What’s in a name? While some of the best watering holes don’t even have a sign, others are proudly and publically dedicated to a single cocktail. These specialty bars certainly offer a range of elixirs, but they take their signature drinks to a new level. Here are a few of our favorites across the country.
Bourbon & Branch, 501 Jones Street, San Francisco:
Though this San Francisco faux-speakeasy makes sophisticated and delicious cocktails, its moniker is an old-timey term for a simple order of whiskey and water. Thankfully, the place has an impressive collection of bourbons.
Clover Club, 210 Smith Street, New York, 718 855 7939:
All-star bartender and Liquor.com advisory board member Julie Reiner’s Brooklyn bar is a great spot to get introduced to classic and modern drinks. You could spend an entire evening just sampling its namesake tipple—there are four variations on the pre-Prohibition Clover Club, from the traditional recipe to a strawberry-and-black-pepper version.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th Street Northwest, Washington, D.C., 202 588 7388:
This old-school D.C. spot may be best known for its amazing collection of more than 1,500 whiskies from around the world, but you can’t leave without having one of its eponymous applejack cocktails. While you’re at it, order a snack—the choices range from house-baked pretzels to filet mignon.
The Sazerac Bar, 123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, 504 648 1200:
Given that this Big Easy joint has been in business for more than 100 years, you might think the classic drink was named for it. But the Sazerac cocktail actually is at least half a century older than The Sazerac Bar. Have a seat at the gorgeous walnut bar, gaze at the Paul Ninas mural on the wall and take in the history—former Louisiana Governor and US Senator Huey P. Long practically lived here in the ‘20s and ‘30s.
Three Dots and a Dash, 435 North Clark Street, Chicago, 312 610 4220:
Three dots and a dash is Morse code for the letter V, as well as the name of a rum, honey and spice concoction invented in the 1940s by Don the Beachcomber. It’s obscure enough to lend an air of mystery to talented Chicago barman Paul McGee’s basement tiki bar, which opened last spring. The menu features a long list of modern and vintage tropical concoctions in addition to the house specialty.
(Photo courtesy Daniel Krieger)