With the National College Football Championship taking place in Atlanta this Monday (January 8), the city will surely be (safely) boozing it up this weekend. Atlanta will soon welcome thousands of folks from out of town, so I figured I should welcome y’all to “The A” by offering my picks for the best places to get you drink on near Mercedes-Benz Stadium (where the big game will take place).
To be honest with you guys, there aren’t a ton of amazing food/drink options in the immediate area near the stadium. Fortunately, we have a streetcar in the downtown Atlanta area that’s surprisingly ideal for bar-hopping. A few of the places featured on my list are easily accessible by taking the streetcar. If you’re near The Benz or Centennial Park, your likely streetcar stop will be on the corner next to the SkyView ferris wheel. You can find a map for the streetcar here.
Check out my picks below, cheers!
McCormick & Schmick’s: Listen, finding a decent Happy Hour in downtown Atlanta is like finding the lost city of Atlantis. It’s rough. Thankfully, there’s McCormick & Schmick’s. Their Happy Hour is everyday from 4 to 7 P.M., and features both food and drinks. My favs are the Lemon Drop Martini and Crispy Baja Fish Tacos. FYI: This pick is also the closest to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Ray’s In The City: The Mai Tai at Ray’s In The City on Peachtree Street is hands down one of my favorite drinks in all of Atlanta. Their calamari is also pretty divine. Unfortunately, their Happy Hour menu is only available Monday through Friday, so go now!
MOTHER: MOTHER is my jam! This is definitely a place you want to hit up, during late night hours. There’s usually a deejay playing some classic Atlanta tunes, so it can get pretty lively. If you’re not quite ready to turn up, grab yourself a local brew and partake in one of the numerous board games available at MOTHER.
Upon first visit, I was really impressed with El Bandido, a Tex-Mex restaurant located in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood. So, when I was in the middle of planning a super-last minute Happy Hour meetup before the holidays, I knew it was the perfect spot. Not only is the food on point, but their house margaritas are $2.99, every Tuesday. Despite the last minute notice, a nice-sized crowd turned up at my third ever #MeetMeAtTheBar. I had boozy gifts on deck for a few of those in attendance, and the margs had everyone in Lushworthy spirits.
In case you missed it, check out a few photos in the gallery below, and stay tuned for details on the next #MeetMeAtTheBar!
Hendrick’s Gin hosted yet another curiously opulent event here in Atlanta. This time around, the city’s creatives and influencers (and me!) gathered in a cozy, private space at Negril Village for a dinner party held to celebrate Chilly O’s “Half-Birthday.” Yes, his Half-Birthday. Considered the Creative Godfather of Atlanta, Chilly-O has likely helped pave the way for a number of your faves in the creative realm. In addition to Chilly-O, other notables at the dinner party included rapper Kap G and photographer Cam Kirk.
Hendrick’s Gin’s pre-dinner cocktails proved once again that gin drinks are fully capable of slaying. My personal favorite, the “Fall All Over” was a seasonal cocktail with a spicy kick (thanks to the addition of ginger beer). For those curious, I’ve gone ahead and listed the recipe for the “Fall All Over” at the end of this post. Dinner was fittingly served family style, with plates of jerk chicken, plantains, and other Caribbean bites placed alongside table settings adorned with gorgeous roses. Suffice it to say that it was a good night.
Fall All Over
2 Parts Hendrick’s Gin
2 Parts Cloudy Apple Juice
1 Part Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Parts Ginger Beer
Combine gin, apple juice, and lemon juice. Shake and pour into a highball glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with grated nutmeg, a slice of apple, and cinnamon stick.
Returning to Atlanta for its second year is Miracle On Monroe, the holiday pop-up bar that’s as cheery as it is Lushworthy. From the tabletops covered in wrapping paper to the Christmas lights that fill nearly every inch of the ceiling, this place oozes holiday spirit, but in a good way. In addition to its original location off of Monroe Drive (next to Landmark Midtown Art Cinema), Miracle now has a second location: Miracle Two The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. I’ve yet to visit the new location in Buckhead, but I can say that the Monroe spot is super cozy, in space and feel.
As far as booze, Miracle features several signature cocktails ($12) and shots ($5). My personal favorites were the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r” and “Christmapolitan.” A clear ode to the Die Hard franchise, the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r” was a pleasantly sippable combination of Barbados rum, cachaca, overproof rum, purple yam-coconut orgeat, and pineapple. And with additions like cranberry sauce and rosemary, the Christmapolitan (pictured above) was festive both visually and taste-wise. Shots are available in “Naughty” (cinnamon and bourbon) or “Nice” (rum, peppermint, and chocolate).
Both Miracle On Monroe and Miracle Two The Shops Buckhead Atlanta will be open until December 24.
As an Old Fashioned lover, I immediately became curious after reading about ASW Distillery’s“2nd Best Old Fashioned.” If you’re a little taken aback by the title, don’t worry, it came about after a patron at ASW happily made the shady declaration after taking a sip of the Old Fashioned served at the distillery. It does make for a pretty funny story, and an incentive for the cocktail curious, like myself. So, I recently paid a visit to the ASW Distillery to try out their take on the Old Fashioned. First off, the space is amazing. Hues of blue and lots of wood surround the open bar/lounge space.
As far as the “2nd Best Old Fashioned,” it’s definitely a solid Old Fashioned. It’s got a nice amount of kick thanks to the Fiddler Unison Bourbon, and there’s just the right amount of sweetness. The latter of which is where most Old Fashioneds fail, in my opinion. And if you’re interested in checking out the “2nd Best Old Fashioned” for yourself, you can either visit the ASW Distillery, or try out one of these variations they’ve created on the “2nd Best Old Fashioned.”
“2nd Best Old Fashioned” Recipe No. 1
2 oz Fiddler Unison Bourbon
⅓ oz Simple syrup
5 drops 1821 Prohibition Aromatic Bitters
5 drops 1821 Tart Cherry Saffron Bitters
Splash Fresh orange juice
Orange peel (for garnish)
“2nd Best Old Fashioned” Recipe No. 2
2 oz Fiddler Unison Bourbon
2 tsp warm water
1 tsp raw sugar
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange wedge (for garnish)
Both cocktail lovers and the curious converged in Atlanta for Hendrick’s Gin’s Surrealist Soiree, late last month. I had the opportunity to check out the intimate event, and in true Hendrick’s fashion, Surrealist Soiree boasted unique talent, tantalizing bites, and of course, amazing and creative craft cocktails.
[Photo: Me sipping on a Hendrick’s Gin cocktail while wearing one of the handmade flower crowns, which were created on site.]
One of my favorite sips from the evening was the Superbloom Punch (pictured above). It was a complex, gin-based punch that was quite literally garnished with a garden. I was able to snag a recipe card for the Superbloom Punch, so I can attempt to recreate it at home, and to also share on here with you guys. You can find the full recipe, below. Cheers!
Rose Petal Hibiscus Tea
Fresh Lemon Juice
Fresh Raspberries, Blackberries & Edible Flowers
Combine ingredients over ice in short glass and stir gently. Garnish with fresh raspberries, blackberries, and edible flowers.