Bar Hop in Seattle, Part IEdit Post
Contributed by on Sep 25, 2013
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Last month, I was in Seattle for four nights and managed to make it to 10 bars including Rob Roy, The Upstairs, Sun Liquor Distillery, The Pine Box and many more. This is part one of two.
After dinner at Coterie Room, I headed to Rob Roy to visit bar owner Anu Apte. I always have a good time at this bar. The ladies were rocking out the bar and I was content to read the menu for interesting bits. I settled on the Flatland Yeti for my first cocktail.
Rob Roy’s ginger syrup was wonderful. It played so well with the tea infused gin and I liked the soft touch of Yellow Chartreuse as well. Served long, this drink was an easy sipper.
Flatline Yeti – Earl Grey tea-infused gin, Yellow Chartreuse, ginger syrup, lemon, orange bitters, rosemary
But eventually my wandering eye caught sight of the mintiest looking drink, the Leaf Silo. Despite having both Branca Menta and a spearmint extract, it wasn’t like chewing gum. It was perfectly balanced. This would be a perfect drink if you like mint juleps in the spring and summer to move into Fall. The caraway definitely brings to mind comforting fall favorites.
Leaf Silo – bourbon, Cocchi Americano, Branca Menta, caraway tincture, spearmint extract
After Rob Roy, I headed up the street to visit with Michael Kostin, last seen at Paratii. That bar has now closed and he’s now at the Upstairs. As the name suggests, it’s located on the second floor of an old house. In the front room, there was a band and most people grabbed drinks at the bar and moved into that room. I sat at the bar to admire the large spirits selection.
I didn’t bother with the list and Michael made me a spicy cocktail. Unfortunately, it was too spicy for me and the second version only inflamed my senses. Time to cool down with a liqueur tasting.
I was intrigued by the Giffard line of liqueurs and other modifiers. Initially I wouldn’t have tried the banana but it is absolutely lovely and the best banana flavored alcohol I’ve had. It was like nutty banana ice cream. The apricot was also quite nice. The line is from France and local bartender Erik Hakkinen is repping them. I would later spot Giffard on several cocktail lists and I have heard the line is coming to California as well.
The next day was a full day of eating and drinking, my kind of sightseeing. I’m pretty much a food tourist. Yes, I like art and museums but I always make sure to check out my vacation spot’s things to do that don’t include buying souvenir magnets. So after lunch at Salumi and oysters and geoduck at Taylor Shellfish, it was time for a cocktail.
I heard about the new rum made at Sun Liquor and wanted to take a tour but they only do tours on Saturdays and Sundays– I was there on a Friday. I made plans to try to come back but in the meantime, I had a Scofflaw during happy hour and was able to get a taste of the rum as well.
There are two locations of Sun Liquor and I’ve been to the other location before.
Bartender Missy Cross was on deck and I liked this smooth classic cocktail. I always remember when I last had a certain cocktail but this particular time, I was transported to the first time I had it in San Francisco years ago. I love these sort of cocktail memories.
Scofflaw – rye, dry vermouth, lemon, house-made grenadine
The Sun Rum is one of the first rums made in Washington state. There are two expression so far; aged and silver. I didn’t have time to sample them in cocktails but I would love to try the silver in a simple daiquiri. I could sip on the aged. The aged is aged in sherry casks which I thought gave it more distinctive finish. I also think it’d be great to try both in a Mai Tai.
A few months ago, I had seen some pictures of The Pine Box from two different friends visiting from L.A. I had heard it was an old church. Nope, it’s actually an old mortuary. And this would not be the only mortuary turned bar I would visit on this trip. The other is an Irish bar called Kells in Downtown and it too had been an old Butterworths Mortuary. Actually, it was the first location and the Capitol Hill location was the second location of the mortuary.
The building retains its stately and solemn lines. There are booths with old church pews benches. We opted to sit at the bar after viewing the sparse decorated patio. That’s where you want to be anyway because they have state of the art beer lists that reminded me of subway schedules.
I could have had beer but I’m a cocktail girl at heart. And what better than the original cocktail. I ordered a rye old fashioned and specified the Rittenhouse. It was a great drink even if I prefer mine without soda.
Old Fashioned – Rittenhouse 100 rye, sugar, bitters
Regarding the mortuary aspect, naturally there are stories. This location was the site of Bruce “the Dragon” Lee’s funeral. After we got over the slightly creepy vibe, we had a good time chatting with our bartender about old cartoons and other trivia.
The Pine Box probably will be slammed during Halloween but what a perfect place for a spooky party.
Filed under: alcohol education, bar crawl, booze, cocktalian, foodie alert, great cocktails, happy hour, hot bartenders, minty life, travel Tagged: bar, bar crawl, bar hopping, bell town, bruce lee, capitol hill, downtown, drinkwire, rob roy, rob roy bar, seattle, seattle bar crawl, sun liquor, sun liquor distillery, the pine box, the upstairs