America's best bartender is right here

Zig Zag Café's Murray Stenson is the winner.
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Murray Stenson of the Zig Zag Café

Zig Zag Café's Murray Stenson is the winner.

Murray Stenson, the celebrated barman at the Zig Zag Café on the Pike Street Hillclimb, was named "Best Bartender in America" at the Tales of the Cocktail festival in New Orleans this weekend.

Focused, knowledgeable, and personable, Stenson has been celebrated in recent years by a variety of national publications; the latest award was bestowed by his peers in the trade. No slouch ("Mur the Blur" is his nickname), his trademark isn't so much speed as sensitivity: he knows his customers and tastes every drink. Classic cocktails, not date-night garbage.

"Sex on the Beach?" he once said to a newbie at the bar. "I'm sorry, I don't know what that is."


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About the Authors & Contributors

Ronald Holden

Ronald Holden

Ronald Holden is a regular Crosscut contributor. His new book, published this month, is titled “HOME GROWN Seattle: 101 True Tales of Local Food & Drink." (Belltown Media. $17.95).