There are plenty of reasons to visit The Kill Devil Club. There's the live music. There's the excellent small plates and shareables. There's the atmosphere. But most of all, there's the drinks. And one drink in particular — rum — gets top billing at the downtown oasis, with a truly encyclopedic selection of the stuff available. There's also all the other spirits, an inventive house cocktail list, sublime classic cocktails, and delicious punches that will have your entire group feeling happy.
Modeled loosely after an old-time soda fountain, Polite Provisions aims to offer service worthy of those classic establishments — while serving way better drinks. On tap, you'll find a variety of spirits, beers, wines, cocktails, and sodas, while the menu also includes traditionally-served cocktails made from spirits, champagne, and beer, as well as a number of individual spirits and bottled sodas. And should you like what you're drinking, they also play host to Spirits Society classes that let you learn from top bartenders and enjoy some great drinks, too.
It's certainly not the newest or trendiest spot in Austin to grab a beer, but it is one of the most dependable. Founded by a German immigrant in 1866, Scholz Garten is a true German-style biergarten, with a large outdoor area, a stage that's frequently home to outstanding local performers, a varied menu that includes everything from German favorites to BBQ, and a healthy selection of draft beers, including a number of authentic Bavarian options. Or, as the Texas legislature put it in 1966, "a gathering place for Texans of discernment, taste, culture, erudition, epitomizing the finest tradition of magnificent German heritage."
Themed menus are all well and good, but they don't matter if your drinks aren't great. Thankfully, that's not an issue at The Squeaky Bean. Located in LoHi, this stylish establishment serves up some of the best drinks in town — separated into cleverly-named categories like "Drunk Uncles", "American Graffiti", and "Dean Martin Variety Show" — as well as some fantastic food that covers everything from shrimp and grits at brunch to bacon wrapped in quail for dinner.
Yes, it has live jazz. Yes, it serves up tasty cocktails. Yes, it has a statue of Ceres in the corner. But you're not heading to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge for any of that. You're heading there because of its history. Opened in 1907, the Green Mill was a favorite hangout for Al Capone and his henchmen, thanks to its dark atmosphere, and, legend has it, a series of tunnels underneath the joint that gave them a way to slip out of the bar unnoticed should the Feds stop in. You can even sit in Capone's favorite booth — with views of both entrances — but, unfortunately, the tunnels are off limits.
One look is all it takes to realize where it gets its name. Set high atop the Banyan Tree Hotel, Vertigo and Moon Bar offer fantastic drinks — as well as arguably the best views in the city. The menu is cocktail-heavy, with top-shelf ingredients, and there's great food on offer, as well as a decidedly high-end vibe, but it's well worth getting dressed up to soak in those 61st-floor views. Just don't get too inebriated — we hear it's a long way down should you stumble off the side.
In case you couldn't tell, the name of this place isn't talking about the bread. Instead, Rye refers to the whiskey, once the preeminent spirit in the state, and now displayed proudly behind the bar alongside dozens of other high-end liquors. While there is a good selection of whisky on hand, the cocktails are made with every possible base imaginable, and blended with fresh juices, local ingredients, and the caring touch of a well-seasoned bartender. There's also a short food menu and a few carefully curated beers and wines, but no matter where you're eating in Fells Point, you want to have a drink here.
Some people call it a restaurant. And they do serve food. But when you're facing a beer list as well-curated and varied as the one at The Hay Merchant, it's hard to think of anything but drinks. The list boasts five cask selections and dozens of other brews ranging from IPAs to smoked saisons, each of which is served at the proper temperature, with the correct pressure and gas mix, and in the right glassware. Oh, and should you get hungry, the food just happens to be great — Underbelly's run by the same group, after all.
No, it's not some goofy club looking to liberate a city, state, or small island nation. Instead, Manifesto is looking to liberate its guests from a world of boring cocktails. Boasting an intimate, dark ambiance thanks to its setting below the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange, this 48-seat cocktail bar serves up a seasonally-changing menu of drinks, crafted with care using the finest available spirits, alongside local Boulevard beers and selection of wines by the glass. Just make sure to get reservations first, because the place fills up fast.
We all know how fun games can be while you're drinking — darts, pool, ping pong, etc. — but it's one thing to have a bar with a few games around, and other to have a bar centered around games. Thomas Foolery is the latter. This child-like drinkery offers a host of games like Mario Kart, Mini Basketball, Etch-A-Sketch, Uno, Connect Four, Jenga, and Break the Ice, as well as a solid selection of bottled beers and a full bar. Pro Tip: Come dressed like Carlton from The Fresh Prince, do the running man, and get 10% off any item.
It's widely known that some of the best places to find great beers are at the breweries themselves, so it only makes sense that you'd be able to grab some great cocktails at a distillery, right? Located in Corktown, Two James Spirits is the first distillery to open in D-Town in nearly a century, crafting vodka, gin, bourbon, rye, and single malt all on site, which they then serve up in flights and terrific cocktails in their tasting room. Like what you're drinking? They also sell all their spirits right at the bar, by the bottle or by the case.
Okay, so it's not in Maui — but it does sit on the ocean, and if you're looking for somewhere to watch the sunset in Pacific Beach, it's hard to beat the deck at Lahaina Beach House. This laid-back establishment is also a perfect place to people watch during the day, offering a solid selection of draft beer, a full bar — with a slight emphasis on tequila — and a better than average food menu, including some very tasty fish tacos. What else do you need?