Fine Spirits And Craft Cocktails

August 23, 2014

Fine Spirits

We think it's safe to say you've grown beyond your college days laden with cheap liquor and florescent-colored shots. And, who has time for watered down drinks amidst music that makes it hard to hear yourself think?

Frankly, we're all in the mood for a well-mixed cocktail - the kind that you sip, savor and relish in the oh-so-chill company of friends.

Here are three ways to enjoy a finely made cocktail only in Cleveland.

SIP AT A SPEAKEASY

Earning the name during Prohibition, a speakeasy was once a place where patrons visited to illegally imbibe alcohol. They were sometimes located in basements and came with hidden entryways that often required a secret password to enter.

With Cleveland's long history and preserved architecture, the city is a bounty of modern day speakeasies - fashioned after their early-day predecessors, cloaked in mystery and often located in inconspicuous settings. And, they still serve up cocktails in an old-fashioned style that reflects drinks from the 1920s.

Society Lounge - Off the hubbub of East Fourth Street, through a hallway and down a set of stairs you'll find a bonafide speakeasy called Society Lounge. Featuring modern décor juxtaposed against 1920s-inspired art, Society boasts hand-crafted cocktails in a place where "hats are never worn inside and a door is always opened for a lady."

Speakeasy - Hidden below the popular McNulty's Bier Markt in Ohio City sits a Prohibition-style cocktail lounge serving the classics, as well as some modern versions. Its interior includes the original hand-cut sandstone foundation walls, as well as reclaimed wood from a 1800s barn.

The Vault - Imagine sipping high-end classic cocktails in the 1906 bank vault where some of Cleveland's most notable industrialists stored their fortunes. That image becomes a reality at this ultra-upscale lounge inside The 9.

Velvet Tango Room - No article about speakeasies would be complete without mentioning the Velvet Tango Room. Located between Ohio City and Tremont, VTR can be a little difficult to find (that's the point, right?). VTR offers a truly authentic nod to old-fashioned cocktails with made-from-scratch mixers, cherries imported from Italy and, get this, they freeze their ice cubes to -30 degrees (so they don't dilute your drink).

GET COCKTAIL LOUNGING

The art of a well-mixed cocktail is just that - an art form. Combine that with a mellowed-out atmosphere free of cheesy dance music and an environment meant for laid-back socializing, and you've got yourself a great cocktail lounge in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Fairmont Martini Bar - If there's one place that continuously shows up on locals' lists of "favorites," the Fairmont Martini Bar in Cleveland Heights is it. And with a 20-page menu dedicated to beer, wine, spirits and cocktails, it's no wonder.

Kevin's Martini Bar - Located downstairs beneath Pickwick & Frolic on East Fourth Street sits a very trendy martini lounge complete with an illuminated bar, posh group lounges and even an entire seating area created for champagne drinkers.

Porco Lounge + Tiki Room - You're probably wondering why we might include a tiki lounge in a list of cocktail lounges. The answer: incredible craft Polynesian cocktails. We're talking homemade grenadine, freshly-squeezed juices and high-end liquors at this Ohio City gem.

Wonder Bar - If you'd like your cocktails and spirits with a side of live jazz music, you've come to the right location. Wonder Bar offers a chilled-out respite along bustling East Fourth Street.

BUY THE GOOD (LOCAL) STUFF

Every great mixologist knows that an amazing drink starts with the best ingredients. In the past couple years, a number of local entrepreneurs have started creating their very own spirits right here in Cleveland.

Click here to learn a little more about Cleveland's up-and-coming spirits scene.

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