It shouldn’t come as a shock to you that yes, we love a good drink now and again (and sometimes again) in this town. Cleveland’s reputation as a craft brewery capital is never in question, but our craft cocktail culture has been similarly thriving for years. Every night, expert bartenders are serving up classic combinations, shaking things up with a new spin or creating brand new elixirs from scratch. So grab a seat, scan the menu and watch the masters at work at these great cocktail spots in The Land.
Grown-up drinking reigns at the Velvet Tango Room, where mixologists are so professional, they measure bitters with an eyedropper. Taste the difference with sophisticated sips like the slightly sweet Tango Manhattan or gin-based French 75, then try to score a seat in the “secret” back room.
At LBM, they like it loud. If heavy metal and Viking vibes are your jam, look no further than this neighborhood joint in Lakewood. Aggressive types can order a Gunslinger (“Bigger, Stronger, Harder”) made with 100-proof whiskey; more reflective folks may enjoy the gin-based Asphodel Meadows.
Since opening in Tremont in October 2020, Cloak and Dagger has been keeping it real during COVID-19 with its “Tales of Life & Death” mixology menu.
This tropical hideaway, located between Tremont and Ohio City, brings a little taste of Polynesia to the Cleveland cocktail scene. Set sail with a Blackbeards Ghost for peachy deliciousness.
Any self-respecting Cleveland Heights resident knows The Fairmount. Ask a regular, and they’ll suggest ordering a heaping helping of truffle fries and the house shot, aka the Verdita (pepper-infused tequila with a mint, cilantro, jalapeño and pineapple chaser). Or Sweater Weather, made with either bourbon or rum, might do.
Patio season just went up a notch with the new All Saints Public House. Bring your doggo and enjoy doggone good food and drink in Battery Park.
Harkening back to the glamorous “café society” of the early 1900s, Society Lounge is as cultivated a bar as they come. Raise a finely manicured pinky with a Cucumber Gimlet or a 4th St. Sour made with rosemary-infused vodka.
A garden grows in the Van Aken District: Garden City, to be exact. Pick your indulgence at this inviting rooftop hang, from craft cocktails to bourbon to scotch.
Tip back some of CLE’s best cocktails in swanky century-old bank vaults at The 9. Their iconic Gold Coffer (an intoxicating mix of Bacardi, Luxardo liqueur and pineapple juice) fits the opulent surroundings perfectly.
A new cocteleria sits hidden away, behind Hola Tacos in Lakewood. In fact, one can only gain access to this new spot for hand-crafted cocktails by entering through Hola, and wandering through to the house next door. Once you step inside, the dimly lit bar evokes mystery and adventure, with a menu of specialty cocktails inspired by Central and South America, and ingredients just as well-traveled. While you're there, graze on a selection of small plates that are sure to transport you as much as their creative cocktails.