Canon Whiskey and Bitters Emporium


Walking into this Capitol Hill neighborhood gathering place feels like entering the antiquated laboratory of a gentleman genius. Hundreds of glittering liquor bottles cram the shelves behind the bar all the way to the ceiling. Odd-shaped glassware and archaic drink-mixing apparati add to the charmingly steampunk-ian setting. What’s invented here, anyway? Uber-artisanal cocktails, that’s what.

World-renowned mixologist Jamie Boudreau keeps tinkering with the offerings and coming up with new wonders like The Sazerac Experiment (a flight of three different takes on this hallowed cocktail), the Banksy Sour served with the artist’s graffito stenciled in meringue foam, the Sherry Cobbler that looks like a liquored-up Victorian soda fountain delight. Canon’s Vintage Brandy Crusta, made with 100-year-old cognac, is reason alone to take Friday off and catch a flight to Seattle.

Canon is credited with having the largest spirit collection in the Western Hemisphere at 3,500 labels to date, among them some very rare 19th-century whiskeys – the bar’s menu is 95 pages long. The bitters-infused drinks here will whet your appetite and luckily, there’s an equally inspired bar food menu. The mood in this cozy lab is brainy but relaxed.

This venerable lair is consistently touted by those in the know (including me!) as one of the best cocktail bars in the world, and now you can whip up some of Jamie Boudreau’s award-winning custom cocktails yourself following the recipes in the beautifully designed Canon Cocktail Book.

The wood bar was purposefully stained using only Angostura bitters. The restrooms are insanely nice.

Jamie Boudreau shows off his extraordinary labor of love  in this video courtesy of Small Screen Cocktails:

928 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

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