5 Holiday Events Celebrate Local Bartenders and Great Cocktails

A.J. Rathbun
Learn how to make this delicious homemade eggnog at Sun Liquor's Holiday Cocktail Class on December 15

The holidays give us plenty of reasons to visit local bars: getting to see friends and family, getting over the stress of shopping for friends and family.... And while there are many great bars and cocktails to enjoy all around Seattle, we think you should check out one of these cool events when searching out a cocktail this month.

December 1-25
The Cocktail Advent Calendar at Rob Roy

Every day from the 1st of December until Christmas, Rob Roy will unveil a new seasonal drink. Some will be traditional favorites, some will be new and some will just be warm. First on the list is Vin Brule, an Italian mulled wine with red wine, cinnamon, anise, cloves, cardamom, allspice, pepper, demerara sugar, lemon and orange peel, and brandy. After that, you’ll have to stop in regularly to see what other delights will be served. This series was inaugurated last year and detailed in high style at local bar star Andrew Bohrer’s blog Cask Strength.

December 2
MurryAid Blur Ball

Legendary Seattle bartender Murry Stenson (Zig Zag, Canon) discovered not long ago that he had a heart problem that requires surgery. Fundraisers have been hosted for him all over the world to help him with the costs (donate at murrayaid.org). But perhaps the largest and most cocktailicious one is the Blur Ball on December 2, sponsored by the Washington Distillers' Guild. For $35 you get drinks crafted by the city’s top shakers, utilizing locally distilled products, food made by top chefs, a chance to bid on a number of spirited items in the silent auction, share in good cheer and good fun, and help a really fantastic person who has probably served you tons of tasty drinks (all proceeds go straight to Murray). Get your tickets.

December 5
Charity Prohibition Repeal Cocktail Party

Nomad.dinners, a roaming series of evening events (run by former Serafina manager Jody Haynes and former Cantinetta chef Tomer Shneor), is putting on an End of Prohibition Party benefiting the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. It’s December 5th, naturally (the day when prohibition was repealed in 1933). There will be music, food from the era, and Charleston dance lessons. But for cocktail lovers the real draw is an assortment of swell Seattle bartenders serving up 1920s drinks, including the Knee High Stocking Company’s Gregg Holcomb, Serafina’s Julianne Christie, Terra Plata’s Stephen Libbey, and Tavola’s Kyle Lasicka. Ticket prices vary.

December 15
Sun Liquor Holiday Cocktail Class

Here’s a chance to have a fine festive sipper out on the town while learning how to make said sipper at home. Genial Sun Liquor bar manager Erik Chapman will be teaching all tipsy attendees how to whip up nogs, punches, and other wintery drinks of renown. The class is at the Sun Liquor Lounge at 2 pm on December 15th, which is still early enough in the month that you could conceivably show off your skills at an office party. As of this writing tickets are still available, but they’ll go quick.

December 24
Liberty Xmas Orphan’s Eve

If you’re not full of family fun this holiday and feeling a bit lonely (or overfull of family fun and need a good drink), head to Liberty on December 24 for their Xmas Orphan’s Eve. Because Liberty never takes a day off – it’s been open every day for six years – they always throw a bash for those alone on the holidays. You’ll find drinks specials, punchbowls of good cheer, and probably get a hug from convivial owner Andrew Friedman, who was one of 2012’s Happiest Happy Hour bartenders. Liberty is also having a Repeal Day party on the 5th. Check out Liberty's Facebook page for updated details.