Lush in more ways than one, Georgia’s first city is hiding a legendary nightlife under its demure tree canopy. According to local lore, Savannah quenched General Sherman’s destructive fire by plying his army with grog, and thumbed its nose at Prohibition via a network of stills and speakeasies. So it’s no wonder drink continues to dominate food as the city’s purest form of hospitality.
As with any cocktail, the secret to a successful night out is balance. A true Savannah evening should be equal parts highbrow and down-home. The National Landmark Historic District is blessed with more mixologists than you can shake a swizzle stick at -- and a host of legendary dive bars that’ll put some hair on your chest. But you’ll most likely end up moving between the two, thanks to a liberal open container law that lets you carouse with cup in hand from historic Jones Street to the Savannah River.
Savannah’s deepest dive is not long for this world, so be sure to raise a glass at the corner of Drayton and Harris streets while you still can. The iconic Pinkie Master’s Lounge, where Jimmy Carter announced his run for president -- and where Savannahians have been ending the night for 65 years -- will be looking for a new place to pour come January 2016.
With that in mind, here is a meticulous mix of mainstays to tide you over.