Dustin Haarstad : Canon (Seattle)

Dustin, is a bartender at Canon in Seattle and founder of Blind Tiger Cocktail Co. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Vodka and Noilly Prat, and the second with Rum and Velvet Falernum.

Dustin introduce yourself
My name is Dustin Haarstad, I’ve worked at the Canon, Seattle for four years, I also run the Blind Tiger Cocktail Co. (which is a bar consultancy and brand building company) and I’ve been making cocktails for over eight years. Before I did this, I studied literature and was a musician, which led me to working nights in a blues bar. I got into cocktails when a good friend who was working in a cocktail bar lent me his copy of the Savoy Cocktail book and told me “use your brain behind the bar”. Ever since then I’ve loved classics and experimenting with classics and I’ve had an absolute romance with the cocktail world.

The classic you want to show us
The Goose Il Loose
45ml of Grey Goose Vodka
15ml of Pineau des Charentes
7.5 ml of Noilly Prat Dry
15ml of Gifford White Cacao
15ml of Lemon Juice

The bar or party you dream of
I’ve always wanted my own bar and in a perfect world I’d open up two bars. I’m a lover of dive bars, so one would be a really small, fun dive bar with a killer jukebox and the other would of course be a cocktail bar, similar to Canon, but smaller. I’m really into whiskey, so my bar would feature a wide range from single malts to Japanese and American. I’d like to do food pairing in my bar and also have some gastronomic cocktails. I want a bar with incredible service, knowledgable barmen and attention to detail. I’m lucky because having worked at Canon with Jamie, because I’ve already worked at the bar of my dreams.

I find myself in dive bars when I go out. One of my favorite in Seattle is The Octopus Bar. It has a nautical theme and it’s a chilled place I can hang out with friends.

The spirit you like the most
Calvados. It’s underrated and not many people in the States are using it. It really tastes like what it’s made from and lends itself well to classics and variations on classics.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
Balance. Absolutely balance. I hate watching people spend more time on the garnish than on the drink.

I like bitters to add subtlety and nuance to a drink. I also use bitters in cooking.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
30ml of Bacardi 8
30ml of Smith and Cross
15ml of Passion Fruit Puree
15ml of Velvet Falernum
7.5ml of Tonka Bean Syrup
2 dashes of Angustura Bitters

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
I think there are some people doing great things in Chicago, go to a tiki bar called Lost Lake and their sister bars. Also, in San Francisco check out Comstock Saloon and Hard Water.

Thanks to Copper Bay to let us make this interview during Dustin guest bartending


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