The Great American Cocktail Crawl

updated May 24, 2019
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The bar crawls of your youth (or, you know, last Friday night) are pittance compared to GQ’s cross-continental cocktail crawl with destinations and drinks based solely on advice from a few über bartenders. From Chicago to Savannah, New Orleans to Salt Lake City, bartenders across the country share where and what they drink… and they give recipes, so you can drink like them too!

The 9 Best Cocktails in the US

Chicago: The Aquarian Exposition at Sable Kitchen & Bar – “The Aquarian Exposition is like a beginner’s Campari cocktail–it has Luxardo for the bitterness, cognac, pineapple, and egg whites.” Get the recipe here.

Louisville: Any Port in the Storm at Meat – “The drink just kind of tasted like coming home for me. It’s refreshing without being too froufrou.” Get the recipe here.

Savannah: Chatham County Artillery Punch at French 75 – “I think it takes a Southerner to make that punch properly. For me, French 75 with Chris Hannah behind the bar is the best place to get a classic cocktail.” Get the recipe here.

Portland: Barrel-Aged Negroni at Clyde Common – “A friend told me to ask Tony [Conigliaro] for the aged Manhattan. It was like a secret thing. He had been aging cocktails in glass. It wasn’t that different–it was more about subtlety–but it was a crazy awesome different idea.” Get the recipe here.

San Francisco: Bumble Bee at The Slanted Door – “The Bumble Bee is actually from the South American volume of the Gentleman’s Companion. I liked that the Bumble Bee was sweet and strong and sour.” Get the recipe here.

Emeryville: Temescal at Prizefighter – “This one is real simple–rye whiskey, housemade pineapple gum, and aromatic bitters. The sweetness of the pineapple catches the spiciness of the rye.” Get the recipe here.

Denver: The Old-Old Fashioned at Williams and Graham – “It works well with mezcal, an aged rum, and always with rye. And it always looks pretty when it’s served over a big rock.” Get the recipe here.

Seattle: Blue Bark Rickey from Rob Roy – “The Blue Bark Rickey is a play on the Collins and is super different–blueberries, gin, and turmeric syrup–not the usual.” Get the recipe here.

Salt Lake City: The Medicine Hat at Bar-X – “The Medicine Hat is a Fernet drink… it’s simple, shaken, and served up.” Get the recipe here.

Read More: The Great American Bar Crawl at GQ

(Images: Brent Herrig for GQ)