This stylish bar tucked in the back of a parking garage has that local secret society vibe as well, which ensures that tourists won’t stumble in and interrupt your vibe. Most people walk right past the discreet entrance to Garage without realizing the sumptuous cocktails that await inside. Virtually hidden inside the parking garage on Colorado and marked by a turquoise neon sign, the dark, industrial cocktail bar Garage is boasting one of the most buzzing drink menus in Austin. Want something with citrus and herbal notes? Go with the Indian Paintbrush (vodka, grapefruit, lime, rosemary). Feeling brave? Go for the Forked Tongue (sotol, jalapeño, lime, green Chartreuse, saline).
This retro cocktail bar with a rooftop lounge is firmly entrenched in the Austin cocktail scene. Backbeat Lounge, with an interior clad in a blend of modern and retro, is a perfect match of cocktail ambiance and get your groove on in a glass. Owners Michael and Jessica Sanders have fortified South Austin with a worthy cocktail bar. The two-level lounge’s menu is divided into three flavor profile sections: up beat, down beat, and off beat. It’s now open seven days a week for those that don’t discriminate drinking days. The progressive cocktail program, like the atmosphere, consists of modern cocktails with a retro twist, like the Leisure Suit (dry gin, Galliano, Kina d’Or aperitif, absinthe, and orange bitters), an aromatic take on the Prohibition-era drink “Tuxedo No. 2.”
Whisler’s has fast become an East Side hub for happy hour and late-night revelry in Austin. The cocktail menu updates regularly and includes interesting drinks like the herbal cocktail, the Bossa Nova (gin, genepy, coconut milk, lemongrass, lime, chile oil) as well as go-to classics like their perfectly balanced Whisler’s Old Fashioned (rye, demerara syrup, angostura bitters). If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, head to the connected specialty mezcal bar, Mezcalería Tobalá, upstairs from the main bar.
We hope you had fun covering the latest bars in town, the hot new restaurants offering serious cocktail game, and the veteran spots mixing it up with a fresh bar program. It is now time to take this serious research and a pick a cocktail bar in Austin to test the best cocktails for yourself.