Austin is known for its budget-friendly nightlife, but it can hold its own when it comes to craft cocktails. Bartenders in Austin are making cocktails an art form. For cocktail-lovers in the Texan city, these bars have you covered.
Barlata Tapas Bar has a contemporary Spanish feel and allows its patrons to mingle at its communal tables. Vieux Carré is French for ‘Old Square’ and is another name for the French Quarter. This cocktail will take you straight to the heart of New Orleans with its base of whiskey and Cognac. This cocktail is finished with bitter and herbal notes from bitter vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura and Peychaud’s. Pair it with their braised oxtail, and you’ll laissez les bons temps rouler.
Trio is an ultra-sleek restaurant specializing in seafood and steak. This place is located inside The Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Austin. Patrons can enjoy sunset views overlooking Lady Bird Lake while sipping on a Buffalo Soldier. This cocktail has notes of orange and cherry. It is made with orange-infused Buffalo Trace bourbon, Cherry Herring, a liqueur of cherries and spices, and finished with mineral water and an Earl Grey syrup. It pairs well with their rack of lamb and is a good way to start an evening in Austin.
The Roosevelt Room is known for its swanky atmosphere and the heavy pour of its bartenders. The Poet’s Muse is a Bombay Sapphire gin-based cocktail with hints of citrus, star anise, and matcha green tea. This cocktail uses Asian flavors like woody shiitake mushrooms and Himalayan salt to yield complexity and depth. The Poet’s Muse is a handcrafted cocktail made with Poet’s Cordial, a yuzu-lime juice blend, and an umami tincture. The Poet’s Muse will leave you satiated in inspiration and ready to take on the night.
The Jackalope is located right in the middle of the late-night action on Sixth Street. This old-school dive bar prides itself on burgers and booze. The Helldorado, one of their signature cocktails, is a vodka-based fruit punch. It’s large in stature and you must have a group of at least two or more people before you can order it. The Helldorado pairs well with any one of The Jackalope’s divine burgers. This Austin landmark is a good place to start out a night on Sixth Street.
With its other two locations in New York State, Weather Up has a speakeasy atmosphere that will take you to vintage New York. The House Barrel Aged Negroni is a refreshing cocktail comprising gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. It pairs well with their crispy fried fingerling potatoes with rosemary lemon aioli dipping sauce. Weather Up also has a Bartender’s Choice cocktail that leaves indecisive patrons pleased and their bartenders free to indulge in the whim of creating art.
From the masterminds who created Péché, Isla is a refreshing Caribbean escape in the heart of Austin. The Luau Scorpion Bowl doesn’t skimp on the liquor. It is a fruity drink with a base of rum, gin, and brandy, garnished tiki-style with a Bacardi 151 flame. Listed under ‘Family Drinks’ on their menu, this cocktail requires a group to gulp it down. Tame this massive cocktail with the empanadas in your choice of pork, chicken, or hominy and black bean filling.
Lucky Robot was designed to mimic the fun, bright culture of Tokyo. This Japanese-fusion restaurant has a funky and eclectic feel. You can dine while swinging on a porch swing or watch the sushi chefs at work. Have one of the Harajuku-dressed staff serve you and some friends a Green Manalishi. Sweet, tangy, and a little bit spicy, the Green Manalishi serves up to four people. This Junmai sake-based cocktail pairs well with their twisted nachos.
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar is an Austin original located on Sixth Street, known for its lively sing-a-longs. The 52-oz. Schooners come in five fruity flavors: Pineapple Express, Lake Austin, Planter’s Punch, Lucky Ducky, and Porn Star. They are garnished with a keepsake rubber ducky that patrons are encouraged to bathe with. A group of you and your friends can sing the night away while sipping on this mammoth of a cocktail. Whoever drinks the most should get to keep the rubber ducky, just saying.
Garage is a hidden gem located in a parking garage in the Warehouse District of downtown Austin. This bar has a mysterious and intimate feel to it. The Japanese Cowboy is made from Yamazaki Japanese whiskey, lime and orgeat, an almond, sugar, and rose water syrup. Sweet and tart, this drink is as cool and refreshing as the atmosphere that surrounds it.
508 Tequila Bar is known for their selection of tequilas, but this tequila haven has an adult twist on your favorite childhood drink, the Cherry Limeade. Served in a pitcher or a single serving glass, the Cherry Limeade has a base of Smirnoff black cherry and Smirnoff vanilla vodkas. It is finished with fresh lime juice, Sprite and grenadine. Served in a pitcher, you can share this taste of nostalgia with friends. Pair it with the fried crispy sesame avocado appetizer, and you’ll have the perfect way to cool off during one of Austin’s hot summers.