Bar

Drinks Seattle: Elevated Sipping for a Weekend in the Northwest USA

Drinking around Seattle on our 3-day tour did not disappoint. HOBNOB gives you the rundown on where to imbibe from morning till night.

Mr West: For our late breakfast arrival, we popped into Mr West, which offered much in the way of beverages. The menu shows a myriad of coffee selections, nice teas, and combination drinks with both coffee and teas. You can also get wine by the glass or house-made sodas. Happy hour happens Monday to Friday with cheap-o prices on cocktails, tallboys, and bar bites to accompany. This is a perfect spot for a no-nonsense pitstop, where you order at the counter, get a table and wait to be served. For a low-alcohol cocktail, try the Pear Ginger Sparkler, which is made with dry pear cider, ginger beer and lemon. Laptops welcome. mrwestcafebar.com

Needle & Thread: For those who require a properly-made bespoke cocktail, this is your spot. We made a late reservation at this speakeasy, and arrived downstairs at Tavern Law pub, where an old-fashioned phone was situated. One call got us through the vault door. Once upstairs we were greeted with some bubbly, then “interviewed” as to our cocktail tendencies, upon which two unique beverages were delivered. I requested something with an aged rum, and received a complex, flaming concoction. Quite good, and quite potent. My friend went for a lighter, floral-based mix. Both hit the spot. tavernlaw.com

Re:public: En route to Vestal, we stopped for a pre-dinner drink here. This down-to-earth spot had the game on, and like most places, had high ceilings with industrial touches. They offer a nice selection of local beers, plus a few imports. We opted, instead, for the Moncontour Crémant de Loire, FR, a light rosé bubbly, which was a great way to start the evening. republicseattle.com

Vestal: Wouldn’t you know, we ran into a mixologist formerly of NYC (Evelyn & Toro), Portland (Kask, Irving Street Kitchen, and Ava Gene’s) and San Diego (opened Modus). Ariana Vitale put an elegant touch on every drink we sampled. We especially love the sans-alcohol drink which arrived with our amuse: The Cool Love (see recipe with this post). Heaven’s Kickback, made the HOBNOB SELECTS list as a light and elegant sipper that paired nicely with our food. Vitale’s philosophy: “I want to share the cocktail journey I’ve experienced over the last 20 years with everyone who comes to sit at my bar. That’s why I have the Mojito Done Right on my list. I want to make a statement that despite its reputation, made with care and an understanding of maceration, this is a perfect cocktail. Some of my cocktails are designed to be as layered and food friendly as wine, like the Heaven’s Kickback. Light, bright, balanced, and herbaceous, it lends itself to many styles of dishes. In menu creation, I try to have a little something for everyone: something for the sweet tooth (Japanese Swizzle), a stirred and boozy (Valen’s Victory), and a whimsical surprise (The South Lake Union Sour has a Lambrusco and Red Verjus ice sphere that looks like Mars landed in your cocktail glass)”. vestalseattle.com

Sunset: My friend lives in a high rise with panoramic views—which we did take advantage of. We watched the sun go down with a bottle of Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014. Flowers Vineyard & Winery uses organic and sustainable farming practices to grow their grapes. They’re located on the “extreme” Sonoma Coast, where the Pacific Ocean provides cool breezes during sunny days for proper ripening and chilly evening fogs to guarantee lively acidity in the finished wines. It’s not your typical chardonnay—much more light and subtle. Tasting notes: “Light straw hue. Expressive aromas of citrus zest and lime-blossom are highlighted by honeysuckle and wet flint. The palate is heightened by a compelling, site-specific minerality, textural salinity, and precise acidity that carry brilliantly through the finish. A true expression of both the grape and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean.” About $40. flowerswinery.com