How will you make merry on St. Patrick’s Day? If you’re seeking a quiet spot to celebrate the driving out of serpents from Ireland or simply a place to sip cocktails because it’s Thursday night, you’re in luck. While the rest of Atlanta is getting sloshed pints of Guinness and shots of whiskey, enjoy one of these five fine drinks at some of Atlanta’s best cocktailian haunts.
Hidden behind the cooler door of Muss & Turner’s, Eleanor’s is a quiet retreat serving up speakeasy classics with a twist, including a riff on Navy grog. First introduced to sailors looking to warm their cockles, traditional grog used beer or rum as palate pleasers as well as germ killing agents when water was less than potable on sea voyages. Like most medicinally-based cocktails, grog soon found its way into the hands of pub-goers throughout the Western world. Eleanor’s spices up the toddy with warm mulled wine blended with cooking spices like cinnamon and cloves and a little brandy for a smooth finish.
Eleanor’s @ Muss & Turner’s, 1675 Cumberland Parkway S.E., Smyrna, 770-434-1114, mussandturners.com
Traditionally made with gin, egg white, raspberry syrup and lemon, Holeman and Finch gives this 19th century classic a modern makeover. A blackberry balsamic reduction lends rich depth to the tipple and acts as the sour shrub component while the citrus-forward suze liqueur delivers the bright notes. Yogurt mellows out the sourness and enhances the creamy aspects, playing up the whipped egg white and giving the drink a heady froth reminiscent of Guinness. It’s comforting sipping cocktail to avoid St. Patrick’s maddening crowds.
Holeman and Finch, 2277 Peachtree Road N.W., Atlanta, 404-948-1175, holeman-finch.com
Located in the belly of the swanky Georgian Terrace, Proof and Provision offers its patrons local brews and whiskey imbibes with rock-and-roll flare. Ordering the Southern 75, a Lynyrd Skynyrd-like riff on the gin and champagne-based, French 75. Pairing Sweetwater IPA alongside the earthy sweetness of bourbon creates a surprisingly pleasant cocktail base. The caramel-forward demerara syrup plays up the wood notes of the bourbon while fresh lemon juice brings out the hoppiness of the IPA. Bright, refreshing and bold, the bourbon and beer combo in the Southern 75 might be the treasure at the end of the rainbow.
Edgar’s Proof and Provision, 659 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, 404-897-5045, proofandprovision.com
Portrait of a Bartender
Get your Irish eyes smiling with this refined charmer. The Portrait of a Bartender combines the vanilla and mellow wood notes of the Irish stalwart, Jameson, and the dainty, French elderflower liqueur, St Germain. A few dashes of Regan’s orange bitters transforms this cocktail into a surprisingly light and flavorful tipple. Where a sweeter, woodier whiskey like bourbon would throw off the drink’s delicate balance, the use of Jameson with St. Germain is not only a clever blend of flavors but the mark of a master behind the bar in owner, Jerry Slater, who understands the subtle nuances of whiskies and how to play up the unique notes of each with secondary ingredients. James Joyce would approve.
- Harper Station, 904 Memorial Drive S.E., Atlanta, 678-732-0415, hharperstation.com
Seeking crafty St. Patty’s Day debauchery? Wrecking Bar brings all the beer nerds to the yard with a rum- and wheat-forward kölsch shandy rendition sure to keep you sipping. This high-octane, smooth operator plays up the subtle clove and cinnamon notes in the rum which wrap around the crisp citrus of the beer. Rather than using ginger beer or carbonated lemonade to provide the kick that a shandy demands, ginger and lemon combine forces to lend brightness without overpowering this new world pub classic.
Wrecking Bar Brewpub, 292 Moreland Ave. N.E., Atlanta, 404-221-2600, wreckingbarbrewpub.com