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Cocktails in Austin

c
chascates Aug 10, 2009 08:27 PM

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.

  1. w
    wendella Aug 11, 2009 02:46 PM

    I love fino for drinks. Sit at the bar. Both bartenders are fantastic - creative, professional and well versed in both classical as well as unique cocktails. What ever you do, order the fried olives! Even if it sounds strange, they are the most additive food that I have eaten here in Austin and they are only $2/bowl at happy hour.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wendella
      s
      singlemalt Aug 12, 2009 07:52 AM

      Interestint! We were at Fino for lunch one day and the waiter gave us a sample of fried olives to try. Coudn't stand them. I will agree that they have a good bar and make good drinks. Love the place

      But let's talk polarities. The most sterile bar in town, if it is fair to call it a bar, is at Cover 3 or 4 or whatever.

      1. re: singlemalt
        r
        ricodanles Aug 12, 2009 11:38 AM

        not sure one could do better pound-for-pound than Four Seasons bar. Especially true if you widen scope of classics to include quintessentially Austinian Mexican Martini, which is terrific at 4 seasons.

        I'd mention Belmont on 6th also for the "classics."

        1. re: ricodanles
          fabulousdrinksaustin Aug 13, 2009 05:59 PM

          Can a Four Seasons ever do wrong?? Go to Annie's on Congress IF you need a break on the wallet. Want to LOVE Eastside Showroom, BUT two things yucky for me; eastside o'town = can't walk there and I prefer vodka (gluten allergy) and their menu is not vodka heavy. Will try it again. AND love Fino and miss Starlite!

    2. poryorick Aug 11, 2009 07:56 AM

      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
        ieathereforeiam Aug 11, 2009 09:13 AM

        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
          poryorick Aug 11, 2009 09:37 AM

          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
            i
            ieathereforeiam Aug 11, 2009 12:07 PM

            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
              poryorick Aug 11, 2009 12:27 PM

              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
          l
          lauralakoala Aug 13, 2009 07:45 AM

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

        3. marfaboy Aug 11, 2009 07:53 AM

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

          1. s
            singlemalt Aug 11, 2009 07:07 AM

            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
              h
              hungryinaustin Aug 11, 2009 07:41 AM

              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. i
              ieathereforeiam Aug 10, 2009 11:11 PM

              peche. maybe fino.

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