7 great Southern bars where you can drink the best Old Fashioneds in the South
Love bourbon? Good. Us, too. When you’re ready to take a break from drinking it neat, head out to these 7 bars to sample some of the best Old Fashioneds around the South.
The Old Fashioned — a mix of bourbon or rye, sugar and bitters — is a classic Southern cocktail that was invented in the late 19th century in Louisville. Legend has it that the cocktail was created at The Pendennis Club and was named for Col. James E. Pepper, who was a patriarch of Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Today, there are plenty of Southern bars and restaurants that are mixing up their own version of the classic cocktail. Here are some of our favorites:
610 Magnolia, Louisville
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to sample the original Old Fashioned, as the Pendennis is a private club, notes Garden & Gun. Instead, head over to another Louisville restaurant and bar to sip on this cocktail. A New American bistro located in historic Old Louisville, 610 Magnolia serves up an Old Fashioned that rivals the original.
Cask and Larder, Orlando
Cask and Larder’s cocktail program is inventive and strays away from mixing up basic classic cocktails, which is probably why it has been included on Condé Nast Traveler’s 8 Best Cocktail Bars in the South. Its version of an Old Fashioned is the Public House Old Fashioned, which is made with brown butter-infused Old Forester bourbon and smoked simple syrup.
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans
This bar was once designated as a “gentlemen only area” back in the day. Now anyone can enjoy its fancy cocktails and inventive drinks, including an Old Fashioned. Also on the menu at the moment is the El Guapo Fashioned, made with Jim Bean, Meletti Amaro, Cocktail & Sons Herbed Demerara, and El Guapo bitters.
9 Mile Station, Atlanta
The beer garden located on the roof of Ponce City Market offers more than just beer. The cocktail menu is small, but the drinks created by its mixologist Randy Hayden are consistently great. At 9 Mile Station, there are three versions of Old Fashioneds to try, so you better get drinking.
Heirloom Restaurant, Charlotte
The farm-to-table mentality flows from the dinner menu to the cocktail menu at Heirloom. On Heirloom’s cocktail menu, the Old Fashioned is currently made with beeswax-infused Doc Porter’s bourbon, Crude’s “Pooter” bitters and Savory Spice Shop’s barrel-smoked sugar.
Kimball House, Decatur, GA
At Kimball House, the cocktail menu is constantly changing, as its bartenders challenge themselves to create and serve perfect drinks. One of the creative cocktails they’ve invented is the pecan Old Fashioned.
Empire State South, Atlanta
The Old Fashioned at Empire State South is one of the restaurant’s most popular cocktails. Its housemade Old Fashioned syrup is what sets it apart from the other cocktails. The restaurant’s beverage director, Kellie Thorn, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The simple syrup we created for our Old Fashioned muddles lemon and orange peels into the raw sugar and bitters mixture. The floral tones from the citrus expressions in the syrup really highlight the floral notes of the whiskey.”