A speakeasy committed to the original craft of the cocktail.
The Scoop: Tucked into what looks like a law office, Tavern Law on Capitol Hill opened its doors on a historic foundation. In 1832, both the Pioneer Inn and Tavern Law legalized drinking in bars and saloons. The production of — and pleasure from — alcoholic beverages was outlawed in 1919, thanks to passage of the Volstead Act. The American bartender’s future looked dark in the face of Prohibition. Then, the speakeasy was born. Hidden in the basements, cellars and secret rooms of local businesses, these illicit joints boozed up their patrons with artfully crafted libations.
Enter restauranteering gurus Brian McCracken and Dana Tough of Spur Gastropub and the The Coterie Room, respectively, who recreate the classic speakeasy — and any cocktails found therein — at Tavern Law. A media darling with nods from “GQ Magazine” and “The New York Times,” Tavern Law’s mixologists have taken a Prohibition-era concept to impressive new heights.
Crave Factor: A Stone Fence is comprised of Balvenie Scotch, lemon, thyme-infused syrup and house hard cider ($11). This stomach-warming cocktail demands an autumn evening by a crackling fire. “The Cocktail Chronicles,” an esteemed booze blog, profiled the cocktail as a “mainstay at taverns and inns” for centuries.
“The drink takes the simple, honest purity of a glass of hard cider and touches it with a little savagery,” Seattle-based cocktail enthusiast Paul Clarke quipped in the blog. “Making it a beverage that’s easy to approach, yet unforgiving when underestimated.”
The drink came about in similar fashion. It gets its name from a structure built by the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont in the mid-18th century. Led by Ethan Allen (a rough and rowdy local who — for some reason — got a high-end furniture chain named after him), the boys not only battled British troops throughout New England, but did it half-drunk from a popular local beverage: scotch mixed with hard cider.
Fun Fact: The speakeasy is expanding its repertoire, thanks to several miniature oak casks of whiskey from Woodinville Whiskey Company, a local distillery that opened up last year.
Tavern Law | 1406 12th Ave., Seattle | (206) 322-9734