World Cocktail Day is May 13, and what better way to celebrate in Atlanta than by visiting a cocktail bar. Over the past decade, bartenders have popularized multi-touch cocktails that are basically drinkable pieces of art using many ingredients the general public didn't know existed.
Best ATL Cocktail Bars
So, cozy up to your favorite bar, pick your poison, and don't forget to tip your bartender.
The drinks at Kimball House reflect the seasons, the purveyors, and the talented staff responsible for the delicious libations. The menu is a mix of classics and house creations served from 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Take a trip to the islands and order the "Rhum Smash" with Agricole, mint, almond, mango, ginger, and lime. For something a bit stiffer, try the "Colleague" with rye, orange brandy, dry vermouth, Gran Classico, and a dash of orange bitters. Snacks like the crispy pork belly lettuce wraps or the beef tartare are perfect accompaniments to the cocktail menu. There is also an extensive raw bar.
The Garden Room
Treat yourself to a cocktail in a magical secret garden. The Garden Room feels whimsical, and the immersive experience is both elegant and thoroughly enchanting. The creative "Polar Solstice" showcases Hendrick's Orbium gin two ways. The first way- a frozen concoction with lemon, and the second way- a hot foam with egg white and lemon. Think of it as a boozy meringue on top of the most delicious slushy. The "Send Noods" cocktail keeps the magic going with vodka, Chambord, lemon, butterfly pea flower, and a fizzy, color-changing glitter bomb. The food is carefully constructed, and each plate is a work of art.
Owners Randy Pechin and Cindy Wong dreamed of opening a cocktail bar with low-key vibes and a great soundtrack. Little Spirit is the fruit of their labors. The spring and summer menu for 2021 has dropped and includes clever cocktails like "Cuttle Puddle" with reposado tequila, mezcal, lime, curacao, and squid ink. The "Spritz Carlton" is another refreshing option with cava, gin liqueur, blanc vermouth, lemon, and soda. For a boozier profile, order "Haku's Sen" with shochu, gin, dandelion amaro, Japanese vermouth, and yuzu bitters. The food menu is small and mostly consists of hot dogs with fun toppings like kimchi.
The Third Door
Just blocks from Marietta Square, The Third Door has set up shop inside a restored 1920s filling station. This swanky cocktail newcomer has a 14-foot polished wood bar, Victorian chaise lounge seating, an antique tin ceiling, and a stage for live performances. When the weather is good, the garage doors get rolled up, and the party spills out into the streets. The "Gatecrasher" cocktail is a smoky yet fruity blend of rye, P.X. sherry, amaro, cherry, black pepper, and peat. If you're abstaining or you're the designated driver, there are also three no-proof cocktail options. The "Jitterbug" will put some pep in your step with coconut cream, dill, red pepper, lemon, orange, and bubbles.
Biltong Bar specializes in two things: booze and beef jerky. The Buckhead and Avalon locations have similar cocktail menus, so it doesn't matter which location you frequent. Both locations are ready for spring with "Good Time Girl" made with vodka, pisco, passion fruit, tonka, Maraschino, lime, and bubbles. It's embracing the budding greenery with "Neon Deathtrap," made with French gin, genever, fine herbs, lime, and green chartreuse. The sliced, hang-dried beef comes in three flavors that pair well with the cocktails, including traditional, peri-peri, and garlic. The droëwors is dried beef sausage loaded with herbs and spices. If you want to try a little of everything, get the sample board.
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar in Decatur is shaking and serving some of the best Polynesian-inspired cocktails in the south. The bar's version of the classic "Zombie" cocktail has been fastidiously assembled with a blend of rums, falernum, grenadine, cinnamon, anise, lime, and grapefruit bitters. Worship at the alter of the volcano with "Kilauea" made with mezcal, Jamaican pot still rum, tequila, passion fruit, pomegranate, and lime. The bar bites to go with these boozy libations are also Pacific in nature. There are various bao buns, Tokyo fries, gyoza, Vietnamese spiced calamari, and cauliflower bang bang for vegetarians.