Jackson Cannon has always lived to exacting standards. Son and brother of renowned award- winning journalists Lou and Carl Cannon, Jackson grew up immersed in a world of travel, politics and literature. As the longest tenured reporter assigned to cover Ronald Regan, the senior Cannon kept his family on the move, from Southern California to Sacramento to the nation’s capital.
In his twenties Jackson dedicated himself to a career in music, traveling the world in support of such dynamic acts as Eddie Kirkland, Gatemouth Brown, Dennis Brennan and The Tarbox Ramblers. A stint booking music acts at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts provided the fortuitous introduction to the craft of bartending and Cannon seized the stage. Settling in Boston, Jackson transitioned out of music and found mixology to be the perfect profession for his diverse interests. One part performer, one part philosopher, and a healthy splash of cocktail historian, Cannon has since single-handedly elevated the craft of bartending in Boston.
Together with three esteemed colleagues, Cannon formed the Jack Rose Society. Dedicated to preserving the legacy of the art of the American cocktail, the Society’s mission is to right the wrongs of misunderstood classic cocktails. As opening Bar Manager at Eastern Standard his cocktail program, offering more than 60 classic and new creations, has received national attention. USA Today named Eastern Standard one of the country’s Top 10 Hotel Bars, Boston magazine awarded it “Best Restaurant Bar” in 2006 and Esquire magazine included it in its list of “Best Bars in America” in both 2008 and 2010. In 2009, Eastern Standard was awarded top honor of Spirits Hospitality Restaurant of the Year by Santé magazine.
In 2010, Jackson created the bar program for Island Creek Oyster Bar, Eastern Standard’s sister restaurant dedicated to bringing the restaurant to the farm by offering guests the opportunity to eat, drink, discover and discuss where our food comes from and learn why it matters. At ICOB, he has uniquely calibrated the contemporary bar program to express the terroir of boutique spirits and highlight seasonality.
In late 2011, Jackson introduced the next iteration of his vision when he introduced The Hawthorne. Further elevating the cocktail that is finally, in this setting, the undisputed star, Jackson and his team at The Hawthorne beckon with their arms-wide service, exemplary drink making and – most importantly – thorough understanding that people don’t come primarily for food and drink, but instead for the possibilities that await them at the bar.
Today, the wanderlust of youth has been channeled into the passion of a true craftsman, leading Jackson to travel in furthering his first-hand knowledge to Turin, Italy in the study of vermouth, Pisco, Peru probing the depths of their noble spirit, and Fe Camp, France in search of the monks of Benedictine. When he’s not traveling or spending time with his wife and two young children, Jackson can be found mentoring the next generation of craft beverage devotees. Of course, there’s always a good chance that you’ll find him where he’s most comfortable, right behind the bar.