Whether you love homegrown peaches and sweet Vidalia onions, reminisce about the views of Stone Mountain in the distance, or are simply seeking refined cocktail bars with a healthy dose of Southern hospitality; Atlanta is a city you must discover.
From Downtown, to Midtown, to Buckhead (a.k.a. Uptown), the quality (and quantity) of the Atlanta cocktail bar scene is surprisingly strong. A recent visit allowed me to imbibe at some of the city’s best establishments and check-out the progress first-hand.
Peachtree Street Cocktail Crawl
An unexpected find, Seven Lamps is tucked into a ring of shops that encircles one of Atlanta’s ritziest malls, Lennox Square. As unexpected as its location is its non-traditional use of space: a hi-top communal table for at least ten sits nearest the bar in lieu of bar stools. And, the back bar sits in what looks like a bay window. The feeling that you’re relaxing in your neighbors’ kitchen is unmistakable and adds to the Seven Lamps charm.
However, the true ‘bar stars’ are the nine handcrafted cocktails that fall into the Effervescent, Classically Inspired, Crafty & Stemmed, Slushies, and/or Warming categories. Be sure to try the Low Winter Sun (rosemary infused vodka, ruby port, spiced pear, and lemon) or the Crimson Eagle.
Undoubtedly, Seven Lamps is one of the best cocktail bars located in all of the Southeast.
The elder statesman of cocktail bars in Atlanta is most certainly Holeman & Finch. Having opened nearly six years ago, this establishment set the stage for the craft cocktail movement in Atlanta. Their mixologists are seasoned showmen who understand the art and science of their craft.
Click here for a cocktail demonstration led by one of the in-house mixologists.
Empire State of the South — a state in southeastern United States; one of the Confederate states during the American Civil War [nickname synonymous with Georgia] (dictionary.com)
One of the most acclaimed cocktail bars in the city, Empire State South does not disappoint. Despite the absence of vodka and rum based cocktails on their current seasonal menu, the use of discovery ingredients is profound. From calvados to mezcal and Zucca to helichrysum; nearly every cocktail contains ingredients that most guests will never have heard of. With its expert mixologists, prime location, eclectic mix of adventurous spirits, and traditional yet inviting space; Empire State South is a must visit on your next trip to Atlanta.
The next time your travels take you to or from Atlanta by plane, you should certainly pay a visit to One Flew South. Located in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (terminal E), this is likely one of the first true cocktail bar experiences you will have ever had in an airport.
One moment you are in the world’s busiest airport and in the next you’re transported to a semi-private oasis clad in native heart pine and Cherokee Marble; where you can order the likes of sushi and pork belly and/or a Negroni or Vesper. Plus, it’s rare to find a craft cocktail bar that can put out outstanding drinks at any speed (slow, fast, extra fast, etc.) depending on how long you have until your next flight.
Top Row (left to right): Mary Pickford at Article 14 made with Bacardi Light Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, pineapple, and a float of homemade grenadine; City Solution at Empire State South made with Bulliet Rye, Martini & Rossi Gran Lusso, Pur Likor Blood Orange, helichrysum tincture.
Middle Row (left to right): Hot Buttered Rum at Seven Lamps made with Pyrat XO, butter, coffee ice cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon; Crimson Eagle at Seven Lamps made with sarsaparilla smoked Evan Williams Bourbon, fig infused red wine honey, lemon, and carbonated while shaking.
Bottom Row (left to right): Snow Crunch at Holeman & Finch made with Ford’s Gin, grapefruit juice, Cynar, Portal Moscatel, and sea salt; Autumn in Oaxaca at One Flew South made with Del Maguey Mezcal, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and whiskey bitters.