Where to Fall in Love Over Cocktails in Seattle

If your love life were a cocktail, you would want it stirred, not shaken, right? Kiss good-bye to nosy bar-neighbors and say “see ya” to sullen servers; Seattle’s craft cocktail bars provide the perfect setting to start swooning. Low lights, a sexy samba on the stereo, and, most importantly, an expertly-made drink sets the mood for the evening. If your date is scoring points, perhaps you’ll even double up and hit more than one of these bars in a night. Thankfully, a smooth, safe ride between bars (and later, home—your place or theirs) is just a request away with Uber. Here’s where to get dropped off for the drink—and date—of your dreams.

Drink Like a Latin Lover at Rumba

Taste your way through the Caribbean and on to Latin America as you work your way through the more than 400 rums stocking the shelves at Rumba. Snack on plantain chips and pretend you’ve got your toes in the sand as you choose between Barbados punch and a Hawaiian mai tai. Sidle up to the curve in the bar or cuddle close in one of the big booths, and let the waves—and daiquiris—carry you both away to the lovely notes of Latin music.

Don’t Settle for Anything But the Best at Canon

Nearly any list of great cocktail bars in the world holds a spot for this creative and well-stocked den at Canon. The whiskey-focused bar boasts one of the largest collections of not just whiskey, but all spirits—and they know how to use them. The cocktails mixed here employ a range of inspirations as broad and far-reaching as the spirit list: start out joking over the Pimmp’s Cup with Pimm’s, Grappa, and Campari; move onto any of the house-aged or carbonated cocktails; and if you’re feeling friendly, finish up with the transfusion for two—a cognac and bourbon number with raspberry, to share, of course. Book a reservation to ensure your table awaits, but if it’s nice, see if you can move outside to the snug, isolated back patio.

Go Old School at Vito’s

The setting of this First Hill establishment is of another era: the chairs are big, the colors deep, and the sound big. While the cocktails at Vito’s get constant updates from the young staff, it’s the kind of place you feel like ordering a classic—a Gibson or a Manhattan, perhaps—as you settle into a night of live piano music to be serenaded by the kind of big voices that haven’t been a regular thing in decades.

Cuddle by Candlelight at Il Bistro

The lights here are as low as the room at Il Bistro itself—a near-underground outpost—and the bar itself as iconic as its Pike Place Market setting. The intimate bar allows drinkers face time with the bartender, who serves from behind a stick that groomed local legends like Murray Stenson and David Nelson for their future fame. Retreat to a tiny table to sip an after-dinner limoncello or stay at the bar to taste your way through the selection of amaro. Either way, the mellow environment and flickering candlelight will surely send a few sparks your way.


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