In today’s landscape you’ll find new bars, inspired by old bars, serving modern interpretations of classic drinks; and old concepts made fresh again that are applauded for their revival of tradition, but in a contemporary setting.
Behind the bar you’ll find house-made everything, and in your glass, ice cubes the size of your fist, or some other shape perfectly tailored to fit your glass. Some places have dedicated themselves with a missionary’s fervor to celebrating a single type of spirit, and in a few cases, have gone on to create their own branded version. At other places, wires are being crossed in unexpected but surprisingly fitting ways — fully composed cocktails being served from a tap, just a beer would be, or aged in a barrel in the style of a wine or whiskey. Others still take it to a greater extreme, transforming the bartender’s helm into a cocktail chemistry lab of sorts.
It’s an exciting embarrassment of riches, and it’s all an enthusiast can do to train their liver to take it all in with unwavering gusto. Read on to learn more about eight exciting bars across the country on the cutting edge of their craft.