Jamie Boudreau, Mixologist, Cocktails, Seattle, Vessel, Washington, WA, Spirits and Cocktails, Bartender, Drinks, What to Drink, Recipes, Cocktail recipe, Where to drink, Best Cocktail Bars, New York, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, Slovakia





Capitol Hill

Cocktail Bar

928 12th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98122

T: 206.552.9755





Q. What would you say are the qualities that define a good bartender and mixologist?

A. A good bartender must be good with people, be able to multitask, be aware of the room at all times and have a good dose of creativity. Knowledge of spirits and recipes doesn’t hurt either.


Q. What are some of your bartender pet peeves?

A. It drives me nuts when people become extremely agitated (not just a little upset, but physically and mentally worked up) when we don’t carry their favorite brand and when alternatives are offered they either just walk out or start loudly talking about how stupid the bar and staff are because we don’t carry brand X. People don’t seem to understand that every bar has shelf limitations and has to pick and choose what labels they carry, and as much as we’d like to, it’s simply not possible, economically or spatially to carry everything.

Also, people doing everything but having sex right at the bar. That’s what the dark booths (or your homes/cars/empty parks) are for.


Q. You’ve created many drinks over the years, is there one that you would call your “signature?”

A. That’s a tough one. I literally create new drinks almost every single day that I bartend. When I control the drink list, I try to change it up as often as possible, sometimes as much as once a month.

If a gun were put to my head though, I’d say maybe the Rosewater Rickey, followed by La Bicyclette, a combination of gin, vermouth, St Germain and peach bitters.


Q. When creating original cocktail recipes, are there essential elements to keep in mind?

A. Balance, balance and balance. Everything has to work together and the final result should have a good beginning, middle and end. In cooking terms, sugar is your butter and bitters are your salt and pepper, they need to be in your dish and they need to be balanced.


Q. Can you tell us about Boudreau’s Bitters?

A. Boudreau’s bitters are a side project that I’ve been trying to get off the ground for some time. The first batch was cherry-flavored, but I’ve had to leave the kitchen that they were created in. I’m now in the process of getting my bitters produced at a distillery, but we’re having some legal issues that need to be straightened out first. I hope to get the next batch out soon, provided that everything starts falling into place.


Q. Can we get you to share a few recipes?

A. Always. That’s what my web site SpiritsandCocktails.com and the Small Screen Network is for. I encourage people to try my recipes all the time and to put their own spin on things.

Advice / Tips

Q. With ice being key to cocktails, any tips for getting clear, crisp, clean ice?

A. The only way to truly get clear ice is to buy it. Barring that, make huge blocks and cut away the cloudy parts. Unfortunately there is no easy way to create clear ice at home.


Q. Are there any ice makers/trays/tools that you can recommend?

A. I’m a big fan of Kold-Draft ice-makers. If you don’t have the budget or room at your house for one, Tovolo King cube silicone trays will do in a pinch.

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Q. What are your favorite resources (websites, guides, books, etc.) for keeping up with the cocktail community and what do you specifically love about them?

A. Anything written by David Wondrich [find his books] is a must read, he nerds-out in such detail that even if you were only partly committed to his ideas, by the end of the book, you’re hooked.

Mud Puddle Books is a great source for reprinted classics.

Robert Hess’ Chanticleer Society is a good forum for like-minded individuals.

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Q. What is the most interesting or useful tool/gadget that you’ve come across recently that you were impressed with?

A. For Christmas, I received a champagne saber that I’m in love with based solely on the fact that it looks like a real sword, with hilt and all.

Handheld cold smokers are a lot of fun, if solely for their ability to add smoky tea and fruit flavors to a cocktail instantly.

And I’m in love with almost the entire inventory cocktailkingdom.com.

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Q. Favorite glassware / mixing glasses?

A. I’m a big fan of antique cocktail glasses for drinking and the seamless Yarai glass for mixing.

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Q. What restaurants in Seattle makes food that you crave?

A. I’m a huge fan of Crush’s short ribs (seasonal), Café Campagne’s cassoulet (seasonal) and anything that comes out of the kitchen of Canlis and Elemental.

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Q. For visitors who want a local experience, but really good food, where should they go in Seattle and what should they order?

A. There are a ton of good restaurants in Pike Place Market. Place Pigalle, Il Bistro, Chez Shea, and Matt’s just to name a few. Any restaurant that I’d go to or suggest has a rapidly changing menu, so I won’t tell you about the fabulous dish X that you must try but can’t get anymore.

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Q. You’re originally from Montreal. Any favorites to pass along?

A. I haven’t been back to Montréal in over two decades, so I won’t speak on that. But, I do consider Vancouver to be my second home and when I go back I love the food at Boneta, West, and Two Chef’s & a Table.

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Q. What is your favorite “local watering hole”/ cocktail bar?

A. Zig Zag would have to be my favorite spot. The service and hospitality are always spot on and the spirit collection is insane.

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Q. What cocktail lounges around the country (or world) do you think are doing inspiring work?

A. When it comes to ambiance, drink menus and hospitality some of my favorite bars are Death & Co, PDT, Pegu Club (New York), Rickhouse (San Francisco), Hemingway Bar (Paris), Le Forum (Paris), Milk & Honey (London), Paparazzi (Bratislava), West and Diamond (Vancouver). I could go on, but this is what came to the top of my head.

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Q. What spirits producers should be on our radar?

A. We’re starting to see some quality cachacas (Novo Fogo), mezcals (Del Maguey) and piscos (Encanto) right now, which are really amazing. The fact that one is able to taste terroir at a relatively cheap price is exciting.

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Q. Of your peers, whom do you respect for the work they are doing?

A. I’m a big fan of Seattle’s Murray Stenson, who knows everything there is to know about hospitality and can mix a mean drink too. The list of people that are doing a great job is long and I’d be doing people a disservice to try and name them all as I know that I’d miss three or four. Let’s just say that there are many great bartenders that I’ve met in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, LA, New York, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans…..you know I could go on and I haven’t even hit Europe yet.

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F.E.D. Recs on the Move

Download the F.E.D. iPhone app and get Jamie Boudreau’s recommendations as well as more recs from other bartenders, sommeliers and chefs.

Cocktails Recipes

- La Bicyclette

- Rosewater Rickey


Details of Jamie Boudreau’s recommendations for cocktail resources and where to eat and drink in Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, and Slovakia.


Seattle, WA

Photographs courtesy of Jamie Boudreau

Q & A