- Beth McKibben For the AJC
The fall and winter forecast calls for a shower of cocktails. The team behind the Pinewood is gearing up to open late-night bar Deep End in the Old Fourth Ward as well as Italian concepts Bar Crema and Bar Americano (with an aperitivo-driven drink program) in the Andrews Square development in Buckhead. Meanwhile, drinkery, bowling alley and gaming parlor the Painted Duck is coming to Westside. While we wait for these watering holes to unlock doors, here are three new bars in Atlanta to grab a drink, plus two newish ones worth a second look.
This Miller Union-adjacent Tuscan restaurant in the Stockyard development houses a large, L-shaped bar perfect for sipping and supping. A prominent corner holds four shelves of amari while the cocktail menu is on-trend, with gin, coffee, vermouth, Tiki flavors and amaro all making multiple appearances. The Little R & R is a built, tropical spritz with Plantation Pineapple rum, curacao, falernum and brut rose. The Negroni on draft is never a wrong move. For whiskey drinkers, order A Midsummer Night’s Dram, a bold bourbon Manhattan, with Amaro Averna accompanying the sweet vermouth. 976 Brady Ave. NW, Atlanta, 404-445-6867, donettoatlanta.com.
The 10-seater bar is often full, but a handful of two-tops and booths in Bar Mercado’s cozy keeping room are available. The menu offers Spanish classics like the Kalimotxo with Tempranillo and Coca-Cola or the street cafe-inspired Basquet Case with gin, Bruto Americano, bittersweet orange liqueur and lemon topped with Spanish cider. Even non-vodka drinkers will appreciate the sweet and savory interplay of the Hala Madrid with vodka, Sloe gin and Lillet blanc set off by a sprig of rosemary and topped with cava. Krog Street Market, 99 Krog St. NE, Atlanta. 404-480-4866, barmercadoatl.com.
Located at The Battery Atlanta in the shadow of SunTrust Park, C. Ellet’s bar seamlessly melds steak, oysters and cocktails with sports. Two mirror-projected screens play one game or another yet are unobtrusive by design. Like sister restaurants Holeman and Finch and Restaurant Eugene, the cocktail program is classically minded, with a beautiful Boulevardier, a Sidecar made with reposado tequila and a solid gin martini. But rum takes center stage here. Order the Rum Sazerac made with port-finished rum, agave and Herbsaint or the rum-based play on the gin classic Last Word named Poor Fellow. The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park, 2605 Circle 75 Parkway, Atlanta. 678-996-5344, c-ellets.com.
On the scene for a year, the travel-inspired the Consulate in Midtown has proved themed restaurants can be done right. Every quarter, a specific country’s flavors are chosen by the spin of a wheel and interwoven throughout the food and beverage menus. Currently, Ethiopia is stamped in the passport. Beverage director Mike Jones has developed his program to include flights of rum, tequila and mezcal, and an entire page is dedicated to dessert and fortified wines like Madeira. Jones inserts the flavors of the chosen country through the Visa portion of the cocktail menu. The Hapi Cocktail is a masterful example on the current listing — a daiquiri made with cachaca, rainwater Madeira, house-made collard green shrub and lemon, which blends the influences of east Africa with the Caribbean and Brazil. 10 10th St. NE, Atlanta. 404-254-5760, theconsulateatlanta.com.
Bon Ton promised to bring New Orleans and Vietnam together in a harmonious marriage of flavors when it opened last winter. Mission accomplished. The restaurant and bar first endeared itself to guests with a neon sign reading “Fancy Service” and one of the cheekiest Instagram accounts in Atlanta. The bar offers drinks like the frozen Ward Six Cup (Pimm’s cup) and Vietnamese Irish Coffee served in plastic, French Quarter-style to-go cups and strong, expertly concocted cocktails like the Fifty/Fifty/Fifty with gin, sherry, Lillet Blanc and absinthe and the Hanoi Hurrah with rum, brandy and Vietnamese coffee. The Sazerac on tap and a New Orleans French 75 (with cognac) are must orders for the classic cocktail nerd. 674 Myrtle St. NE, Atlanta. 404-996-6177, bontonatl.com.