Nashville’s Best Cocktails
Whether you’re closing out the evening with a fancy nightcap or just getting the party started with a boozy bushwacker, wet your whistle with one of our favorite cocktails around town. Our go-to guide is organized by liquor of choice.
The 404 Kitchen: Georgian Victory
The simple pleasure of biting into a fresh Georgia peach in the summertime is captured in this year-round drink. Peach bitters, black walnut bitters, and angostura bitters add interest and depth. Prefer your drink neat? The 404 Kitchen has one of the best whiskey selections in town.
Husk: Tourist in My Hometown
This inspired cocktail recreates the flavors of a peach cobbler. Saison-braised peaches mimic the taste of a flaky crust while rye whiskey adds spice. Sweet vermouth, lemon, and nigori sake take the drink to another dimension.
Rolf and Daughters: Peanuts Sans Cracker Jacks
Rolf and Daughters is upping the fat-washed whiskey game with its fun peanut-infused drink, which also boasts Thai basil and house-made ginger syrup. The cocktail menu changes regularly, but we wouldn’t mind if this drink stuck around for a few extra innings.
Henrietta Red: Mr. Jackpots
With its infinite blends, rum is fun to experiment with, says bar manager Patrick Halloran. For Mr. Jackpots, he mixes a pineapple-infused rum and a brown butter-washed Jamaican rum with lime juice and banana liqueur. The tropics-inspired drink pairs well with Henrietta Red’s seafood selection.
Adele’s: Milk Punch
Making milk punch isn’t easy, but Adele’s has it down to a science. Never had milk punch? It’s a cocktail blended with hot milk and then filtered repeatedly. Adele’s version features a smooth combination of black rum, cognac, citrus, and spices. We’ll have another.
Broadway Brewhouse (Midtown): Bushwacker
Credited with popularizing the frothy drink that originated in the Virgin Islands among Nashville visitors, Broadway Brewhouse serves up plenty of rum-based Bushwackers that sneakily masquerade as milkshakes. Enjoy one on a hot day, and you’ll be ready to hit the honky-tonks.
Bastion: Fainting Chair
Recently named one of “America’s 50 Best New Restaurants” by Bon Appétit, Bastion also happens to have a fantastic bar that features a variety of good-time cocktails. For a tequila-based drink, venture beyond the usual margarita and order the Fainting Chair, which is made with botanicals, pomegranate, egg, and peach.
Rosepepper: El Fuego
A mecca for tequila lovers in Nashville, Rosepepper has a variety of tequila to choose from and earned the reputation of having some of the best, strongest margaritas in town. Try El Fuego, a drink made with jalapeño-infused tequila that sure knows how to bring the heat.
bartaco: bartaco Margarita
A well-balanced drink served on the rocks, bartaco’s margarita boasts house-made tequila and tastes as fresh as can be. Say “yes” to the salt rim and make sure to stay a while — many of the tacos and rice bowls bring an Asian flare. Toppings like ancho-crusted tuna and kimchi are sure to surprise your taste buds.
City House: Samson
From the cuisine to the cocktails, City House puts a creative spin on old-world Italian ingredients. Among the restaurant’s mixed drinks — all adorably named after various employees’ pets — the Samson is especially intriguing. The gin that’s used in the drink is made with ancient Damson plums and is complemented by the tart flavors of grapefruit and bitter lemon soda.
For a light and refreshing summer sipper, look no further than to Josephine’s Lowsider, which is the restaurant’s take on a classic Eastsider cocktail. The drink features gin, mint, lime, and aloe; its simplicity and elegance match the very qualities of this 12 South restaurant.
Old Glory: Garden Hoe
A watering hole that was formerly a boiling room, Old Glory’s distressed digs make it one of the most interesting cocktail bars in the city. Stick around for the gin-forward and well-balanced Garden Hoe, which features peppery arugula and sweet pineapple.
Pinewood Social: Looking Up, Talking Down
Velvety bourbon and bittersweet Amaro Montenegro are brightened by the additions of lemon, apricot, ginger, and mint in Looking Up, Talking Down. While we can’t promise that the drink will improve your score on the board, we’ve never felt more fancy while wearing bowling shoes than we did when sipping this cocktail.
SILO: SILO Sour
At a farm-to-table restaurant with a respectable bourbon lineup, the SILO Sour is a no-brainer. The drink is brightened by the addition of honey syrup, lemon, and Angostura bitters. It goes down smooth — especially during one of the happiest happy hours in town.
No. 308: Papaw
The Southern tradition of dropping salty peanuts into a bottle of Coke is revived at No. 308, where the classic drink also gets a splash of locally-made Belle Meade Bourbon. Mexican Coke, which is made with real cane sugar as opposed to corn syrup, makes it that much better.
Sinema: How Rande
Housed within an old movie theater, Sinema’s dimly lit and elegant lounge feels like the backdrop to many hushed conversations between captivating strangers. One of Sinema’s signature drinks, How Rande Met Cindy, gives them something to talk about with its notes of pineapple, cayenne, lemon, and cherry.
Party Fowl: Brunch for Two
Nashville’s brunch scene is larger-than-life, just like Party Fowl‘s 55-ounce Bloody Mary. It features two Cornish game hens, scotch eggs, fried okra, and half an avocado. This bad boy is available in limited quantities on the weekends.
Patterson House: Firm and Honest
This speakeasy cuts no corners when it comes to its house-made syrups and eight — yes, eight — types of twice-filtered ice. Try the Firm and Honest, which is prepared with vodka, grapefruit, vanilla, egg white, and angostura bitters.