There comes a time when waiting in line to pop bottles and dance to loud music while being surrounded by people who are walking bad decisions no longer feels like a fun way to spend an evening. Mostly because you suddenly realize that it’s cold outside, paying a 1,000 percent markup for bottle service is for suckers, loud music makes it hard to actually talk to you friends, and, well, young people really do make poor decisions.
If you’ve reached this point in your life, then it means you’re an honest-to-goodness grown up. Welcome to the ranks of the people who are just too darn old to hang out in the club anymore.
But don’t fret! There’s a whole new world of sophisticated merriment waiting to be explored by you and your mature cohorts. I pulled together some the coolest cocktail spots from around the country that are perfect for the grown-and-sexy crowd looking to enjoy a few spirits in style.
Don't Miss A DropGet the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.
New York, NY
Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Delilah is a lounge and restaurant with an edgy vibe. The front bar is lined with reclaimed wood and copper stools, making it the perfect setting to enjoy a lite bite and speakeasy-style cocktails with friends.
Must Try: Rivington On Fire – which features vodka, St. Germaine, and burned chartreuse
Owned by three touring musicians, this hipster spot is as much about the eclectic music you’ll hear as the craft cocktails you’ll sip. Located in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Bar Lunatico is loved by locals for its tasty tapas, unique drinks and a laid-back vibe. Live music plays every night of the week here, making it a great place to enjoy an evening out with your SO or BFF.
Must Try: Nights and Mornings– which features bourbon, cold-brew coffee, créme de cacao, and banana cordial
This subterranean speakeasy, located in the West Village, serves up innovative cocktails, sultry snacks, and throwback Prohibition vibes. Found in the basement of The Happiest Hour bar, Slowly Shirley attracts sophisticated imbibers seeking out hidden gems. Known for its extensive spirit menu and filling bites, this concealed spot is perfect for an overdue rendezvous with your crew.
Must Try: Pacific Coast Highway – which features muddled cucumber, Argala Pastis, fino sherry, Doug Fir Eu de Vie, Zirbenz pine liqueur and eucalyptus-infused terroir gin
Bursting with drunken noodles, Kung Pao wings, and signature spirits, this funky Asian fusion spot in Miami Beach is where adults head to avoid the spring break crowd. The adventurer in you will enjoy laughing the night away with your besties as you relish hearty portions and delicious drinks.
Must Try: Green Lighting – which features a house-infused green-tea vodka, green tea, cucumber, and lime
This venue’s name may translate to “bitter” in French, but the intimate space is nothing of the sort. Located in the Inman Park area of Atlanta, Amer serves up small plates and flavorful drinks that are either stirred, shaken, soda-laced, or built. Everything feels handcrafted and detail-oriented, which is exactly the type of place you would want to hang out at sipping a cocktail or three.
Must Try: Bound & Tied – which features aged rum, PX sherry, angostura, demerara, orange, and cherry
Los Angeles, CA
The industrial but inconspicuous design of this bar transports you to a time when hemlines were long and a cold brew in hand was the expected reward for a hard day’s work. Located in trendy Venice, The Lincoln is where the beautiful people go to have a drink. If you’re the kind of person who likes to go out and see and be seen (you know you are), this spot is perfect for a few signature cocktails. Grab a bite before you go, since food isn’t offered on the menu.
Must Try: Boulevardier – which features bourbon, Campari, Carpano, and orange bitters
Located in Hollywood, this Asian-inspired venue literally means “mountain palace” in Japanese. The century-old Yamashiro has a history as rich as LA itself; it was once a brothel before becoming a private cocktail house for the Golden Age Hollywood elite. The full-service restaurant is a perfect place to reminisce with friends over fruity cocktails and breathtaking views.
Must Try: 100-Year-Old Mai Tai – which features dark rum, Solerno Blood Orange, lime juice, simple syrup, orgeat syrup and grenadine.
San Francisco, CA
Located a few minutes away from the Union Square area of San Francisco, this upscale bar serves smartly curated cocktails in a trendy but intimate space. Brick walls and wood décor adorn the interior of PCH, while hundreds of carefully selected booze bottles act as an attraction on long shelves behind the bar. The locale and snazzy drinks make it a must-visit hangout spot for friends looking to have a good time.
Must Try: Swizzle My Nizzle – which features tequila, passion fruit, vanilla, lime, and habanero bitters