Murray Stenson Seattle Bartender was a legendary figure in the world of bartending who passed away on Friday morning at the age of 74. Born in Colville, Stevens County, Stenson spent his formative years in Kirkland. His journey into the bartending world was unique, with early career endeavours ranging from shoe sales to night stocking at Safeway.
Murray Stenson Seattle Bartender
|Cause of Death
Murray Stenson Bartender
Murray Stenson’s bartending career spanned over two dozen bars in Seattle, with his most iconic role being at Zig Zag Café behind Pike Place Market. His impact extended far beyond the bar counter, as he became a mentor to aspiring bartenders, imparting his wisdom on crafting classic cocktails and reviving forgotten gems from the
pre-Prohibition era. Murray Stenson Bartender knowledge of cocktails was matched only by his remarkable ability to remember patrons’ drink preferences and personal details, creating a unique and cherished experience for each visitor.
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In 2010, Stenson’s influence on the cocktail world was officially recognized when he was crowned “Best Bartender in America” at the Tales of the Cocktail festival—an honour bestowed upon him by his peers. This accolade catapulted Stenson’s fame to new heights, with enthusiasts from across the nation flocking to Zig Zag Café to witness his craft.
Hailing from Colville, Stevens County, Stenson spent his formative years in Kirkland, Washington. His career path was anything but conventional, including stints as a shoe salesman, a door manufacturer, and a night stocker at Safeway.
Beyond bartending, Murray Stenson was a passionate collector of albums and an avid reader. His extensive collection of 3,000 albums reflected his deep love for music, while his habit of reading multiple books simultaneously demonstrated his intellectual curiosity.
The Last Word
Murray Stenson Bartender legacy is most closely associated with “The Last Word,” a gin-based cocktail he rediscovered in a vintage bartenders guide. This drink, featuring gin, fresh lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and green Chartreuse, gained a devoted following in Seattle before spreading across the United States and around the world. Stenson’s contribution to the resurgence of Chartreuse as a vital cocktail ingredient is a testament to his influence.
Stenson’s name became synonymous with excellence behind the bar, most notably during his time at Zig Zag Café behind Pike Place Market. It was here that he mentored countless bartenders, sharing his expertise on crafting classic cocktails and reviving forgotten gems from the pre-Prohibition era.
What set Murray Stenson Bartender apart was not just his cocktail knowledge but his incredible memory for patrons’ drink preferences and personal details. Every visit to Zig Zag Café was a unique and cherished experience, courtesy of Stenson’s warm hospitality.