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Canon

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928 12th Ave, Seattle, Washington, US

BEYOND THE BRAGGING RIGHTS OF BEING ON THIS LIST, Canon carries “the western hemisphere’s largest spirit collection at 3,500 labels and counting”. Although the collection, all of which you can purchase pours of, spans everything from absinthe to vodka, there is a heavy focus on whisky, particular American whiskey, both modern and vintage. 

Among the spirits on offer are a ‘radiator distilled’ Wahaka Vino de Mezcal, Canoe Club Whiskey from 1898, and Amer Picon from around 1890. 

Most bars with epic spirits selections tend to rest on those laurels, but Canon is also renowned for its active, innovative, constantly-changing and often molecular-esque cocktail programme that includes everything from carbonated, bottled, and barrel-aged drinks (some pre-chilled and diluted in advance so serving involves the handing of a flask and glass), to green chartreuse on tap, a Negroni flight, and drinks both serious (a Brandy Crusta made with vintage ingredients costing $1,100) and super-fun (a float with popcorn ice cream served with a Red Vine licorice straw). 

Given the bar’s popularity and busy neighborhood location, the regulars know to plan their visits on early weekdays or wait a while to get in on weekend nights. For a small bar there are a lot of drinks to work through.