While many may think of beer is the traditional football sipper (and I certainly wouldn’t be putting down my beer-loving pals), with Seattle’s amazing cocktail culture, there’s no reason not to expand your pre-game ritual. With that, don’t discount having a swell cocktail or two at a nearby spot with solid shakers and stirrers before you head into Century Link to see the Seahawks triumph.
Below are five bars we suggest for cocktails before the next home game. Go Hawks! And go cocktails!
Derby (2233 6th Avenue S): Located inside The Shop – the super cool facility for car and motorcycle lovers – Derby isn’t far at all from the Clink. But, to help out even more, you can park there and they have a shuttle to take you to the stadium for only $5, and you can have a beer on the shuttle. But before that, sip on The Rayne West. Rainier beer, Italian-citrus-tinged aperitif Aperol, lemon, and Angostura bitters, it’s a perfect pre-game cocktail, refreshing, tall, and balanced like a good linebacker. Don’t miss the Nashville Hot Corn, either: corn on the cob coated in a fiery-spiced batter and deep fried.
Zephyr (255 S King Street): Want to have your cocktail at the last minute and still make kickoff? Zephyr is found inside the new Embassy Suites hotel, which is right on the edge of the stadium parking lot. It’s got a cool vibe, too, inspired a little more from when the NFL was founded, 1920, than most hotel bars, and the cocktail choices are inspired by the classics, too. If it’s a chilly day, I say keep it simple with the Gold Rush: Maker’s Mark bourbon, honey, and lemon.
Damn the Weather (116 1st Ave S): Celebrated for their well-made cocktails, this Pioneer Square favorite is already a touchdown for many before and after games, and for good reason. If the Under the Viaduct is available, it’s a worthy number, with pisco brandy, sweet vermouth, and Cloudburst IPA. Have it with their smoked polish sausage (accompanied by potatoes, braised cabbage, and grilled bread) and it’s like tailgating inside with better music.
Casco Antiguo (115 Occidental Ave S): I feel at one point in history some may have quibbled about Margaritas before a big game – those poor sad souls – but now this legendary drink is a part of football Sundays, and Casco Antiguo’s bricked back bar is a great spot to get them. Their tap version is dandy, but I like the Grantiguo, with Reposado tequila, orange liqueur, their fresh blend of citrus delights, and a Cognac float.
Quality Athletics (121 S King St): A sports bar that rises above the others, here you’ll find the typical sports bar trappings (plus lockers) but an elevated food and drink menu, including cocktails crafted with care. I suggest the Honorable Mention: rye, Luxardo maraschino, Ramazotti (an Italian amaro with lovely herbal action), and orange bitters. A winning drive, certainly.