What Seattle Drinks

Boldface names tell us what they order and where.



Tim Burgess: “Sip on Fifth Avenue or Betty on Queen Anne for a gin and tonic with a lime and four green olives. I know it’s strange, but the olives are the final touch of excellence.”

Nick Licata: “I’m one of the few people who can honestly say he made it through all four years of college and didn’t touch a drop of liquor. But I do occasionally drink, and what I drink depends on the crowd. If it’s a serious crowd, it’s a scotch and soda. If I’m having fun, a muddy white Russian. That’s Bailey’s, Kahlua, and cream. I’ll go to Morton’s downtown. Or McCormick & Schmick’s. I didn’t start drinking until after grad school, when I was in my mid-20s. Even up until five years ago I only had a drink a month. Now I have a drink a week. If I was an economist I’d make a chart and say by 75 I’ll be drinking every other hour.”

Sally Clark: “No matter where I am, if I’m driving, I’m ordering a club soda or a ginger ale. If I’m not driving, then . . . If I’m downtown, the Polar Bar is close to City Hall and has that nice hotel lobby/polar explorers lounge vibe. Maybe a rye Manhattan. You can check out which city staff are toasting the end of the day and which are trying to bury a hatchet. In a nice return to yesteryear, you can do the same at Vito’s these days, too.”

Jean Godden: “A classic martini at Oliver’s.”

Richard Conlin: “I would go to the Madrona Ale House and choose from among their wide selection, which includes Fremont products. How’s that for a tactful answer?” [Sara Nelson, Conlin’s legislative assistant, is married to the owner of Fremont Brewing Company.]

Sally Bagshaw: “If I am in public, I’ll have a nice Diet Pepsi or Arnold Palmer. If I’m sitting on my couch with my beloved nearby, I will have a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. I’m waiting for the Washington wineries to create a sav-blanc that is as citrusy as those from NZ!”

Bruce Harrell responded via an e-mail from legislative assistant Vinh Tang:

Hi Caleb,

Can you let me know how many Councilmembers have replied with an answer? I have a meeting with Councilmember Harrell today and I will ask Councilmember Harrell about your question. Thank you.

Then, the next day, another e-mail from Tang:

Hi Caleb,

My meeting with Councilmember Harrell was delayed to this afternoon. Can you update me on how many responses you have received and which Councilmembers are replying. Thank you.

And finally, later that afternoon:

BluWater Bistro in Leschi

Beer: Miller High Life

Mayor Mike McGinn: “Thank you for the invitation. We will not be participating.” —spokesperson Aaron Pickus

Tim Eyman: Eyman was introduced to his favorite drink—a shot of Don Julio—at the Mukilteo Azteca by a bartender who sent one over on the house. Late last year, a few weeks after his loss on Initiative 1125—his proposal to have Washington become the first state where the legislature determined tolls on highways—Eyman’s agave love was sealed at Scott’s Bar & Grill in Edmonds. Eyman claims he had so many of Scott’s “three-gulp” shots that he was cut off. Said his wife: “I wish more of your initiatives failed, you’re a lot more fun when they do.” Amen, Mrs. Eyman. Amen.


Steve Severin, owner of Neumos:Basil Hayden’s with ginger. Moe Bar or 611 Supreme.”

Chris Ballew, lead singer of Presidents of the United States of America: “I love to get the Red Rickey [house-infused vodka, cucumber, lime, ginger syrup, soda] at Feedback Lounge. I feel like it is good for my soul and nervous system and brain and body at the same time!”

Brent Amaker, lead singer of Brent Amaker & the Rodeo; West Seattle’s unofficial mayor: “My favorite spot these days is Pizzeria 22. They have a killer bar with quality drinks (not to mention kick-ass pizza and wood-fired almonds to snack on). For me, it’s a vodka martini, dry, with olives. Unless I’m eating pizza. Then it’s vino.”

Josh Rosenfeld, co-founder, Barsuk Records: “I might not be the guy you’re looking for this time—my favorite place to drink is on my couch or at my dining-room table, because if I’m doing either of those then it means I’m caught up on my sleep and I’m not working . . . So usually (to answer your question) when I’m a position to be ordering a drink, I order tap water, no ice.”

Ludovic Morlot, music director, Seattle Symphony: The French-born conductor is “still at the stage when I am discovering places in Seattle, so no favorite yet . . . get back to me in a year from now!” What we do know is that he loves single-malt Scotch whisky (anything from a “nice old Glenlivet to a Castle Leod”), prefers beer after a concert, and “used to go around the table and finish the guests’ half-empty cups [of Champagne] while they were getting into their cars” during dinner parties when he was a kid.

Jonathan Evison, novelist: “Favorite bar: Conor Byrne. Favorite drink: whatever Diarmuid is pouring.”

Lynn Shelton, homegrown filmmaker whose fourth feature, Your Sister’s Sister, will open this year’s SIFF: “Liberty bar on Capitol Hill. Justin [Freet, co-creator of the RAWSTOCK Film Festival], the bartender, makes a very special Negroni for me and I don’t know what’s in it, but it’s awesome.” [Says Freet later, by phone, of Shelton’s admiration: “Wow, you just made my week.” Rather than the traditional equal amounts of gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, Freet’s Negroni features three parts aged gin (brand: Ransom Old Tom), one part Campari, one part sweet vermouth, and a quarter-ounce of Gran Classico bitters.]

Dean Whitmore, leader/drummer/singer for pop-punk band Unnatural Helpers: “Sloop Tavern in Ballard. 34 oz. ‘Sloopersize’ Bud Light.”

Mikhail Shmidt, violinist, Seattle Symphony and Seattle Chamber Players:  “Lecosho at the Harbor Steps became the place of choice for a lot of Seattle Symphony musicians to go after concerts for a drink (plus, they have a great happy hour after 10 p.m.). Personally, a Sazerac at Lecosho for me.”

Peter Boal, artistic director, Pacific Northwest Ballet: “The DeLuxe Bar and Grill and a Stella Artois.”


Ichiro: In nearly every profile written about the enigmatic Mariners right fielder, the authors have made a point to mention that Ichiro doesn’t drink. In fact, nearly an entire 2007 P-I article was devoted to the fact that no teammates had ever seen Ichiro put anything in his mouth (drink or otherwise). But here’s what we do know. Ichiro has been a longtime pitchman for Pepsi and one lesser-known drink: Yunker, a sort of Japanese 5-Hour Energy shot which is made by something called Sato Pharmaceuticals, retails for $15, and contains a healthy dose of nicotine.

Jim Moore, former P-I columnist, now co-host of The Kevin Calabro Show on 710 ESPN: “My favorite drink is Lunazul tequila with whatever splash of juice I can find in the refrigerator. Used to put more juice than tequila in the glass, but not anymore. If you want a favorite bar, this isn’t very exciting either—it’s the Azteca across the street from the KIRO studio. Almost every night, I walk out of the studio and have this little talk with myself on the way to my truck. Should I just walk past the Azteca and get in my truck, pet my dog, and head home? Or should I stop in for a quick one, because I could really use one because even though the show’s only three hours long, I’m worn out. Three of the five days, I head straight to my truck. The other two days I stop and either have a Jack Daniel’s on the rocks or a Cadillac margarita. Either way, I usually slam it and am out of there in five minutes. Have never had a problem with drinking alone, which might be a problem in itself.”

Dave “The Groz” Grosby, fellow host on 710 and the voice of Seattle U basketball: “Well, I do have a drink named after me, so let’s pick that. It’s ‘The Groz’ Magic Water, and it’s available at John Howie’s Sport resturant. It’s a double Absolut and tonic with no fruit in a water glass with a straw.”

Seattle Mist, women’s professional lingerie football team: Defensive coordinator Jeremiah Captain said he strongly discourages in-season drinking. But he did concede that once the games are over, he and the team go to Southcenter Joey’s for its SuperSonic gin and tonics [2.5 oz. of Tanqueray, tonic, and a “citrus liqueur slush”].

Katie Smith, guard, Seattle Storm: “Palace Kitchen is the spot, Moscow Mule is the drink.”

Rat City Rollergirls: The Rollergirls’ practice facility is in Ballard, which means post-practice drinks usually happen at King’s Hardware, where the four-wheeled competitors’ drink of choice is whiskey, either Jack or Jameson.


Mark Klebeck, owner of Top Pot: “Sun Liquor Distillery on Pike Street is my favorite bar (full disclosure here: It is my brother Michael’s establishment, but still it is my favorite bar to go to. So there!). My favorite drink to order is ‘Libby’s Mai Tai,’ which is a classic on their menu. Best Mai Tai I have ever had!”

Becky Selengut, private chef, founder of Cornucopia Cuisine: “Does it have to be a bar bar? Meaning, my favorite drink is the Papi Delicious [bell pepper, tequila, habanero] at Poppy—does that count? I tend to also follow bartenders more than specific drinks so I can keep an open mind (and mouth). So I’d have to give a shout-out to Veronika Groth at Chino’s and Tammy Spears at Tilikum Place Café, because I would follow their drinks and knowledge of all things boozy anywhere they set up shop.”

Jessie Oleson, owner of CakeSpy Shop and CakeSpy.com: “The ‘Cupcake’ vodka shot from Unicorn . . . For fans of all things magical and sweet, there is absolutely nothing missing.”

Kathy Casey, celebrity chef:The Norwegian Wood cocktail [aquavit, applejack, sweet vermouth, and yellow Chartreuse] from The Walrus & the Carpenter.”

Tom Douglas: “I like re:public for a Redbreast Irish whiskey, splash of water, lots of ice, in a bucket.”

Molly Moon, the woman behind Molly Moon’s Ice Cream: Says a spokesperson: “A tall, frosty glass of milk!”


What Seattle Drinks
What Seattle Drinks