Rising Star Mixologist Tommy Stearns of Canon: Whiskey and Bitters Emporium - Biography

Seattle, WA

November 2015

A few years of the industry grind was all it took for Bartender Tommy Stearns to realize that creating and slinging craft cocktails was his life’s mission.

Stearns took his first steps into the industry working as a line cook at PF Chang’s in Bellevue, Washington. Playing with flavors and ingredients was appealing to him, but he took the leap to front of the house, working his way from bus boy to server. One decisive day, the bartender no-showed, and Stearns was called into the game. A young and inexperienced bartender, Stearns managed to scrape through service, quickly realizing his destiny was behind the bar, living and breathing every aspect of the gig.

He pushed on, earning his stripes by working for a full spectrum of bars— from rowdy dives to refined lounges. His career took off when he stepped into a management role at Suite 410, where Stearns developed his first bar program. He then found opening shifts at Rumba and Canon, both Seattle mixology mainstays. Now full time at Jamie Boudreau's award-winning Canon, Stearns, who also heads the USBG for Washington State, represents the passion, talent, and technique bubbling up in Seattle, and is pushing to make the city as known for cocktails as New York or Chicago.