Oh, Susanna. Welbourne as Kitten La Rue.
Photo: Bobby Miller

Burlesque. You love it a lot, Seattle. What else do you love? Cocktails. You love cocktails. And sweet lo-fi postpunk bands like The Intelligence. And dropping musical terms like “lo-fi postpunk” into conversation, just so the people get that you get it and that you’re not some dorky booze blogger who has to consult Wikipedia in order to know how to describe a band.

Thusly and therefore, you love Susanna Welbourne: producer/director of burlesque troop The Atomic Bombshells, slinger of fine cocktails at Hazlewood in Ballard, keyboardist for the Intelligence.

Welbourne’s bartending career began 10 years ago in New Orleans, the greatest city on earth, and one she describes aptly as “boot camp for bartenders.” These days she’s not so often behind the bar at Hazlewood—where her favorite drink is a Bloody Dog with Aperol—due to all the burlesquing and lo-fi postpunk rocking. So if you see her there, lucky you.

Here, five questions for the lovely Susanna Welbourne.

What is the most underrated spirit?
Rye Whiskey. Old-fashioned goodness, and the essential base to the most classic of New Orleans cocktails, the Sazerac.

What’s your favorite Seattle bar (other than Hazlewood)?
Ocho: super cozy, cool owners, great food.

What drink do you order at that bar?
They make an amazing Dark and Stormy.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen someone do in a bar?
This guy vomited on the floor in a room full of people, and then just sort of looked up at me and shrugged his shoulders, as if to say “Well, what do you expect?” Not that!

Name three reasons you live in Seattle.
My dancing girls, the killer food, and this incredible weather. [On this last point, it should be noted that Welbourne did this interview during an unseasonably sunny spell in late February, 2010.]

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