in the corner. They serve a number of delicious cocktails, but my favorite is The Model T 11, which is comprised of gin, muddled cucumber, fresh ginger and Gosling’s Ginger Beer.
- The Classic French 75 at The Gerald. The Gerald provides comfort food and craft cocktails in a more modern space. Located in the heart of the Ballard neighborhood, this cocktail bar is always buzzin’. I’m a little biased on my favorite cocktail at this bar, because the French 75 is actually my favorite cocktail, ever. It’s a regular item that I order, but they do it especially well. For those of you that don’t know, the French 75 is made with gin, lemon juice, simple, prosecco, and finished with a lemon peel.
- The Hot Charlotte at The Backdoor at Roxy’s. Another spot on the list that boasts a speakeasy vibe and isn’t easy to find. The Backdoor at Roxy’s is located in the Fremont neighborhood but is very different than any of the other bars you’ll find on the same strip. This beautiful lounge is often quiet, and the bartenders are extremely attentive and want to make sure they’re crafting you the perfect cocktail. My favorite of all of the cocktails, The Hot Charlotte. The Hot Charlotte is made with gin, St. Germaine, lemon, muddled cucumber, and then finished with a splash of tabasco.
If you live in Seattle, or plan on visiting, I strongly recommend grabbing a cocktail at one of the above. You won’t be disappointed.