Atlanta is known for a lot of things: great weather, delicious food, bad traffic. But did you also know Atlantans know how to drink? Yup, it's a hidden talent. From the craft cocktail scene to the multitude of breweries in and around the city to the umpteen festivals, Atlanta knows what's what when it comes to booze. As a boozer myself, I'm here to share my fave spots to take down the fire water like you're a local. Git yer butt down here!:
Kimball House, Decatur: this is THE place to go if you are an aficionado of the craft cocktail and the oyster. My opinion is to go with something traditional, like a Sazerac, but there's something to be said about a simple gin concoction as well. My dad says gin goes with shellfish like funny hats go with the pope.
Proof & Provision, Midtown: P&P is the "speakeasy" concept at the bottom of the beautiful Georgian Terrace Hotel in Midtown. There are lots of reasons to drink here - the beautiful hotel, the delish menu and the crafty craft cocktails. There's also table shuffleboard. Try the Southern 75 (bourbon, Demerara syrup, lemon and Sweetwater 420).
Ecco, Midtown: One of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta. The wine list at Ecco is amazing, but branch out and try the Long Live the Queen: Bombay Sapphire gin with hints of elderflowers, lemon, peach and mint. It's so refreshing!
Highland Tap, Virginia Highlands: Highland Tap is like a comfy pair of slippers. It's dark and cozy and is a great spot to relax with a big ole steak and a classic cocktail. I always get a dirty vodka martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. They have a heavy pour so you get a little sidecar of extra martini to keep you satiated for at least 20 minutes.
Barcelona Wine Bar, Inman Park. Barcelona is all about the wine, and lots of it. Saddle up to the bar, order some tapas and get your wine on. I lean toward Malbec, but they have a huge selection of Spanish, Argentinian and Chilean wines just ready for the drinkin' -- especially on (hint) Monday nights, when they sell all bottles for half price.
Polaris at the Hyatt, Downtown: Polaris reopened last year after a ten year hiatus. They've renovated but the retro vibe is still alive and well. Take in the revolving view of Atlanta with their special "retro" drink: the Polaris Peach Daiquiri.
Minero, Ponce City Market, Old Fourth Ward: this is the newest spot from Charleston's Sean Brock. Try the Minero Sangria. It's my new favorite sangria made from citrus, cava and rosé. I also feel compelled to tell you that Minero also serves a tall boy can of Tecate for $3. Bargain of a lifetime.
Brick Store, Decatur: The Brick Store and its exclusive beer list have received national & international acclaim on the world’s two biggest beer websites — beeradvocate.com & ratebeer.com. They've also racked up eighteen (and counting) consecutive years of “Best of Atlanta” recognition for their fabulous beer list and pub food. Try any one of their local or regional American craft beers, German and English specialty beers or vintage and reserve bottled beer list. You'll even get it served in the proper glass.
bartaco, Midtown and Inman Park: the bartaco Margarita. If you are willing to be patient, you won't be disappointed in the cocktails from bartaco. They squeeze their own juices on demand, for each drink, which of course takes time, but also makes for a fabulous drink.
Corner Tavern, Edgewood: The Nook gets all the attention for their crazy Bloody Mary that comes with everything but the kitchen sink (seriously, it has steak, tots and a beef straw sticking out of it), but for taste of the Bloody Mary alone, without all the fanfare, try Corner Tavern. You still get some fun add-ons - pickled okra, bacon - but the star is the drink.
The Southern Gentleman, Buckhead: Love a Moscow Mule? Try this place. You pick vodka, gin, Absinthe or Bourbon, they mix it with lime juice and homemade ginger beer. Yummy. Located in the new Buckhead Atlanta shopping/dining complex.
Victory Sandwich Bar, Inman Park and Decatur: This one's a no brainer: the Jack and Coke Slushie. If you haven't had one, you need to remedy that immediately.
Brezza, Ponce City Market, Old Fourth Ward: Here's another spot at Ponce City Market I've already scoped out for their drinks. Brezza is founded by Jonathan Waxman of Jams and Barbuto in NYC. Here you need to try the Shrub, a combo of red wine, ginger and balsamic vinegar. Trust me, it's delish.
I feel confident you won't go thirsty!