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Aug 10, 2009 08:27 PM

Cocktails in Austin

I want to acquaint myself with some of the classics: Old Fashioned, Bronx, Sidecar, etc. Where do you recommend? I'd prefer a bar setting rather than a restaurant to save a little money. Small plates would be fine though and probably necessary. A place that can make a well crafted Martini, Negroni, Ramos Gin Fizz and the like. Thanks and bottoms up.

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      1. I have always thought the Negroni's at Vespaio were good. I once ordered a French 75 and although they had never heard of it, they looked it up and made one for me. I was perplexed, however, when a waiter told me they could not make a Mojito. He said they specialized in " American" drinks, which is a crock.

        1 Reply
        1. re: singlemalt

          getting easier and easier to find serious cocktails in Austin. I second PECHE and the bartenders at Annies on Congress and 4th also know what they are doing. Cheers!

        2. The bartender at FINO is simply the best in town.....FINO also offers the small plates you're looking for.

          1. Though not as chi-chi, the Good Knight on E. Sixth is doing a bang up job on the old standards. Bartender Billy claims to have a huge repertoire that doesn't show up on the menu, so don't be afraid to ask.

            5 Replies
            1. re: poryorick

              I like billy a lot, but he needs some practice. He is creative and fun behind the bar, but he's made some serious blunders when making some standard drinks. the food and atmosphere there are great. in a year or so he might be up there as one of austin's great bartenders.

              but first he needs to quit putting ice in the sazerac.

              1. re: ieathereforeiam

                I'm a disciple of his Old Fashioned, and I think the June Rose is one of the best summer drinks I've ever had. I haven't made my way around the entire menu, but I've been pretty happy with most everything I've had there.

                Have you given East Side Showroom a go, yet?

                1. re: poryorick

                  yeah. i actualy hesitated on writing about it for two reasons 1) I didn't want it to get so crowded I couldn't eat there and 2) the bartending was so bad I didn't want it to distract from what would otherwise be a stellar review. Great GD food!

                  1. re: ieathereforeiam

                    We thought we'd pop in for some apps and drinks, and the food was definitely heads above the drinks (and at $8-12 per glass, that's a tough pill). I did have their Pisco Fuego, and it was pretty damn good (bruleed egg white froth and angostura on top). I'm certainly ready to give their dinner a try.

              2. re: poryorick

                Also behind The Good Knight, but I haven't been to a lot of the high-end places.