The cocktail culture in San Francisco is an institution and I shoulda known that Seattle would be close on its heels. We gotta represent on the West Coast!
Based on recommendations, I went to Bathtub Gin & Co. and Zig Zag Café. Bathtub Gin & Co. reminded me of a mini speakeasy and was located on Gin Alley. There was one bartender on deck to serve up inventive cocktails to two floors of patrons, so he certainly had his hands full. However, not enough that he couldn’t draw me a little hand-written receipt. Loved it — such a personal touch! Here I had the Sting Like A Bee with Fernet, gin and Cocci di Torino. Could he tell that I was from San Francisco? Yes. Did I mind the complimentary Fernet shot because of this? No.
After dinner, I hit up Zig Zag Café. I had heard stories about Murray, the legendary bartender who eerily remembers your name, what you drank and what day you drank that drink, but sadly he is off to bigger and better endeavors. However I did enjoy a drink with my new companion who deemed himself “where’s Waldo meets the Hamptons”. Whatever works, right? These were two fun bars to check out in the Pike Place neighborhood!
@tallnoe took me out to Capitol Hill, which is the equivalent of San Francisco’s Castro district. The first stop in this neighborhood was Tavern Law, where I got a Dr. Girlfriend made with gin, grapefruit, Aperol, St. Germain, lemon and lavender bitters. This was an awesome watering hole, serving good classics — and I loved how the drinks were broken down per drink type (i.e. sours, punches, etc.). You can totally tell that to bartenders focus on their craft, with tinctures, freshly squeezed juices and house made syrups.
The next stop was Ba Bar, a new cocktail-focused bar serving Vietnamese street food. Here, I had a Caiprihnia from mixologist/bar manager Evan. I know it’s a pretty standard Brazilian drink, but it was nice and refreshing — just what I needed! Also, I thoroughly enjoyed watching House of Flying Daggers on the wall behind the bar.
Capitol Hill housed a great mix of chic bars and restaurants, including a restaurant/food truck that caught my eye at the SF Street Food Festival called Skillet Diner , so I would highly recommend hitting up this little neighborhood for some fun action with a local vibe just a short distance from the downtown/Pike Place area. I was certainly impressed by Seattle’s cocktail culture!