Andrew Friedman has memorized and invented a library's worth of libations. As the president and cofounder of the Washington State Bartender's Guild, he knows his way around the counter—enough to experiment with barrel-aging his own cocktails and lighting his citrus twists on fire. The shelves behind him at Liberty Bar stretch four bottles deep, according to Eater, and those bottles’ spirits span continents and centuries. Andrew creates fresh "scratch" cocktails, so named because of their ingredients: hand-squeezed juice, homemade bitters, and syrups concocted in-house. Combined, they form imaginatively named blends such as the Preamble—gin, blackberry jam, and lemon juice—and the tequila-based Ultimas Palabras, which is Spanish for "last words."
Though the bar has earned a reputation as a gallery for sophisticated mixtures, Andrew maintains that it preserves a communal, down-home vibe. The servers happily suggest selections from the hundreds of whiskies, bourbons, mezcals, and locally distilled liquors, introducing patrons to new tastes instead of just sticking their favorite burger in a glass with ice. The menu also features beer, wine, and sushi rolls. From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., however, the space functions as a coffee shop for Stumptown brews and savory pastries.
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