Where to Enjoy Specialty Spirits in Seattle

These aren’t your average liquor store suspects. Head to any of these Seattle watering holes for a taste of the finer things in life -- starting with fine spirits.

Absinthe Brasserie | 2400 1st Ave | 206-441-5132

Look no further than Belltown for the absinthe destination in Seattle, with more than a dozen absinthe options on offer. Select any of 5 curated Fairy Flights, build your own flight featuring 3 tasters, or go straight for your favorite. All are served the traditional way -- with sugar cubes and ice water. If mixed drinks are your thing, absinthe-centric creations are the bar’s cocktail specialty. All pair seamlessly with a Creole and Southern-focused menu.

Agave Cocina | 100 Republican St Suite 100 | 206-420-8195

As absinthe is to Absinthe Brasserie, tequila is to Agave Cocina. The restaurant’s two locations in Lower Queen Anne and Issaquah each offer more than a whooping 160 tequilas -- the self-proclaimed largest selection in Washington State. Can’t decide on just one blanco, reposado, anejo, extra-anejo, or mezcal option? Try any of eight tasting flights, each featuring three tequila varieties. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a margarita or other mixed cocktail. Pro tip: all tequilas are half off at Agave’s weekly Taco and Tequila Tuesday!

Americana | 219 Broadway E | 206-328-4604

Want a beverage worthy of sipping alongside elevated comfort food? Capitol Hill’s Americana maintains a thoughtful specialty whiskey list just for this purpose. Among the dozen-plus options are several bourbons, rye whiskeys, aged whiskeys, domestic whiskeys, imported whiskeys, and more… basically, if you’ve got a favorite whiskey and it’s not already on this list, your new favorite is bound to be waiting.

Bastille | 5307 Ballard Ave NW | 206-453-5014

Ballard’s Bastille features an extensive spirit list, including dozens of gin, vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, brandy, and liqueur options. Try one in a handcrafted cocktail, with a plate of Petite Moules Frites featuring Taylor Shellfish mussels at happy hour, or sip one neat at the bar.

Nell's Restaurant | 6804 E Green Lake Way N | 206-524-4044

The beverage list at Green Lake’s premier chef-owned restaurant reflects its Northwest/New American/European-tinged menu. You’ll find plenty of local and regional options with a firm nod to the best wine and spirit imports. Alongside seasonally rotating small plates, large plates, and a 5-course prix fixe tasting menu, delve into any number of single malt scotches, cognacs, brandies and digestifs, vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas and mezcals, and whiskeys. Wine lovers need not fret -- one of the most impressive displays at Nell’s has got to be its extremely extensive wine list. It’s no surprise this spot was named Zagat’s #2 restaurant in Seattle last year.

Von’s 1000 Spirits | 1225 1st Ave | 206-621-8667

True to its name, Von’s 1000 Spirits boasts one of Seattle’s largest selections of fine spirits. Among these is a lineup of housemade options, including Sanctified Vodka, Junipered Gin, Mayahuel Tequila, and Boss Bourbon. Each is also the focal point of several accompanying cocktail creations, including the popular $5 scratch martini. Perhaps the most telling aspect of Von’s beverage program is the fact that the bartender is called an “Alchemist,” and upon inspecting the carefully groomed menu, it’s easy to see why.