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Cocktails on Philadelphia | © Jason Melcher/Flickr
Cocktails on Philadelphia | © Jason Melcher/Flickr
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The Best Cocktail Bars In Pennsylvania

Picture of Michael Nagy
Updated: 21 December 2016
These Pennsylvania cocktail bars delight when you’re in the mood for a great cocktail and an illuminating experience.

Bar Marco

Bar Marco is famous for crafting no-nonsense cocktails. Bartenders rely on your personal tastes to concoct a drink: there’s no drinks menu. Instead, they will ask you about your favorite spirits and flavors, then whip up a custom-made cocktail for you. Locals praise the bar for its creative, new age cocktails as well as its devotion to classic libations. Try the Cooper, which combines Irish whiskey, Laphroaig scotch, grapefruit bitters, and St. Germain elderflower liqueur or more traditional cocktails like the gin-based Aviation. Cocktail connoisseurs will love the strong spirits and phenomenal flavors that pair very well with the bar’s menu of diverse food.

Bar Marco, 2216 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, USA +1 412 471 1900

The Butcher and the Rye | Courtesy of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Butcher and the Rye | Courtesy of Pittsburgh Magazine

Butcher and the Rye

Butcher and the Rye’s vast collection of 350+ bourbons is like visiting a whiskey museum. A rustic wooden bar frames the towering eight-shelf wall of whiskey, with the bottles only accessible via a tall ladder. Three options for themed whiskey flights offer a chance to experiment with different whiskies. An extensive craft cocktail menu along with a traditional, elegant bar atmosphere will satisfy even non-whiskey drinkers. Situated just beside the theater district, Butcher and the Rye offers three stories of bar space: as a nightcap, try the Alpine Slide with Bulleit bourbon, Lazzaroni amaro, creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and Wigle organic mole bitters.

Butcher and the Rye, 212 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA +1 412 391 2752

Acacia Speakeasy

The Prohibition-era theme is in full swing before you even enter the small bar at Acacia Speakeasy. If you’re not careful, you will walk right past it without noticing the artistic logo stamped in front of the newspaper-sealed windows. From whiskey to gin, you’ll find it all in the cocktails served at Acacia Speakeasy, located in the city’s South Side neighborhood. Try some of the bar’s more popular cocktails, like the Rue Jolie, a gin-based punch drink boosted by creme de cassis and combier d’orange or the classic Stinger. With its 1920s vibe and blues music, Acacia Speakeasy creates a fun and unique cocktail bar that will leave you anxiously awaiting your next visit.

Acacia Speakeasy, 2108 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA, USA +1 12 488 1800

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company | Courtesy of Uwishunu
Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company | Courtesy of Uwishunu

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company, located in the Rittenhouse section, sets the standard for cocktail bars. Named for a Prohibition-era business that secretly moved illegal hooch, Franklin keeps its old-time appeal while evolving the cocktail program into the modern day. This Death & Co. (NY) collaboration mixes up classics and modern cocktails from a rotating list of 20+ punches and cocktails ranging from easy-sipping refreshers to drinks that might appear as Molotov cocktails. Try one of their current signature cocktails, Starbuck Swizzle made with London dry gin, Bonal, Green Chartreuse, honeydew, lime, pineapple juices, and mint.

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company, 112 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA, USA +1 267 467 3277

Emmanuelle Bar | Courtesy of Drink Philly
Emmanuelle Bar | Courtesy of Drink Philly

Emmanuelle

Emmanuelle features classic cocktails and luxurious liquors for all taste profiles. The Gothic architecture brings a bit of downtown NYC to the Piazza setting. The cocktails at Emmanuelle are like science experiments where your order may or may not be flammable. The lounge’s servers and bartenders are well-informed and will ask you for your usual spirit of choice to concoct something special for you. The cocktail menu features listed cocktails with ‘spirit of choice’ as the main ingredient. Emmanuelle is a small 35-seat cocktail hideaway.

Emmanuelle, 1052 N Hancock St #67, Philadelphia, PA, USA +1 267 639 2470

1 Tippling Place

With a rotating list of barrel-aged cocktails, seasonal punches and cocktails, and classic cocktails anchoring the menu, 1 Tippling Place features a cozy mid-20th-century-style parlor located in the Rittenhouse Penn Center. More like a living room in an eccentric millionaire’s lavish home, it has a high-end and intimate feel. Bartenders mix up some of the most innovative, fresh and labor-intensive cocktails in the city. Try one of their seasonal cocktails, such as the Rittenhouse Daisy made with rum, lime, pineapple, and chartreuse or a classic such as the El Diablo with tequila, lime, fresh ginger, cherry herring, and soda.

1 Tippling Place, 2006 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA, USA +1 215 665 0456