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Ten years ago, barkeep Greg Best couldn’t even get his hands on a reliable supply of decent vermouth. In 2008, the craft cocktail renaissance that started in New York City started to make its way to Atlanta. Now, cocktail culture has proliferated with such fervor that you can find almost any creation in Atlanta.
I can probably name 15 Atlanta bartenders who can create and pour artisanal cocktails worth drinking. But no more. Plus: The restaurant you should recommend to your out-of-town friends seeking Southern fare is Kevin Gillespie’s Revival.
Tiki, the Polynesian-inspired aesthetic, which first sprung to life as a sort of postwar escapism in the mid-century, is in the throes of a modern resurgence—and few Atlantans know it as thoroughly as Paul Senft, a Georgia Tech administrator by day and self-described tiki historian by night. Here’s where Senft likes to drink in Atlanta, including Bon Ton, Trader Vic’s, and SOS Tiki.
“With the cocktail renaissance came a bent towards stirred, boozy drinks,” says Greg Best. “But Manhattans and martinis aren’t what we want to drink on a regular basis.” Enter the Suppressor.
This fall, Wade will open Georgia’s first kombucha brewery and taproom—the third in the Southeast—moving production of Golda Kombucha from Tucker to a 6,000-square-foot space near the BeltLine Westside Trail.
Justin Manglitz drinks only one cocktail. “It’s called The Steer’s Nuts,” says the 35-year-old Haralson County native. “It’s one part whiskey and two parts whiskey.”