Nashville
1. Audrey
East Nashville
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There’s no menu at the bar on the floor above chef Sean Brock’s modernist Appalachian restaurant, Audrey. Instead, patrons are presented with a basket containing five different pieces of fresh produce that will be combined with a single spirit and some creation from the restaurant’s R&D lab to create a quintet of fascinating complex cocktails of the day. The atmosphere is zen-like and the drinks can be life-changing, so give in to the experience.

2. Plane Jane
North Nashville
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Airport cocktails are one of the few remaining treats of travel, and this aviation-inspired bar leans into the theme with bold murals, neon accents, and plush seating. Harkening back to the heyday when taking a trip was something glamorous, you can’t help but feel pampered at this unique bar with its affordable modern takes on classic cocktails.

3. EG & MC
Buena Vista
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Brought to you by the team behind the popular pizzeria/craft beer bar Slim & Husky’s, EC&MG exudes the same playful attitude as its sister restaurant. Serving Southern-inspired tapas and elegant cocktails in a lovely ambiance accented by works from local artists, this chill spot has quickly become a neighborhood hang. Ladies’ Nights on Wednesday are a particularly popular time to stop in for great deals on wine and spirits.

4. Le Loup
Germantown
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Even after chef Ford Fry opened up his Nashville location of The Optimist after an almost interminable delay, there was still more to look forward to with the announcement of Le Loup. True to the seafood-centric focus of the restaurant below, Le Loup serves oysters, clams, mussels, and a few other small plates that are the perfect accompaniment to the menu of inventive cocktails. In addition to elegant highballs and other drinks served straight up in a coupe glass or over rocks, the bar offers a fun selection of various iterations of the martini throughout history. Sipping on a vesper with some raw oysters and mignonette in the lush lounge-y atmosphere of Le Loup is a perfect way to put the troubles of the day behind you.

5. Bay 6
East Nashville
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Bay 6’s name has a double meaning. It is indeed a microbar located in a food court constructed in the bays of a converted car wash along with five other walk-up restaurants, but it’s also a pun on the “basic” nature of the cocktails on the menu. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t complex and layered. It’s just that in such a small space, much of the work is done beforehand so that drinks can be served quickly without the fuss of a mixologist trying to put on a show for patrons. House syrups, fresh juices and even cocktails on draft make the experience expeditious and delicious.

6. Mel's Overlord Bar
East Nashville
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A few years ago, East Nashville probably wouldn’t have imagined that it needed a watering hole inspired by WWII-era France, but that was before owner Melvin Arnt opened his classic French bistro Once Upon a Time in France, combining the cuisine, culture and history of Paris. With this new sister bar, Arnt trunks back the clock to the days of the Normandy invasion with a menu of champagne cocktails, classic drinks and Euro-centric beer and wine lists. The walls are covered with historical newspaper clippings and various artifacts, and you’ll leave wanting to find a rideshare in the sidecar of a retro motorcycle. Vive La France!

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