Austin || cocktail bars
This little hole in the wall serves up a shortlist of cocktails, 10 in total, but the selection is thoughtful and well executed. Nestled in with dodgey looking apartment buildings filled with characters [I was hit up by one for a spare $100 bucks], some up & coming little stores scattered through a mini strip mall and the Counter Culture vegan food truck. The signage is relatively non-existent and the place is easy to miss. Once you step inside you are greeted with a warm welcome and a suggestion to the progression of cocktail sampling. Everything was perfectly balanced and made with passion and appreciation for the ingredients. Here is what we sampled in no particular order: manhattan the only thing that could have made this dead-on perfect would have been a chilled glass [in no means a deal killer]; the stone fence was a refreshing tipple to escape the heat and an intro to a new fave cocktail; and last but not least the blood and sand another first and a taste sensation we will be attempting to replicate at home. We loved our time here and wished we could have stayed to drink our way through the menu. Thanks Tigress and to Deuce Coupe for the recommendation – rock on.
Second Bar + Kitchen / Bar Congress
And now for something completely different this stop takes cocktails in the other direction. It takes classics and gives them a whole new spin. Case in point Bar Congress turned the Moscow Mule into Miso Mule with yamazaki 12 year scotch, miso paste, radish, honey & lemonata – super creative twist. Check out the bar menu to get a better feel for the offerings. We wished we had time for more sampling, but we had to hit the lake at dusk to witness North America’s largest urban colony of Mexican free-tailed bats make their nightly flight from under congress street bridge to head out on the prowl for dinner [insects].
Hotel San Jose – Lounge
We also popped into the Hotel San Jose, a groovy motel with beautiful landscaping and a tranquil lounge. The drinks list is simple, and is more wine & bubble based spritzers with a selection of beer. Added bonus they serve up Good Pops, another Austin entrepreneurial invention [hibiscus mint & watermelon agave] that are damn tasty, refreshing and bring your core body temperature down – phew!
NOTE: All of these places are great, but if you have to pick one, pick Tigress it is a more suitable Austin experience in my books, and you get to support a local to help keep this part of Texas unique.