Chords & Cocktails

Local musicians/bartenders mix libations inspired by their peers.

Booze serves many a local musician not only as a muse, but also as a source of employment. To celebrate the long, strong marriage of alcohol and music, we asked some people expert in both fields for cocktails inspired by other local musicians.


Ryan Devlin

Bands: Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Smokey Brights, Virgin Islands

Bar: Tutta Bella

History: “At the Strong Killings record-release show this past year, one dude was being a real a-hole. I was standing right next to him as he continually told frontman Nate Mooter that he ‘wasn’t punk’ and that he all-around ‘sucked.’ Nate put up with it longer than you or I would have been able to. However, when the a-hole leaned in close to Nate for one last slurred heckle, Nate delivered a well-deserved backhand to the a-hole’s face, deftly dropping him to the Rendezvous’ carpet. ‘TALK SHIT, GET HIT,’ Nate cried before tearing into the DIY anthem ‘The Basement,’ which was likely the most punk/least sucky song that semi-conscious heckler will ever hear. Strong Killings is one of the most exciting, musical, and, yes, punk bands in Seattle; this drink is for them.”

Drink: The Strong Killings

2 oz. The Black Grouse blended scotch

2 oz. coconut water

Dash of lime

Float of Oly

Serve on the rocks.


Drew Church

Bands: Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, the Cops, the Basements, Little Cuts, Puberty

Bar: Hazlewood

History: “I thought of Davidson Hart Kingsbery because over the last year I think I’ve seen them play about 20 times. And they rule. And they are awesome dudes. But they are a country band, so the drink has to have whiskey in it. Also, due to the fact that they are a country band, the drink had to be a little bit bitter and a little bit sweet.”

Drink: Davidson Hart Kingsbery

1 ½ oz. rye

¾ oz. green Chartreuse

¾ oz. lemon juice

¾ oz. Punt e Mes

Garnish with grapefruit twist.


Mackenzie Mercer

Band: Young Evils

Bar: Skylark Lounge

History: “The story goes that the ‘first time’ I went out and got drunk after my 21st birthday, I decided I needed to have a standard drink. Troy [Nelson] had his white-wine spritzers, Brent Amaker had his vodka sodas, and gosh darn it, I needed one too.

Whiskey ginger? I’d heard of that before. Why not? I’ll drink them all night long at every bar we stop at!

We slowly made our way from Linda’s all the way down to the Lava Lounge, where I danced on tables to the Runaways’ ‘Cherry Bomb.’ The hazards of drinking whiskey all night when you don’t know what’s about to hit you are similar to seeing the First Times for the ‘first time’—they are simply that good. It’s like Tom Petty and Thin Lizzy’s long-lost love child, and you may find yourself facedown on the ground like a drunk young lady all of 21 years old.”

Drink: The First Time

Bulleit bourbon

Snap gingersnap liqueur

Whiskey-barrel bitters

Splash of soda

Orange-peel garnish


Terry Radjaw

Band: Mad Rad

Bars: Elysian Brewing Company, Moe Bar

History: “I made this drink inspired by Fresh Espresso’s music. When I hear Rik say ‘Coffee in my cup, it wakes me up on a rainy day,’ I don’t necessarily think about an actual caffeine drink. Alcohol is the stimulant here. Coffee liqueur was where I wanted to start, and end with a ‘Smoov’ finish. Putting it in the martini adds to the glamour that these two represent.”

Drink: Fresh Espresso

1 oz. Kahlua

1 oz. Frangelico

1 oz. cream

Shake the shit out of it. Add float of Chambord. Serve in martini glass.


Jeff Fielder

Bands: Mark Lanegan, Lindsay Fuller, Sera Cahoone

Bar: Ocho

History: “My Drink is the Widower, inspired by the band and the music of Kevin Large (a Seattleite now residing in Portland). Just like him, it’s classic, slightly bitter, and good lookin’.”

Drink: The Widower

1 ½ oz. rye

½ oz. yellow Chartreuse

½ oz. Gran Classico Bitter

½ oz. grapefruit juice

Dash of Angostura aromatic bitters

Dash of grapefruit bitters

Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Terry Radjaw's Fresh Espresso.

Terry Radjaw’s Fresh Espresso.

Jeff Fielder's Widower.

Jeff Fielder’s Widower.