Owner / Bar Director
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. 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 Jackson seized the stage.
Settling in Boston, Jackson transitioned out of music and found bartending to be the perfect profession for his diverse interests. One part performer, one part philosopher, and a healthy splash of cocktail historian, Jackson has since single-handedly elevated the craft of bartending in Boston. Together with three esteemed colleagues, Jackson formed the Jack Rose Society with a mission to preserve the legacy of the art of the American cocktail and right the wrongs of misunderstood classic cocktails.
Jackson opened Eastern Standard in 2005 as Bar Manager, quickly cementing the neighborhood brasserie’s reputation as one of the country’s best bars, known for its attention to properly crafted cocktails and unwavering hospitality in a high-volume environment. Jackson’s iconic, expansive cocktail program offering more than 60 classic and new creations has secured Eastern Standard national attention from USA Today as one of the country’s “Top 10 Hotel Bars” in 2006, Esquire magazine as one of the “Best Bars in America” in both 2008 and 2010 and Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards for “Best High Volume Cocktail Bar” in 2012 and “Best American Restaurant Bar” in 2015). In 2011, Nightclub & Bar magazine named Jackson “Bartender of the Year.”
The same year, Jackson introduced the next iteration of his vision when he opened The Hawthorne, where he has built an experience revolving around a commitment to thoughtfully crafted cocktails, continued cocktail/spirits education and curating truly exceptional moments for guests. Under Jackson’s guidance, The Hawthorne has received local and national acclaim, most recently named "Best American Hotel Bar" at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, a 2013, 2014 and 2015 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for “Outstanding Bar Program” – the only New England establishment to receive the honor in 2014. He was also personally recognized as a finalist for “Best Bar Mentor” at the 2013 and 2014 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards and as a 2014 Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Award nominee for “Mixologist/Brand Ambassador of the Year.”
Today, the wanderlust of youth has been channeled into the passion of a true cocktail scholar, leading Jackson to travel the world in search of a deeper understanding of rare spirits, their cultivation and distillation. This firsthand knowledge from locales spanning Mexico, South America, Europe and the US is incorporated into training programs at Eastern Standard and The Hawthorne. Elevating staff understanding of source and product thus translates into an exceptional guest experience.
When he’s not roving the world in search of rare spirits, Jackson travels the country participating as a judge in such esteemed industry competitions as Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
In 2013, Jackson collaborated with 165-year-old local knife-makers R. Murphy Knives to design the Jackson Cannon Bar Knife, a multipurpose tool with many applications in drink-making, from cutting citrus and notching fruit for glass rim garnishes to removing fruit seeds, making spiral-cut citrus peels/twists and facilitating workstation clean-up by scraping counters with the flush blade underside.