The Best Night of Your Life is approaching (December 21st, longest night of the year -- so make it count!), and it obviously wouldn't be complete without some sweet cocktails. To make sure you're only imbibing the best, we scoured the city for the nine best places to imbibe bourbon-infused punch, smoking martinis, pho-inspired cocktails, and more.
Check out the picks below, and make sure to fully map out a perfect evening with our itinerary builder.
This 'Nawlins-inspired restaurant and cocktailery is blessed with a timeless polished wood-heavy interior, a patio overlooking the canal, and a specialty cocktail list packed with Big Easy-repping imbibables like the rum/ pineapple juice/ OJ/ grenadine/ 151 Hurricane, which should go down... well, you know.
Hop Sing Laundromat
From an OCD dude who traveled to every state in the Union (plus Mississippi!) researching cocktails, Hop Sing Laundromat's a semi-private, Chinatown cocktail bar, whose discreet, Race St confines conceal a library of booze so exquisitely large, it not only has a custom ladder, but it needs its own system to catalog 'em all (the... Dewar's Decimal System?).
Ocean's prime-arily a lavish seafood destination, but it also pours creatively crafted 'tails like the literally smoking Berries & Bubbles w/ citrus vodka, marinated blackberries, housemade sour & champagne.
This saloon of forgotten spirits, obscure shots, and off-menu drinks created just for Thrillist is the choice of many of Philly's most serious tipplers, and why not? If you know enough to ask, the boozer guru in charge'll pour you a five-booze spicy ginger- and cola-syrup'd $23 Long Island Iced Tea.
Three Monkey's Cafe
Boasting various "habitats" (a turn-of-the-century bar, a courtyard, outdoor drinkery, etc.) this boozer slings a slew of martinis, like the Welch's- and vodka-based Grape Abe, and an equally large range of fruity concoctions, like the whiskey/ apple pucker/ cranberry Irish Apple.
Ashton Cigar Bar
More than coincidentally located above Holt's Cigar Company, this second-floor speakeasy's serving 200 smokes (and 200 just-as-smoky whiskeys) but, thanks to the bar's state-of-the-art air purifiers, the O2’s at least as clean as the air you breathe anywhere else in Center City. Also breathtaking? The upstairs wall of windows overlooking Walnut St.
Franklin Mortgage and Investment Company
Named after the Philly-based, Prohibition era front for the largest alcohol ring in the US, FM&I's a dark and swanky lounge decked out with burgundy leather banquettes, Carrara marble tabletops, a statuary marble cocktail rail, and a slatted ceiling that cunningly directs attention to the rear bar, where they're serving things like the Laird's Bonded Applejack-based Always Crashing The Same Car, which is so addictive that that's actually a real possibility.
The Library Bar
The Rittenhouse Hotel's Library Bar is a two-room study hall with only one book worth reading: a 17-page booze menu cataloging rarefied libations crafted by a legendary Main Line master mixologist, which're often accompanied by fist-sized balls of ice that're ceremoniously extracted from a $1000 cube carver. Oh, and just wait and see how they pour your champagne...
Not just a really important bible dude (probably?), Emmanuelle's also a bar from the same guy behind PYT: an intimate, back of the Piazza, 35-seat craft 'tails hideaway with a baby grand piano, and a slew of sweet 'tails like the Ernest Hemingway-invented Death In The Afternoon, and a savory pho-inspired number called the Worthy F--king Adversary.
1. Bourbon Blue2 Rector St, Manayunk
2. Ashton Cigar Bar1522 Walnut St, Philadelphia
3. Hop Sing Laundromat1029 Race St, Philadelphia
4. Ocean Prime124 S 15th St, Philadelphia
5. Library Bar210 W Rittenhouse Sq, Philadelphia
6. The Farmer's Cabinet1113 Walnut St, Philadelphia
7. Three Monkeys Café9645 James St, Philadelphia
8. Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.112 S 18th St, Philadelphia
9. EmmanuelleHancock St and Germantown Ave, Philadelphia
Bourbon Blue is located along the famous Manayunk Canal, and offers the best in American Cuisine with a little New Orleans fusion added in.
Located right above Holt's Cigar Company in Rittenhouse, this second-floor bar serves 200 cigars, more than 350 whiskeys, and 500 total spirits. The expert staff will help pair your cigar (which are handmade in the Dominican Republic) with the right, just-as-smoky whiskey. Ashton has a speakeasy vibe with decidedly masculine leather couches. It's sleek, modern, and boasts a wall of windows overlooking Walnut St.
Stop into this semi-hidden haven in Chinatown for Prohibition-inspired cocktails, accented with a speakeasy vibe. This much-hyped, semi-mysterious spot-- patrons line up down the block for a chance to sample enigmatic owner Lê's signature libations, and you can't use cell phones or cameras inside the bar (don’t think that rule won’t be enforced if someone catches you)-- offers literally hundreds of liquor options, from Johnny Drum Private Stock bourbons to 15-year aged El Dorado.
Ocean Prime's a two-story 8500sqft bar and seafood supper club serving up eats like smoking shellfish towers, scallops coated in Parmesan risotto, and white truffle-caviar deviled eggs.
The Library Bar is a two-room cocktail palace, cozily tucked into the ground floor of the Rittenhouse Hotel. With huge volumes of literature on display, and including a tome-like, 17 page long drink menu, make yourself comfortable in the spacious cocktail haven with a meticulously crafted Old Fashioned or seasonal option like the El Presidente with bacardi rum, red wine, vermouth, and grenadine.
Boasting a varying seasonal menu, the Farmer's Cabinet is always serving up fresh and local ingredients to provide a great tasting meal and of course... delicious drinks.
Three Monkeys Cafe offers up three distinct dining habitats for you to thrive in, pick your favorite and grab a cocktail.
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.
Not just a really important bible dude (probably?), Emmanuelle's also a bar from the same guy behind PYT: an intimate, back of the Piazza, 35-seat craft 'tails hideaway with a baby grand piano.