Seattle is filled to the brim with a long list of exceptional bars and mixologists, many of which you may already be familiar with. However, there are only a select few that can say they are award winners and who have been named as a standout when it comes to their mixology talents. Check out any of these Seattle bars, known to feature award-winning mixologists and bartenders and who have received notoriety from various publications such as Seattle Magazine, GQ and Travel and Leisure.
E. Smith Mercantile
208 1st Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 641-7250

If you’ve never thought of visiting the E. Smith Mercantile bar in Seattle, you most certainly should now. Award-winning bartender Murray Stenson has been the bar’s guest mixologist on Sunday and Monday evenings, since March. Since the bar is a smaller, more intimate space, making a reservation is highly recommended. One of the best cocktails to try at E. Smith Mercantile, is the Miner’s Campfire, which is made with the shop’s smoke bitters, as well sa scotch, tequila, grapefruit and honey.

Canon: Whiskey And Bitters Emporium
928 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 552-9755

Canon of Seattle features another one of the city’s best mixologists, owner Jamie Boudreau. This whiskey and bitters emporium is also a smaller, more intimate bar that can only accommodate reservations of parties of four or less. Another claim to fame Canon offers is its extensive collection of over 3,500 different liquors, which is the largest in the western hemisphere. Since opening in 2011, Canon has been named as one of the best new bars by Seattle Magazine, and it also received the honor of having the “World’s Best Drink Selection,” according to the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.

1112 Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 583-7177

Rumba is a popular Seattle rum bar that is well-known with area cocktail aficionados. It features more than 400 selections of rum that are used to create the bar’s wide variety of island-inspired drinks. Mixologist Jim Romdall invites you to stop in and experience all that Rumba has to offer, including its Tiki cocktails, and Jamaican and Caribbean menu items. One of the favorite drinks of the bartenders and patrons is the Paradise Swizzle, made with a delicious combination of white rum, honeydew juice and coconut water.

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Zig Zag Cafe
1501 Western Ave. #202
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 625-1146

The Zig Zag Cafe has been named as one of Seattle’s top bars by the cocktail experts at Travel and Leisure and GQ magazines. It is located in the heart of the world-renowned Pike Place Market and features an intimate setting of about a dozen bar stools that are usually filled pretty fast by the time 5 p.m. rolls around. The cocktails are expertly made by the bar’s mixologists and the service is impeccable. Try drinks like the Sayonara, made with pepper-infused tequila, or another called Don’t Give Up the Ship, created with gin, Grand Marnier, Dubonnet and Fernet Branca.

Tavern Law/Needle And Thread
1406 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 322-9734

The Tavern Law bar of Seattle is actually two bars in one—Tavern Law is located in the downstairs section of the bar space, while the speakeasy bar, called the Needle and Thread, is located in the upstairs section. Also named by GQ as one of the best cocktail bars in America, Tavern Law/Needle and Thread showcases some very uniquely infused cocktails made with a variety of spirits. One such concoction is the Dirt ‘n’ Diesel, made with Cruzan Black Strap rum, Fernet Branca, Cynar, lime juice and sugar syrup. Whether you’re up for something sweet, salty, bitter or sour, the expert mixologists at Tavern Law will create something tantalizing for you to try.

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Sue Gabel has been writing entertainment and travel-related articles in the greater Puget Sound/Seattle area since 1999. She writes about music, the Seattle scene and more. Her work can be found on