Einstein's is a Midtown favorite eatery, and so is this cocktail, Einstein's Stache.

The smoked rye old-fashioned, served in Le Meridien Hotel Perimeter's Portico, is smoking cool.

Have a Bless Your Heart at Hampton + Hudson: bourbon, a Coke and peanuts.

Local Three Kitchen & Bar has an amazing bourbon bar and specialty cocktails.

Where to Find the 19 Best Cocktails In Atlanta

It’s not that Atlantans simply like to drink a lot, per se. We prefer to think of it as having an appreciation for creativity, for the enjoyment of friends and camaraderie — and, well, the finer things in life.

Which brings us to cocktails. Glorious, hand-crafted cocktails. Atlanta is blessed with some of the best cocktail magicians around — all of whom offer unique and glorious takes on the spirit world. Here are some of our favorite cocktail places, just the tip of the iceberg of bars and nightclubs in Atlanta.

  1. Allora is an Italian restaurant that offers a playful menu filled with house-made pastas, pizzas made to order and fabulous cocktails. Located in the TWELVE Hotel Midtown, Allora is the place to order the Caribbean Launder made with cognac, rum, rhum, Banane du Bresil, lime and demerara syrup.  
  2. Atlas, located in the St. Regis Atlanta hotel, offers seasonal American cuisine with European influences. But we love the hand-shaken cocktails, especially the Paradise Found, which is created with 10-year Glenmorangie, raspberry, lemon, brown sugar and rhubarb bitters.
  3. Bon Ton, located on Myrtle Street in Midtown, offers up a Louisiana-Style menu with moules frites, Cajun shrimp burgers and fried oysters, but its drink menu is just as outstanding. We always order the Guerrilla Warflower with gin, Calvados, sherry, Amaro Tosolini, cinnamon and raisin tinctures. And, it’s hard to resist the Extended Vacation with banana-infused vermouth, Agricole Rhum, mint, sage, honey, lemon and pineapple absinthe.
  4. Dantanna’s has two locations; one at CNN Center, the other at Shops Around Lenox. Dantanna’s is a great place for awesome food and sports on the many televisions. Cheer on your favorite team while drinking the French Tingler with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, sparkling water and sparking lime.
  5. Einstein’s in Midtown just released its new cocktail menu and there’s something for everyone. Try the Einstein’s Stache with Elijah Craig Bourbon, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup and egg white. Another favorite is the Black Hole with port wine, Ketel One Citreon, lemon, Campari and peach syrup.
  6. Full Commission is a restaurant in the historic Grant Park neighborhood. Focusing on Southern gastropub fare, the bistro gives customers a place to relax over food and drink. The cocktail program focuses on classic cocktails and simple variants. Try the Hemingway daiquiri with Caribbean rum, maraschino, grapefruit, lime and cane.
  7. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse recently entered the Atlanta market and we couldn’t be happier. Its seafood and steaks are legendary, and so are the cocktails. Here are two of our favorites. The Pamplemousse Spritz with Sipsmith, Aperol, Combier, Pamplemousse, lime, prosecco; and the Double Eagle Margarita with Casa Dragones Blanco, Grand Marnier, lime and Monin Agave 17.
  8. Golden Eagle features an extensive cocktail menu of accessible, boozy classics and dishes recalling no-nonsense throwback classics such as crab rangoon and charbroiled oysters. Located on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown, the Golden Eagle’s cocktails are full of whimsy, memories of exotic lands and booze. We love the Diver Down (Pisco, Cocchi Americano, Chili Vodka, lemon and banana), the Blue Hawaiian (rum, Falernum, Blue Curaçao, pineapple, coconut cream and lime) and the Flannel Blazer, which is full of bourbon, Suze, honey, lemon, rosemary and cinnamon, and our favorite, the classic Mai Tai with rum, orgeat, Combier and bitters.
  9. Midtown’s Foxtrot Liquor Bar features a long list of spirits, snacks and a cozy, friendly atmosphere to enjoy cocktails. They have several Bartender’s Tastes events, which is “half the cocktail at half the price,” as well as Beer and a Shot. Among our favorite drinks is Life on Mars made with Plymouth gin, dry white port, lime, orgeat, champagne and Earl Grey bitters. Another is the Shooting Brake with Cooper & Kings brandy, Royal Combier, cream sherry, black tea, 18.21 tart cherry and saffron bitters.
  10. Hampton + Hudson, located in Inman Park, serves lunch, dinner, brunch and late-night bites with a focus on locally sourced seasonal pub fare and classic dreams. Beverage director Corey Phillips presents an ever-rotating menu of creative takes on classic cocktails, 21 craft beers, seven unique wines and two specialty cocktails on draft. If you have the Bless Your Heart, with Elijah Craig bourbon served in a Mexican Coke bottle with peanuts, you’ll be a true Southerner.
  11. Katana Teppanyaki & Sushi on Lenox Road in Buckhead is known for its inventive sushi and equally inventive cocktails. One of its signature drinks is the Head Over Heal, prepared with Old Overholt rye whiskey, Domain de Canton ginger, Thai basil black pepper syrup, fresh strawberry and fresh lime that is garnished with a basil leaf. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour.
  12. Local Three Kitchen & Bar opened its doors in 2010 and houses one of the city’s — and the country’s — best bourbon bars. Take a trip over to Northside Parkway and enjoy one of the best brunches in town and Southern-style entrees that are locally sourced, chef-driven and seasonally inspired. And, while you’re there, try The Need for Speed, with Maker’s Mark, house-made ginger ale and lime.
  13. Poor Calvin’s has a well-deserved reputation for creativity — both in its Asian cuisine with Southern influences and its cocktails. The Midtown restaurant offers a a variety of unique libations including the Mango Jalapeño, made with mango vodka, pressed jalapeños and mango nectar. The eatery also offers “lunch cocktails” including sangria, Port James mai tai, rum tiki tiki punch and a mimosa.
  14. Portico, located in Le Meridien Hotel Perimeter, serves up a one-of-a-kind Smoked Rye Old-Fashioned.
  15. When it’s Mexican, it’s tequila. Red Pepper Taqueria, with three locations, makes amazing skinny Texas margaritas with 100-percent blue agave, a naturally occurring sweetener that is said to help lower blood glucose levels. And, with a shot of tequila being only 64 calories and gluten-free, Red Pepper Taqueria’s margaritas can be said to be good for your health.
  16. Sometimes a drink’s name says it all. Go to Restaurant Holmes and order the Figgin’ Delicious cocktail that is made with Rittenhouse rye, fig spice syrup, aged whiskey bitters, aperol, cranberry and allspice.
  17. Seven Lamps, located at the Shops Around Lenox, offers a number of signature cocktails including Raspberry Lightning with Belle Isle Grapefruit Moonshine, raspberry, preserved lime and basil. For those hot days, try the  Pineapple Express Slushie with tequila, garden sage, pineapple, pepper, coconut and lime. You’ll never look at a slushie the same again!
  18. A cocktail called the Painkiller brings folks into Rise & Revelry, located at Savi Provisions-Pharr Road in Buckhead. It’s made with Blackwell rum, pineapple, orange juice and cream of coconut.
  19. Sweet Auburn BBQ in the Poncey-Highland area melds traditional barbecue with an Asian twist, thanks to the inspiration from the Malaysian-Chinese roots of the founders. The barbecue always thrills, but so do the drinks including the Don’t Burn the House Down, which consists of Larceny Bourbon, maple syrup, black walnut and Creole bitters, and hickory smoke.

Learn more at our nightlife guide to bars, comedy clubs, live music and more in Atlanta.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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