Taste and see how mixologists are Keeping Louisville Weird with their original concoctions and their new takes on old favorites that are breaking all the rules.
Since we are in Kentucky and all, there’s going to be a lot of bourbon on this list. It’s a divine nectar that you’ll learn to love (if you don’t already).
Kentucky Maid At Sidebar
Sidebar mixes up many classic bourbon cocktails that bourbon beginners and connoisseurs alike will love. The Kentucky Maid is made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, mint and cucumber. It’s not quite Mint Julep, which every Kentucky native has been downing basically their whole lives, and it’s a great way to beat the heat.
Junkyard Dog At Rye On Market
Rye on Market will boldly go where (most) cocktails have never gone before. Rye’s bartenders are happy to help you navigate their menu if you feel lost in the wilderness of unfamiliar cocktails. The Junkyard Dog is an unusual concoction, made with bourbon, lime, hellfire bitters, cilantro, arbol salt and Modelo.
Keeping Up With the Jonses’ At Harvest
If you’d like to continue to drink bourbon but would like to break out of your same old whiskey-drinking routine, try their sweet twist on bourbon-drinking with the Keeping Up With the Joneses’, made with Ancient Age, peach & ginger syrup, lime juice, ginger-apricot bitters, splash of strawberry syrup.
Kentucky Mule At Silver Dollar
The Kentucky Mule is essentially a bourbon Moscow Mule – made with Wild Turkey 101, house-made ginger and lime. I think that we can all agree that substituting bourbon for vodka is a vast improvement on the original.
The Silver Dollar is renowned worldwide for its selection of bourbons and whiskeys. The building itself, in an old firehouse, is a resurrection of a 1950s Bakersfield honky-tonk. Vinyl recordings of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and other country-type music never stop spinning.
Mexican Firing Squad At El Camino
The Silver Dollar’s Sister restaurant, El Camino, resurrects some Tiki cocktail favorites of the early 1900s such as The Mexican Firing Squad, a classic Mexican cocktail first published in the 1930s. It is made with Olmeca Altos Plata, lime, grenadine and bitters.
El Camino’s outdoor fire pit seating, surf-rock music that never stops playing and and Mexican street food completes the ambience of an authentic California Tiki bar.
Fancy Free At Proof On Main
Proof on Main is a veteran of the Louisville cocktail scene and has had a head start on perfecting the art of mixology. An award- winning cocktail created by bartender Chris Wilkins, the Fancy Free, is made with bourbon, Luxardo maraschino, angostura and orange bitters.
Lion’s Tail At St. Charles Exchange
St. Charles Exchange offers an extensive selection of bourbon and whiskey cocktails with a sophisticated air such as the Lion’s Tail which was popularized around the time of Prohibition, made with Woodford Reserve, lime, sugar, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram and angostura bitters.
The Waysider At Decca
Decca offers no-nonsense cocktails like the Whiskey Smash or The Waysider, which is essentially a Mint Julep infused with ginger beer. Decca’s outdoor patio is welcoming and often filled with the sound of live jazz to add to the ambiance of your evening.
Sweet Ruby At Milkwood
MilkWood takes its uniquely crafted, original cocktails so seriously that the cocktail menu is a map to navigate your taste buds to find the one most suitable for your mood or meal.
Sometimes the best things are the most simple. The Sweet Ruby is made with Buffalo Trace, Roobie Sweet Tea and mint. Some of the South’s finest flavors rolled into one refreshing beverage.
Pecan Pie At Down One Bourbon Bar
Down One Bourbon Bar offers 120 different bourbons and whiskeys served with an ambiance of laid-back sophistication. Their cocktail menu offers a variety of bourbon cocktails so vast that the smallest section on the menu is “things we like that aren’t bourbon.”
If you’d rather “drink your dessert” try the Pecan Pie, made with Woodford Reserve, praline liquor and Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Woodford Spiced Cherry Bitters.
Seelbach Cocktail At The Seelbach Bar
The Seelbach Hotel has been a staple in Louisville for over a century, and the bar within knows how to make some damn good cocktails. This is one of those cases of age bringing wisdom, and they definitely know their bourbons.
They first crafted this cocktail back in 1917. Since then, not much has changed, because it’s perfect as is. Bourbon, Cointreau, bitters, and a hint of Champagne are something that few would think of mixing together, but you’ll be glad that they did.