Here are a handful of cocktail bars that every man should visit — located in the South. I’m not aiming for the trendy, recently opened establishments where everyone is waiting in line. I’m just telling you about the best places to get a delicious cocktail — that’s both innovative and classic — without pretension, attitude, or the obnoxious cocktail napkins that always sticks to the bottom of your glass.
As always, there will be disagreements and places I’ve missed. Simply voice those opinions in the comments.
1. Midnight Cowboy // Austin, TX
A seedy massage parlor turned plush lounge in the middle of 6th Street. There is no sign at the door. Simply look for a red light above a doorway, and buzz the button for Harry Craddock. I recommend getting a reservation.
What you’re drinking: AC Milano punchbowl
2. Arnaud’s French Bar // New Orleans, LA
Some bars are simply wonderful, and this bar lets you know why. A stark contrast from the neon lights of Bourbon Street, this historic bar is appropriate for whatever tickles your fancy.
What you’re drinking: A French 75
3. Fox Liquor Bar // Raleigh, NC
Located in the heart of the Research Triangle — learning is seldom this rewarding. This ultra-chill basement lounge offers a complete cocktail menu that’s a lesson on the history of the cocktail.
What you’re drinking: The Kentucky Maid
4. The Patterson House // Nashville, TN
In a town well known for honky-tonks, it’s one of the leaders where new, interesting things seem to be happening every minute.
What you’re drinking: The Jennings
5. The Silver Dollar // Louisville, KY
This bar is housed in an old firehouse and is often heralded as one of the best whiskey bars in the country — and pays tribute by serving up whiskey shots to a Merle Haggard soundtrack.
.What you’re drinking: Mint Julep (with Four Roses Single Barrel)
6. City Grocery // Oxford, MS
Yes, Faulkner is gone, but Oxford writers still need alcohol.
What you’re drinking: Lemongrass Gin-Gin Mule
7. The Gin Joint // Charleston, SC
For those who want to celebrate gin and all its glory.
What you’re drinking: Brass Monkey
8. Cure // New Orleans, LA
This Uptown bar brings a new-school mixology mentality to a city that has never lacked in serving up quality cocktails.
What you’re drinking: Mexican Bus Ride
9. Anvil Bar & Refuge // Houston, TX
If you’re looking for a great cocktail bar — Anvil is a no-brainer. It is home to some of the first shots of the South’s cocktail revolution.
What you’re drinking: Pliny’s Tonic
10. The Crunkleton // Chapel Hill, NC
A serious bar without the attitude.
What you’re drinking: The Aviation
11. Leon’s Full Service // Decatur, GA
House-made liqueurs in a converted gas station. Leon’s is known for their legendary bar snacks. I recommend soaking up the alcohol with roasted marrow on semolina toast.
What you’re drinking: The 1900s Toronto
12. PX // Alexandria, VA
Similar to the Midnight Cowboy in Austin, it retains its aura of secrecy with an unmarked entrance. If the blue light is on and the Jolly Roger is flying, the bar is open.
What you’re drinking: The Sweet Basil
13. Carousel Bar // New Orleans, LA
It’s a bar that actually spins — which is a hell of a trick to play on a drinking man.
What you’re drinking: A Vieux Carré
Image Source: BigStock