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While Orlando is most well known for its theme parks and epic nightlife, there is so much more to this amazing city. It’s an artsy area, with plenty of galleries, theaters, and trails to keep you busy. One of Orlando’s best kept secrets is the craft cocktails. Maybe Orlando isn’t known for hipsters and fancy drinks just yet, but you’ll believe once you’ve tried these craft cocktail bars.
The exclusive Hanson’s Shoe Repair requires a password to get in but the cocktails are worth the trouble. You will feel like you are in the heart of the Prohibition Era in the oldest building in Orlando. If that is not cool enough for you, try the Bijou: Beefeater gin, green Chartreuse, Dolin rouge, and Angostura orange bitters. Get the daily password on the Twitter feed.
Hanson’s Shoe Repair, 27 E Pine St, Orlando, FL, USA +1 407 476 9446
The Matador has been revamped with a dark red and black color scheme that almost shouts ‘hipster.’ Beards or not, this place has great drinks. They take a while to mix up, but they’re totally worth it. The Matador also has over 20 beers on tap. Ask for the Sunflower, a delicious blend of St. Germain, gin, absinthe, and lemon juice. Even those who don’t love gin will appreciate this drink. The billiards table is free.
The entrance to The Pharmacy is hidden behind a set of doors that look like elevators. There are no signs, but if you call, you will get directions. The inside is beautiful decorated, almost modern. The menu is broken down into ‘Elixirs’ for drinks and ‘Prescriptions’ for food. It has some of the most delicious food and drinks in Orlando. The Pharmacy is more of a sit down dinner spot, but the drinks are so good, it’s worth stopping in. Try the Airmail, Caña Brava rum, lime juice, Pharmacy simple syrup, and Flor Prosecco. The seating is family style, so you might get cozy with strangers.
The Pharmacy, 8060 Via Dellagio Way, Orlando, FL, USA +1 407 985 2972
Cask and Larder is awesome for a variety of reasons. Not only does it brew its own beer, but it also specializes in real Southern cooking; I am talking your grandma’s cooking, but taken up a notch. It has a selection of cocktails that will make your toes curl. Try the Pear Jam: Ron Barcelo Añejo rum, St. George pear brandy, sherry, and saffron bitters.
Cask and Larder, 565 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL, USA+1 321 280 4200
The Whiskey specializes in burgers and whiskey. Not all the craft cocktails are made with whiskey, but why mess with a good thing? It’s not just the cocktails that are craft, the burgers are delicious and balance out the drinks nicely. Try the Rock a Roller, Bulleit, strawberry liquor, rhubarb bitters, and lemon juice. There is live Blues music on Tuesday.
The Whiskey, 7563 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL, USA +1 407 930 6517