We're well aware of the heralded establishments that make up the fabric of this city's burgeoning cocktail culture—the Holeman & Finches, the Sound Tables and the Leon's that helped pave the way for Atlanta's top-notch drinking scene. But flying stealthily under the radar are a few bars and restaurants who just so happen to whip up a damn good libation. You just have to know where to look. From a brewpub that rocks a mean barrel-aged Manhattan to a coffee shop whose Corpse Reviver is equally as good as their latté art, here are a few of our favorite underrated places to grab a finely crafted tipple in this town:
Locale: Bottle Rocket
Libation of Choice: The Georgia Boy
This hidden little sushi joint isn't just one of our favorite places to get our gruesome Sunday night walker fix—they also happen to be one of our preferred bars to toss back a creative concoction from behind the bar. Our pick? The Georgia Boy, a Southern through-'n-through recipe that combines Mexican cola, house-made almond milk, sorghum syrup and whiskey.
Locale: Condesa Coffee
Libation of Choice: The David Ames
Perhaps you know Condesa more for their caffeinated elixirs than their concoctions of the adult variety. But, thanks to a nerd-love for beverages that goes beyond espresso and latté art, the folks behind the bar of this Old Fourth Ward café are just as handy with the boozy fixins as they are with those Counter Culture beans. Case in point: the David Ames, a vodka-spiked, nutmeg-spiced coffee drink that does double-duty by simultaneously caffeinating and, er, taking the edge off. (Psst: word on the street is, they're consulting with a fancy-schmancy local mixologist to up the ante even further.)
Locale: Wrecking Bar Brewpub
Libation of Choice: Barrel-Aged Manhattan
For a place that's all about its brewed-on-site beer, Wrecking Bar sure serves up the spirits handily. While drinks of the hops-based persuasion have made a name for this pub, their barkeeps have certainly not neglected we spirits-lovers, crafting a cocktail menu that includes everything from chili-infused pomegranate to a pitch-perfect barrel-aged Manhattan, matured in oak barrels for two months before seeing the light of day.
Locale: Joystick Game Bar
Libation of Choice: Cowboys & Indians
We don't know about you guys, but when we were in our video gaming prime, fine scotch or house hibiscus syrup weren't exactly part of the equation. (More like grape soda and Hot Pockets.) But at Edgewood's arcade game bar, the libations are just as intense as the Mortal Kombat battles. With a half-dozen intricately crafted creations behind the bar, it'd be hard to choose just one to fuel your Galaga escapades… but if we have to pick? The Cowboys & Indians, which marries Whippersnapper whiskey with a homemade chai soda(!), would have to be it. Game on.
Locale: Bone Lick BBQ
Libation of Choice: Bacon Old-Fashioned (pictured above)
Do… do we really need to say more? Yes, Bone Lick has already captured our hearts with their pork rinds, big ol' totties, legendary pulled pork sandwiches and tabletop Space Invader. And yes, they certainly have a damn respectable selection of craft brews to wash down those ball'd peanuts with. But, in true Bone Lick form, they've found a way to meaten up a classic tipple: the Old-Fashioned, ante upped with bacon. We're in hawg heaven.
Libation of Choice: Leftover Milk
The restaurant formerly known as Gilbert's is fresh off a head-to-toe makeover, transforming their once-Mediterranean concept into a neighborhood-friendly gastropub. But don't let the craft brews and sports paraphernalia fool you: though the bar boasts dozens of craft cans, they're keeping their cocktail game sharp. We're particularly besotted with the Leftover Milk, a frolic down memory lane to the days of childhood when slurping up the cereal milk at the bottom of one's bowl was, indeed, the best part of waking up. Only this time, there's vodka involved.