6 Bars That Are Transforming Cocktail Hour

Some of the country’s top mixologists are creating leisurely, omakase-style tasting menus that will astound even the most jaded drinkers.

Columbia Room, Washington DC

Three- and five-course cocktail menus are paired with small bites of food in a clubby, secluded back room. Menus are themed and complex, with whimsical presentations, and customers are encouraged to book seats ahead of time via ticket purchase, $75–$100. (columbiaroomdc.com)

Walker Inn, Los Angeles

This pretty backroom bar at the Normandie Club offers a themed omakase cocktail menu as well as individual drinks, $50 for omakase menu, $20 for each additional. (thewalkerinnla.com)

The Aviary, Chicago

This multilevel venue serves a three-course cocktail tasting menu, a seven-course cocktail-and-food pairing menu at the “kitchen table,” and à la carte drinks and food. Expect owner Grant Achatz’s signature science-lab sensibility in drinks and glassware. Reservations must be made via ticket purchase, $35–$165. (theaviary.com)

Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, New York City

The speakeasy-style bar serves three- and five-course cocktail tastings upon request, no reservation needed. Menus change seasonally and are usually themed; a recent menu featured drinks inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factor, $75–$100. (blueribbonrestaurants.com)

Roka Akor, San Francisco

The downstairs bar of this high-end Japanese robata restaurant creates omakase cocktail menus for five guests per night, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance for these themed menus of five to seven drinks, $55. (rokaakor.com)

The Franklin Bar, Philadelphia

The speakeasy-style bar serves three- and five-course cocktail tastings upon request, no reservation needed. Menus change seasonally and are usually themed; a recent menu featured drinks inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, $75–$100. (thefranklinbar.com)

RobbReport | Oct 2016
Besha Rodell

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