Top Shelf Advice: Where the Bartenders Go to Drink

Where and what the bartenders drink, and how they recover

!--paging_filter--pstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_andrew-at-liberty-bar-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Andrew Friedman, owner, a href="" target="_blank"Liberty Bar /a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off: /stronga href="" target="_blank"Barrio on 12th/a, especially on Monday (when it’s half-price tequila and mezcal night), Canon and anywhere Jay Kuehner (formerly of Vessel) is bartending. brstrongMost popular drink at your bar right now:/strong Mezcal, the great-grandfather of tequila. It’s also one of the most rich, flavorful and complex spirits available in the world.brbrbrbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_nik-at-liberty-bar-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Nik Virrey, bartender, a href="" target="_blank"Liberty Bar /a/strongbrstrongBest martini: /strongYou have to go to a craft-centered bar like Liberty, Canon, Vessel or a href="" target="_blank"Zig Zag/a. It should be made with quality gin, fresh and refrigerated dry vermouth and orange bitters. It is a cocktail, not chilled vodka.brstrongGuilty-pleasure drink: /strongHa! The corner-store white wine in the summer time over ice.strongbrHangover cure:/strong Water the night before and two ibuprofens before sleep. If these are unavailable: sunglasses, coconut water, muscle milk and a five-hour energy drink.brstrongWeirdest drink order you’ve ever received:/strong The ‘Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster’... vodka and soda with a dash of blue curaçao and a float of a green piece of jelly. I’ll never forget that.”brstrongbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_waldenbauer.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Keith Waldbauer, bartender at Liberty and Liquid Kitchen/strongbrstrongHangover cure:/strong Nuun (electrolyte) tablets, which I buy by the case at Amazon. I take one daily, hangover or not.brbrstrongbrbrbrbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_hideki-anpo-bartender-poppy-0981-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Hideki Anpo, bar manager, a href="" target="_blank"Poppy/a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off: /strongSun Liquor. Great people to chat with; they always have the whiskey and beer I want—and warm nuts.brstrongBest Bloody Mary:/strong I do love a good michelada (the beer version, but less tomato and more spice and lime). La Carta de Oaxaca makes my fave.brstrongBest Moscow mule:/strong The Walrus and the Carpenter or Montana. Have you tried Rachel’s ginger beer? Do it. Do it now.brstrongHangover cure: /strongThai food, a can of Diet Coke and a couch.brstrongWho is the bartender you admire most and why?/strong Guinan from emStar Trek: The Next Generation/em [played by Whoopi Goldberg]. She made some really colorful and cool-looking drinks… Plus, it makes me feel good that bartenders will still have jobs in the future. Why do they need her if they have a food replicator? I guess we do more than just make drinks.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_robroybartender.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Courtney Matzke, bartender,a href="" target="_blank" Rob Roy/a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off:/strong If I’m in the mood for a cocktail bar, I go to a href="" target="_blank"Canon /aand Zig Zag. For a more casual time, I enjoy Montana on Capitol Hill or a href="" target="_blank"Vito’s/a.brstrongBest Bloody Mary: /strongSkillet Diner.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure?/strong Cayenne pepper mixed with lemon juice, honey and water—also makes a really good base for a cocktail!brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you’ve received?/strong Probably an old fashioned with a splash of Red Bull...hey, whatever makes you happy.brbrstrongbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_amanda_reed_headshot-by-mandy-blouin-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Amanda Reed, general manager, a href="" target="_blank"Tavern Law /a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off: /strongVito’s is a Seattle cult classic—an old-school Italian restaurant that features live jazz and one of the best back bars in the city. brstrongBest Bloody Mary:/strong Smith. I prefer mine thick, spicy and vegetal. brI especially appreciate when pickled veggies are involved. They have it all.brstrongBest Martini:/strong Zig Zag. Although the bartenders are capable of much more, they do classics with style and grace.brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong Whenever I am on a tropical vacation, I am all about blended piña coladas.brstrongWhat is the most popular drink at your bar?/strong Old fashioneds. Donald Draper is responsible for this.brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you’ve received?/strong I once got a large group of college kids [at the speakeasy-style bar Needle and Thread] who wanted me to create cocktails that represented the cast of The Powerpuff Girls. brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_evan-bar-code-final_0.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Evan Martin, bar manager, Bar Code/strongbrstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink? /strongAn occasional boozy Frappuccino.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure? /strongWater, Tylenol, Emerald City Smoothie, greasy breakfast, probably in that exact order. brstrongWho is the bartender you admire most?/strong Very tough to limit, but I would say Erik Hakkinen (Zig Zag) and Erik Carlson (Bastille). Both are great hosts and keep a very positive energy behind the bar.brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you have received?/strong Requests for drinks that make you think of Matt Damon, rainbows and unicorns, Star Trek characters, and so on.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_casey-1-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Casey Robison, spirits director, Heavy Restaurant Group (Barrio, Purple, Lot No. 3) /strongbrstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink? If I didn’t think I’d get sorely, judged—or diabetes—I would drink grasshoppers by the pitcher daily. Or anything served in a frozen pineapple.brWhat is the most popular drink at your bar? /strongThe margarita. And mezcal. I am currently stocking between 35 and 70 different mezcal options.brstrongbrbrbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213-shattuck-wildaner-mistral-1367-meryl-alcabes-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Shattuck Wildaner, bartender, a href="" target="_blank"Mistral Kitchen/a and a href="" target="_blank"Artusi/abrBest Bloody Mary: /strongTaste Restaurant at SAM. They have an amazing house mix that’s the right amount of spice.brstrongBest Martini:/strong David Nelson [formerly at il Bistro] always pours it exactly to the rim.brstrongBest Moscow mule:/strong Ba Bar. They use the real copper mugs.brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong A double shot of well whiskey after a long, hard shift.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure?/strong Four aspirin with a shot of Fernet and a glass of OJ.brstrongWhat is the most popular drink at your bar?/strong Courting Rachael, created by Andrew Bohrer back when he was at Mistral. It’s a hickory-smoked old fashioned with a diamond-shaped ice cube. It takes a while to make, but guests love it.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_artusi2012-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Adam Fortuna, beverage director, Artusi and Spinasse/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off: /strongThe old Sun Liquor on Summit. Great staff, great drinks, low-key atmosphere, $35 Hungry-Man dinners. Exactly what anyone could ever want.brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink? /strongA beautifully made French 75 with cognac. Or a classic daiquiri made with Ron Del Barrilito 3-star rum.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure?/strong Working on a patent for this one: a packet of Alka-Seltzer and a scoop of orange Gatorade powder, topped with mineral water. If on a beach: two piña coladas and a dip in the ocean.brstrongWhat is the most popular drink at your bar? /strongNegroni, and it has been since day one.brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you’ve received?/strong Too many to count—but I still can’t wrap my head around vodka and milk.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213-connor-obrien-bartender-rumba-1559-meryl-alcabes.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Connor O’Brien, bar manager, a href="" target="_blank"Rumba/a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off:/strong Hattie’s Hat in Ballard—it’s a nice slice of the old, weird Seattle. They have friendly service with the most beautiful back bar in the city—plus beer and whiskey. Standard Brewing—great beer in a cozy space. Anywhere with pinball—Add-a-Ball in Fremont, The Unicorn. Oh, and if you know a guy, the Columbia Tower Club will afford you the most amazing view of this beautiful city.brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong I really enjoy using ingredients in cocktails that might be considered déclassé by drink geeks: Kahlúa, crème de cacao, Drambuie. I’ll defend an Irish coffee—a truly delicious thing to drink when the time is right.brstrongWhat is the most popular drink at your bar? /strong‘Scarr Power,’ named after bartender Jared Scarr. It’s got 114-proof Jamaican rum, lime and some nutmeg syrup in it. It’s pretty buff—like Jared himself.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213-jana-howard-vito-1331-meryl-alcabes-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Jana Howard, head bar manager,a href="" target="_blank" Vito’s /a/strongbrstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong I have an affinity for the occasional Diet Coke. Soda is probably the only thing that makes me feel guilty, but I refuse to deny myself the pleasure of root beer.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure?/strong A long walk with dark shades and a giant bottle of Pellegrino. The finest biscuits money can buy. Sex.brstrongWhat is the drink of the moment at your bar?/strong Daiquiris and ’Ti Punch. brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you’ve received?/strong I have a customer who drinks Wild Turkey rye with a cranberry juice chaser every Thanksgiving Eve. It makes me laugh!brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213-kenaniah-bystrom-1402-meryl-alcabes-final.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Kenaniah Bystrom, bar manager, a href="" target="_blank"Essex/a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off:/strong Liberty Bar on 15th on Capitol Hill. I can always find a new bottle of something I’ve never tried before.brstrongBest Bloody Mary:/strong Stoneburner: I like their Bloody Mary mix; I order it with mezcal.brstrongBest Martini:/strong For nostalgic purposes, I go to Von’s [now on First Avenue]; it’s the first place I ever had a martini. They used to be $3 at happy hour [now $5].brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong Brass monkey, PBR and orange juice.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure? /strongA brass monkey: It’s my ‘hair of the dog.’brstrongWho is the bartender you admire most and why?/strong Robert Detchon Rowland at Oliver’s Twist. He made me the drink that made me want brto be a bartender.brstrongWhat is the drink of the moment at your bar? /strongThe Globetrotter—house-aged añejo tequila, Italian amaro, Indonesian rum, lime, house-made pineapple gomme syrup poured over hand-shaved ice cube and topped with nutmeg.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_lezinc.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Andy McClellan, bar manager, Le Zinc/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off:/strong Smith: dark place; good ambiance with taxidermy on the walls. And Liberty: Everyone there is friendly.brstrongBest martini:/strong Liberty because they have a great list of gin. Also, Bathtub Gin Co. in Belltown: exceptional gins, and hidden away and dark—it feels super-cool to be drinking there.brWhat is your guilty pleasure drink? A long-neck bottle of Budweiser beer and a shot of Rumple Minze or a chilled shot of ouzo.brbrstrongbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_zigzig.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Ben Perri, bar manager, Zig Zag/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit aon your night off:/strong Rumba on Capitol Hill. People are fantastic; fun atmosphere; great conversation with bartenders.brstrongBest Bloody Mary: /stronga href="" target="_blank"Matt’s in the Market/a by daytime bartender, Robbie McGrath.brstrongBest Martini: /strongStraight classic martini at Sun Liquor Bar Distillery on Capitol Hill.brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong Expensive Champagne like Vilmart.brbrstrongbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_feedback.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Matt Johnson, co-owner and head bartender, a href="" target="_blank"Feedback Lounge/a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off:/strong Suite 410, downtown. Pizzeria 22 [Admiral District] has a kickass happy hour, amaro made from arugula, and true Napoli-style pies. Also, my 3-year-old can sit at ‘the bar.’ brstrongBest Moscow mule: /strongThe Met, because they anticipated my whiny, ‘I want a mule, but, you know, more interesting’ by adding Fernet.brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong Gin and soda, splash of Aperol. brstrongWhat is your hangover cure?/strong Bourbon, coffee liqueur (that’s not Kahlúa), soda and milk.brstrongWhat is the most popular drink at your bar? /strongRhum agricole drinks are gaining slowly. Also, the gin cocktail with the white balsamic (Sin Nombre).brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you’ve received?/strong There’s a local musician who I respect for his talent and, of course, his choice to not drink. But his choice to drink full shots of Tabasco is pretty f***ing gross.brbrstrongimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_carriemashaney.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Carrie Mashaney, chef at a href="" target="_blank"Aragona /a(a href="" target="_blank"and emTop Chef/em contestant/a) /strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off: /strongI like to sit at Bar Ferd’nand and people watch. Also, Sun Liquor is a go-to spot.brBest Bloody Mary: Ma‘ono, because amongst its many garnishes is a gigantic square of mortadella, and I believe there is a big lack of drinks with meat in this city.brstrongBest Martini: /strongThe Sorrento Hotel bar, when it’s raining.brstrongWhat is the weirdest drink order you’ve received?/strong Hands down, Fernet and milk. I still can’t believe that happened.brbrstrongbrimg src="/sites/default/files/newfiles/medium_1213_westward.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 10px;" height="120" width="120"Zoi Antonitsas, executive chef, a href="" target="_blank"Westward /a/strongbrstrongBest bar to visit on your night off:/strong Lottie’s, a straight-up neighborhood bar with stiff drinks and one of the most diverse crowds in the city. I love Liberty on 15th—especially the Negroni swizzle. And Canon—the Hanky Panky is served in a little flask bottle. Awesome.brstrongBest Bloody Mary:/strong Smith on 15th. I go there for a burger and Bloody Mary any brunch possible.brstrongBest Martini:/strong If I want to drink a martini, it usually means I want to get drunk. If I want to get drunk, I go to Marjorie—the drinks there are huge.brstrongBest Moscow mule:/strong It’s all about the ginger ale. I like Books and Bridges, by Tilson. Danny, at Madison Park Conservatory, makes a good one. brstrongWhat is your guilty-pleasure drink?/strong Lillet rosé, with Triennes rosé ice cubes.brstrongWhat is your hangover cure?/strong Pho Bac or Tacos Asadero truck on Rainier Avenue.brstrongWho is the bartender you admire most?/strong If I could, I would keep [veteran bartender and cocktail writer] Maggie Savarino in my pocket for advice on cocktails, wine and anything else really.brbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbr/p