Edmonds and craft cocktails go together like ferries and orca whales. They’re just such a natural fit — and the owners and bartenders behind the counter go the extra mile to make their seasonal, signature cocktails extra-special.
Obviously, there are way too many places here to mention. But that’s for you to find out. Bring your family and friends, and experience them all.
To get started, get there early, and try, try, try these top 5 suggestions. You can also make some of their favorite cocktails at home (recipes included below).
- Kelnero (meaning “waiter” in Esperanto), downtown 545 Main St., goes the extra mile to serve seasonal, sustainable, and sensational “libations and victuals.” Kali and Kris Kelnero's dressed-up cocktails (and accompanying food) not only taste phenomenal, but look like art — the sort you admire for five seconds before diving right in, with relish. They put a lot of thought and creativity into naming the cocktails, as well. Current specials: Mama's Pie, Carrots on a Plate, The Elves Went Too Far. Retro-modern chic for days... Born two years ago this past February, Kelnero's is a true, one and only cocktail bar, and an Edmonds' favorite. Their most popular libation is the Black Rose, fit for both the daiquiri and connoisseur set.
Black Rose recipe: vodka, blackberries, lemon juice, orange Curaçao, simple syrup, and a few spritzes of rose liqueur, with a half sugar rim and blackberry garnish.
- Daphne’s Bar, formerly a barber shop on 415½ Main St., is pretty hard to miss. Look for the in-crowd of revelers making the best of a 250-sq.-ft. space between historic Edmonds Theater and Thai Cottage, and spilling out onto the makeshift, covered sidewalk deck. The hole-in-the-wall neighborhood landmark attracts fiercely loyal regulars who’ve become family and the curious wanting in on the quirky “Cheers” vibe encouraged by the staff and presided over by quite the character, long-time bartender Desmond van Rensburg. “It’s like being at a cocktail party at a stranger’s house,” van Rensburg quipped [“Daphne’s is the happy hole-in-the-wall of Edmonds” by Jim Davis, March 26, 2018 HeraldNet].
Aviation: gin, maraschino liqueur (cherry liqueur), Crème de Violette, and fresh lemon juice.
- Niles Peacock was the indisputable star attraction at the now-closed, beloved 190 Sunset at Salish Crossing, across from the Waterfront. This engaging mixologist blended equal parts science and fantasy in his far-out concoctions and turned every night into a show. He’s back with his own Kitchen & Bar in the Evviva Woodfired Pizza space a few doors down, soon to open in about a “month-ish.” He can’t wait to unveil lots of new smoke-and-mirrors craft cocktails with fresh twists and turns. It’ll blow your mind. (Update: the cocktail bar is set to open Winter 2021.)
Miss Pamplemousse: in an ice-filled glass, add 4 oz. Francois Montand Blanc de Blanc Brut (or other dry, sparkling wine), 1 oz. Giffard Pamplemousse (grapefruit), and ½ oz. fresh lemon juice. (“I usually use lemon peel, but opted for orange peel garnish here [pictured].”)
- Fashioned in the style and spirit of a traditional British pub — dark woods, dart boards, and dashing bartending staff, ChurchKey Pub packs ‘em in with a surprisingly hefty menu of fresh, hearty pub fare, accented by Pacific NW diversity: Shepherd’s Pie alongside Pork Belly Bahn Mi Tacos. A huge selection of local craft beer, spirits and wine, and specialty cocktails. Tucked in a side street off downtown Main St., on 109 4th Ave. N.
Corpse Reviver No. 2: “originally conceived as a hangover remedy, this classic combines gin, Cointreau, Lillet, lemon juice, and a dash of Absinthe.”
- That sound you hear is live music and revelers whooping it up at Engel’s Pub, close to all the action on 113 5th Ave. S. Local rock, Americana, and blues artists turn up the heat Fridays and Saturdays. Karaoke and trivia, too, the rest of the week. Reasonably-priced drinks (happy hour: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.) include cocktails, wine, micro-brews — 18 beers on tap.
Green Tea Shot & Cocktail: Jameson's Irish Whiskey, Peach Schnapps, and sweet and sour mix, shaken and served as a shot, or over ice for a cocktail.
- Bonus, because we can never have enough cocktails… Technically not a cocktail bar, Scratch Distillery (190 Sunset Ave. S. Ste. A ) nevertheless made the cut, because Kim and Bryan Karrick gin up award-winning, home-grown spirits that go into a lot of the cocktails served at a lot of Edmonds’ bars, pubs, and restaurants. They and their staff of distillers also have their own bar on-premises for those touring the distillery and for their GINiology classes. Scratch started as a gin-producer in 2015, but quickly became a place for all kinds of inventive, infused spirits, including vodka, whiskey, bier schnapps, and aquavit.
Equipment for the Gimlet:
- Coupe or rocks glass
- 5 oz. Scratch Barrel-Finished Pepper Vodka
- 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz. agave simple syrup
- 1/2 fruit avocado
- 1 cup ice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. chile powder (ground Pasilla chile’s nice)
- Cut the avocado in half and spoon into the shaker.
- Add the syrup, vodka, and lime juice.
- Muddle thoroughly.
- Add ice and shake thoroughly.
- Rim your glass with salt and chile powder.
- Strain contents into glass. If served up-done. If using a rocks glass, add a nice large rock.
"Miss Pamplemousse" feature photo by Steve Parent Photography.