alembic
Liz Daly
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

The Alembic

anvil
Alex Gregg
bar marco pittsburgh
Michael Kreha
PITTSBURGH, PA

Bar Marco

broken shaker
Thrillist
bryant's cocktail lounge
Bryant's Cocktail Lounge
clover club brooklyn
Clover Club
BROOKLYN, NY

Clover Club

columbia room d.c.
Columbia Room
WASHINGTON, DC

Columbia Room

cure nola
Kevin O'Mara
NEW ORLEANS, LA

Cure

death and co.
Thrillist
NEW YORK, NY

Death & Co.

drink boston
Susie Cushner
BOSTON, MA

Drink

FOX'S LIQUOR BAR
Angie Mosier
RALEIGH, NC

Fox Liquor Bar

Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. 
CHRIS HANNAH FRENCH 75
Arnaud's Restaurant
NEW ORLEANS, LA

French 75

gin joint charleston
Andrew Cebulka
CHARLESTON, SC

The Gin Joint

imperial portland
Andy Kryza
PORTLAND, OR

Imperial

leon's
Leon's
NOMAD LIBRARY BAR
Daniel Krieger
MARVEL BAR
Marvel Bar
MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Marvel Bar

midnight cowboy
Nick Simonite
noble experiment san diego
Zack Benson
SAN DIEGO, CA

Noble Experiment

the patterson house
Kristin Luna
NASHVILLE, TN

The Patterson House

pouring ribbons
Andrew Zimmer
NEW YORK, NY

Pouring Ribbons

prizefighter oakland
Kevin Alexander
OAKLAND, CA

Prizefighter

PX ALEXANDRIA
Ken Wyner Photography
ALEXANDRIA, VA

PX

chicago scofflaw
Scofflaw
CHICAGO, IL

Scofflaw

violet hour
Cassandra Stadnicki
CHICAGO, IL

The Violet Hour

silver dollar
The Silver Dollar
LOUISVILLE, KY

The Silver Dollar

sugar house
Salvador Rodriguez
DETROIT, MI

The Sugar House

sun liquor
Sun Liquor
taste bar
Taste
ST. LOUIS

Taste

trick dog
Joe Starkey
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Editor's Pick: Trick Dog

the varnish la
The Varnish
LOS ANGELES, CA

The Varnish

Velvet Tango Room
Flickr/Edsel Little
CLEVELAND, OH

Velvet Tango Room

williams and graham
Adam Larkey
colebrooke row
Jason Allen
EUROPEAN BONUS:

69 Colebrooke Row

le lab
Katherine Sehl
CANADIAN BONUS: MONTREAL, QC

Le Lab

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1. The Alembic 1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Upper Haight)

The Alembic is known for its encyclopedic menu of spirits and handcrafted cocktails. The whiskey selection in particular reads like a written history of brown spirits, featuring American bourbon, whiskey, and rye alongside single-malt and vatted Scotch whiskey. The draft beer list is a nod to those with an appreciation for local craft brews and the food menu is filled with atypical bar snacks like pickled quail eggs and jerk-spiced duck hearts. As for the space, it's a trendy, rustic, dimly lit affair.

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2. Anvil Pub 2638 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226 (Deep Ellum)

Long dreamed of by a local father & son, Anvil began its countdown to reality when both men were let go by their respective employers. They've decked the ex-Mehdi's with lacquered floor-to-ceiling wood paneling and brick space dividers, and serve up a mean Bloody Mary.

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3. Broken Shaker 2727 Indian Creek Dr, Miami, FL 33140 (Miami Beach)

In the backyard of the Freehand on South Beach, tucked off to the side, there’s a small alcove overflowing with cocktail-consuming hopefuls, waiting patiently to procure a poolside sipper. The Broken Shaker’s locale on the Freehand’s property is beneficial, not just because the grounds serve as a lounge for the tiny bar front’s patrons, but also because the bar menu taps into the property’s garden for ingredients, resulting in creative, substantive cocktails that also happen to be best when drunk by the pool, in the pool, on a hammock, or anywhere else in the hostel’s art deco backyard. Broken Shaker has since spread its craft cocktail success cross country, with locations in both Chicago and Los Angeles.

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4. Bryant's Cocktail Lounge 1579 S 9th St, Milwaukee, WI 53204

You can feel the history when you drink at Bryant's -- it's been around since the '30s, but you'll be more interested in the intoxicating darkness and your flawless (and also intoxicating) brandy Old Fashioned.

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5. Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. 112 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

Practically bursting with classical style and a tasteful ambiance, FM&I Co. stands out as one of the classiest bars in Rittenhouse, serving a number of finely tuned cocktails that any patron can appreciate.

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6. Clover Club 210 Smith St, New York, NY 11201

From Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge) and her protege, cocktail legend Ivy Mix, this tearoom-style spot charms with pressed tin ceilings, velvet-upholstered settees, and a 19th-century mahogany bar. In keeping with the casual-sophisticated vibe, dinner fare includes everything from mac & cheese and steak frites to steak tartare and caviar service, while the cocktail selection, which includes numerous variations on Old Fashioneds, cobblers, punches, cocktails, and five other categories, will have the most experienced of drinkers excited with options. For a new take on a real classic, start with the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, which combines rye, maraschino, absinthe, and bitters.

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7. Columbia Room 1021 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Shaw)

Columbia Room is consistently one of the best cocktail bars in DC, pouring expertly crafted 'tails using their own cordials, bitters and tinctures, and using hand-carved ice. It's no surprise it has been voted as one of the best bars in America.

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8. Cure 4905 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

Hundreds of bottles of bourbons from around the world line the walls at Freret St's Cure, so you can rest assured the bartenders know a thing or two about making classic cocktails. Belly up to the bar and try lots of rare and reserve bottles. Pro tip: if you’re only having one cocktail, make your way to the Reserve cocktail menu, and order the 22-year-old Old Fashioned made with Lost Prophet 22 Year.

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9. Death & Company 433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Death & Co. is a high-end, dimly lit sanctuary for both the casual AND professional mixologist/cocktail enthusiast. Responsible for launching the careers of many of New York's most prominent bartenders, this speakeasy has produced a 500-recipe cocktail book and enough top-notch drinks to keep both locals and newcomers ready for the wait, and insatiably eager for another visit. Martinis are served in 5oz glasses with the remainder in an iced carafe, and Old Fashioneds are reinvented with reposado tequila, mezcal, and a flaming orange. While the decor is certainly reminiscent of Prohibition-era times, the drinks remain cutting-edge.

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10. Drink 348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 (Fort Point Channel)

Don't expect to order off the drink menu here -- it doesn't exist. Drink is manned by barkeeps who craft cocktails based on your flavor preferences (sweet, sour, something on fire, etc), and the custom elixirs, coupled with an industrial, Edison bulb-strung interior, will make you feel as if you're at an exclusive underground party. There is a food menu, however, where bar bites like thick-cut french fries served with malt vinegar aioli pair well with a wagyu beef cheeseburger. The kitchen used to flip just 15 burgers every night, but lucky for you, that's a thing of the past.

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11. Fox Liquor Bar 237 S Wilmington St, Raleigh, NC 27601

Fox Liquor is an ultra-chill basement lounge populated with couches and inspired by the owner’s extensive research of Manhattan’s top spots. The 30+ custom cocktails on the menu run the gamut from a classic Vieux Carre to tropical fare like the Hemmingway Daiquiri and a Bitter Mai Tai spiked with rum, Campari, and orgeat.

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12. Arnaud's French 75 Bar 813 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70112 (French Quarter)

Originally designated as a "gentlemen only area" in NOLA's early days, this cocktail bar located within Arnaud's Restaurant features drinks like the Pisco Derby (that's pisco, lavender honey syrup, lime, and grapefruit) and bar snacks like Oysters en Brochette (translation: oysters wrapped with bacon and deep fried). You'll feel extra fancy having those cocktails and snacks served to you by bartenders clad in white tuxedos. In addition to more inventive drinks, you can't go wrong with the killer Old Fashioned or Sidecar either.

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13. The Gin Joint 182 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401

The cocktails at The Gin Joint are truly outstanding, emphasizing a "from scratch" mixology approach (market-driven ingredients like local herbs, house-made syrup infusions, and nods to local flavor and Southern palates), but what sets this French Quarter hotspot apart from the fray is its equally solid bar bites. And it's no surprise -- the lively bistro-meets-speakeasy space is helmed by a husband and wife duo who cut their culinary chops in New York City. Guests can expect elevated bar fare like crab dip with potato mousse, beef jerky, and an array of artisanal local cheeses.

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14. Imperial 410 SW Broadway, Portland, OR (82nd Ave)

Imperial restaurant, located in the historic Hotel Lucia, is owned and operated by Chef extraordinaire Vitaly Paley. This spot has a modern bright interior, and all the food is dishes made with local ingredients. The menu's combination of new and traditional American cuisine can be paired with any of Imperial's fine wines, specialty cocktails or draft and bottled beers.

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15. Leon's Full Service 131 E Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, GA 30030 (Decatur)

Housed in an old gas station, Leon’s Full Service in Decatur practices the principle of southern hospitality, performing the restaurant equivalent of “full service,” while fueling you up with New American fare, not gasoline. Try sharing plates, charcuterie boards, larger plates, and hand-cut pommes frites, served golden-fried and ready to be outfitted with the most decadent of dipping sauces, including mango-peppadew ketchup, peppercorn gravy, and goat cheese fondue. The outdoor patio has tiny overhead lights and pebbled pavement, making for a delightful place to snack with friends and family.

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16. The NoMad 1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 (Nomad)

Housed in a historic arts building, The NoMad hotel is a stylish, Parisian-inspired luxury hotel with hardwood floors and handmade rugs. Inside the hotel is a bi-level library, an opulent lounge with a mahogany bar, and an upscale restaurant. Around the corner from the hotel is the much-lauded NoMad Bar (10 W 28th St), serving refined cocktails and upscale pub fare in a hip, lively space.

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17. The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar 50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (North Loop)

Upstairs, at the Bachelor Farmer, you'll find a friendly brick-and-wood restaurant offering a variety of organic dishes made with ingredients from its rooftop garden and other local growers, while downstairs is a dimly lit speakeasy with expertly crafted cocktails. There, at Marvel Bar, you'll want to order the signature cocktail, Oliveto, which features olive oil, egg white, lemon, Licor 43, and Gordon’s gin.

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18. Midnight Cowboy 313 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Once part of Austin's red light district, The Midnight Cowboy pays tribute to its former brothel glory as a reservations-only, buzz-in cocktail lair, where clients are encouraged to flirt with staff as long as they abide by house rules. Reservations are for two hours and there’s a two-drink minimum per guest. With so many expertly crafted cocktails to choose from, you can’t really go wrong -- some of them are even prepared table-side.

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19. Noble Experiment 777 G St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Gaslamp Quarter)

Noble Experiment calls itself a speakeasy, but it's not much of a secret. The popular drinking den inside Gaslamp Quarter's Neighborhood is so popular that you won't be able to get in without reserving a spot a few days in advance. Trust us though, it's worth it. What looks like a stack of kegs by the restaurant's bathroom is a door that'll lead you to a bar that's best described as vampire's lair meets French catacombs. Order from a simple menu of handcrafted cocktails or take a chance with the Dealer's Choice -- a bartender will concoct something for you based on your personal tastes, and they almost always nail it. Don't let the wall of gilded skulls freak you out, it's all part of the charm.

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20. The Patterson House 1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203

Thanks to its sophisticated decor (cozy, 30-seat bar, vintage chandeliers), and even more sophisticated drinks (get the hickory-smoked cola and whiskey Jennings first and then move on), The Patterson House remains one of the leaders in a town where new, interesting things seem to be happening every minute.

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21. Pouring Ribbons 225 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009 (Alphabet City)

This cocktail lounge, tucked into a wood-paneled, second-floor space, brings an upscale-meets-gentlemen's club feel to Alphabet City. Expert bartenders mix drinks like you’ve never tasted before, like a coconut Tiki martini and an old-fashioned with bourbon, apple brandy, and rum. The bar bites menu, created by the folks at Beecher’s Cheese, is heavy on the cheese and charcuterie.

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22. Prizefighter 6702 Hollis, Emeryville, CA 94608 (East Bay)

Front-manned by two drink moguls with ties to Bloodhound and Bourbon & Branch, Prizefighter is a pugilism-themed, SF-caliber East Bay cocktail bar armed with a heavyweight 'tail program you'll size up inside at a brick-backed black walnut bar (with an awesomely mounted axe), or outside on a 900sqft patio equipped with heat, so hopefully it doesn't go cold when the NBA Finals are on.

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23. PX 728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Old Town)

This speakeasy might charge a bit extra than others in the area, but it's worth it after tasting their specialty cocktails that are handcrafted by some of the most seasoned expert mixologists in the city.

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24. Scofflaw 3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

This classy bar in Logan Square will make a gin lover out of even the most gin-averse of clientele. It's one of Chicago's top cocktail bars because it proves that the versatility of gin extends far beyond the usual G&T and because it's outfitted with antique sofas that are palatial AND comfortable. Scofflaw also serves a menu of better-than-basic small bites, and the kitchen is open until 1am daily.

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25. The Violet Hour 1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Wicker Park)

The first clue that this Wicker Park cocktail lounge is different from its neighboring bars is the house rules, the first of which forbids cellphones. The second is the James Beard Award-winning cocktail program. The drink menu is organized by alcohol type, and though you'll find vodka, brandy, tequila, gin, and rum cocktails, The Violet Hour's speciality seems to be whiskey, and a sip of the eponymous Old Fashioned confirms it. This is your Chicago destination for a night of refined, expensive drinking -- there is a dress code, and it's fancy.

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26. The Silver Dollar 1761 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206 (Crescent Hill)

Situated inside a former firehouse, this redbrick Crescent Hill whiskey temple models itself after the old-school honky-tonks of Bakersfield, California (in the 1930s, Southerners migrated to SoCal and, shunned by native Californians, formed their own subculture known as the "Bakersfield Sound"), merging modern takes on traditional Southern fare with vintage country records and craft cocktails. Silver Dollar's spirit menu is laden with bourbon selections sorted by distillery, plus moonshine, rye, and seasoned bourbon -- all from the Bluegrass State. You can pair your drink with hearty dishes such as Cajun shrimp & oyster stew, hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken & waffles, and brunch specialties like cornbread pancakes and a fried oyster sandwich.

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27. Sugar House 2130 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48026 (Corktown)

One of Detroit's leading mixology bars, this hip Corktown spot uses eclectic spirits and mixers to make inventive and delicious drinks. Bartenders clad in tiki shirts or vests shake and stir creative concoctions with off-the-beaten-path liquors -- cacaçha, mezcal, absinthe, madiera, and chartreuse, to name a few -- and homemade infusions and syrups. While the specialty menu rotates seasonally, the staff's encyclopedic knowledge of classics from Aperol Spritzes to Zombies ensures a constant flock of regulars, aided by the antique hunting lodge décor (taxidermy animals mounted throughout, vintage bar stools, original brick facade from 1888) and dim, sultry ambience.

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28. Sun Liquor 607 Summit Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Capitol Hill)

Sun Liquor's a Capitol Hill distillery & bar that also serves New American dinner and brunch dishes (options include a Tilamook cheddar "Tiki" burger with grilled pineapple and buttermilk biscuits and gravy). This spot makes top notch cocktails (duh), the likes of which include riffs on the classics like French 75's (Sun's Oslo 75 features Aquavit and sloe gin) plus original creations, all of which are picture perfect to sip in SL's plush, speakeasy style establishment.

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29. Taste 4584 Laclede Ave, St Louis, MO 63108

When a James Beard Award-winning chef opens a cocktail bar, you go. When that chef is Gerard Craft, you run, because seating is limited and you’re not alone in your thirst for superlative flavor. Taste is aptly located in the Central West End where it lives up to -- and likely exceeds -- the expectations of its neighbors and inhabitants. The food menu is predominantly snacks and small plates (this is a bar, after all), and the cocktails are crafted with culinary expertise, attention to detail, and a tiki bent, making it well worth the trip to the CWE.

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30. Trick Dog 3010 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Brought to you by The Bon Vivants, Trick Dog in The Mission's a marble- and steel-adorned cocktailery serving drinks from a Pantone-inspired menu with names from favorite song titles, along with bar bites like beer nuts, pickles, and cracklins.

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31. The Varnish 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Downtown)

In the back of Cole's -- specifically behind an oak door that's marked with a framed picture of a cocktail -- is The Varnish, a tiny bar from the vaunted mixologists behind New York's Milk & Honey and Little Branch. The bar is an intimate, Prohibition-era hideaway with cozy wooden booths, soft jazz playing in the background, and expertly-made top-shelf cocktails. Order the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, or go off-menu and let the bartender make you something unexpected.

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32. The Velvet Tango Room 2095 Columbus Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113 (Ohio City)

The Velvet Tango Room gets its speakeasy vibe from, well, being located in an actual former speakeasy (the bullet holes in the ceiling remain to this day). Located in an inconspicuous old house, complete with backyard garden, VTR is committed to classic (Old Fashioned, Tom Collins, Sidecar) and modern (Cleveland Rose, Widow's Kiss) cocktails, crafted with loving attention and served up on their own or as part of sampler flights. The name and drink menu alone are worthy to a 1940s film noir; better yet, the bar hosts a live jazz band every weeknight.

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33. Williams & Graham 3160 N Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

Williams & Graham, a bar styled to look like a Prohibition-era speakeasy, offers up an eclectic selection of specialty cocktails, liquors, beers and wines. Additionally, there's a food menu that includes a variety of sandwiches, snacks and small plate dishes. You'd be remiss to skip this spot that was recognized as the Best American Cocktail Bar in 2015 by the Spirited Awards (basically the Academy Awards of booze).

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34. 69 Colebrooke Row 69 Colebrooke Row, London, N1 8AA (Islington)

Officially called "the bar with no name,” this small-but-perfectly-formed space is helmed by Tony Conigliaro, godfather of the London cocktail scene, who’s decked it out with a classic ‘50s-Italian-Riviera feel. The drinks themselves all feel timeless, yet there’s plenty of science going into their creation, with ingredients and methods developed in a lab by Broadway Market, including the Manhattan Steel Corp., a Manhattan twist with "Dry Essence."

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35. Le Lab 1351 rue Rachel Est, Montréal, H2J 2K2

Located in the Plateau neighborhood, Le Lab has an extensive cocktail menu that changes regularly and churns out inventive concoctions like the Deer Hunter (Jägermeister, violet liqueur, and lime). It might not even be a stretch to say that Le Lab might just make some of the best cocktails in the country, and if it doesn’t anymore, it certainly paved the way for bartenders to aspire to fancy techniques that hadn’t even crossed their booze-addled minds. The bar is dimly lit and has the feel of an ol’ timey speakeasy, and if you don't like anything on the menu, the experienced "Labtenders" will be happy to mix up any classic 'tail, or something from their list of originals.

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