America’s Best Cities for Cocktails — and What to Drink Once You’re There

America’s Best Cities for Cocktails

If you’re a drinker that is not satisfied with just any dive bar that serves watered-down beer and cheap spirits, you’re not the only one! People all over the US are distancing themselves from cheap happy hours in search of something that will satisfy their palates and offer an overall amazing drinking experience—cocktails! So, if you’re new to the scene, here’s where to go to get the best glass money can buy (aside from Chicago, of course).


New Orleans

It’s only respectable to start this list with a city that practically invented cocktails and gave us this fabulous word—New Orleans! This party city loves to drink and that’s a fact. They have Mardi Gras on Bourbon Street, one of the most famous happenings in the world, various parades and amazing parties. But most of all, they pride themselves on tasty cocktails they invented and sent out into the world for all people to enjoy and get drunk on! Think the famous Sazerac, complicated Ramos Gin Fizz or strong Vieux Carré! New Orleans is bound to give you a great time no matter your cocktail of choice.

New Orleans Vieux Carré cocktail


Not many people suspect Portland to be one of the best cocktail cities in the States, but this little city has a wonderful scene that’s only getting better. One thing that sets Portland apart from the other cities is its love for the local produce. The city of a little more than 600,000 residents has almost 20 distilleries and several companies that produce mixers, herbs, bitters and even salts used in mixology. Bartenders all over Portland use these local goodies, mix them with their house-made goodies and create pure magic that’s 100% Portlander!  

Brewing Company, Portland

New York

This pick is sort of expected, but we just can’t leave out New York! Even if New Yorkers didn’t invent drinking and aren’t the biggest alcohol consumer cities on this list, they did dedicate a lot of time to finding amazing cocktail recipes, tweaking them and reinventing them. Think fresh juices instead of usual mixers, homemade concoctions and tiny craft batches of spirit! Today, no matter where you go, you can get an amazing cocktail that will surprise and delight you. Actually, you don’t even have to ‘go’ anywhere. If you snoop around a bit, you can find a first-class mixologist in NYC who will cater all your events! Expect to blow your guests’ minds with everything from top-shelf spirits and craft syrups to hand-picked garnishes! New York really has everything one drinking aficionado might wish for!

mixologist New York

San Francisco

About at the same time when New York experienced its cocktail renaissance on the east coast, the same happened in San Francisco in the west. However, while New York has a taste for mysterious, dimly-lit bars influenced by Prohibition, San Francisco is a bit more ‘sunny’. It has many amazing it-places inspired by Californian weather, gardens and outdoor lifestyles. This means colorful bars, over-the-top cocktails and garnishes that will make your Instagram blow up! But, don’t think you can’t find an amazing cocktail in a sultry place as well. It’s San Fran, after all, it celebrates diversity and respects all types of lifestyles and cocktail preferences!

San Francisco cocktail


Louisville is world-famous for its amazing bourbon and you mustn’t leave the city without having a little taste. It’s even believed that one bourbon lover and bartender of Louisville mixed the first Old Fashioned all the way back in the 19th century. However, if you want something more exotic and Instagram friendly, don’t think Louisville has nothing to offer but 200-years-old bourbon. Your Instagram will be more than happy what Kentucky’s biggest city has on the cocktail menu.

From the famous Old Fashioned to molecular mixology experiments, these US cities have cocktails that will satisfy even the most refined tastes and blow your mind with their amazing presentation, so take a vacation and try them all!

Tags from the story
, ,
Written By
More from Nicole Noel

Being a Digital Nomad – The Future or a Passing Trend?

Imagine yourself waking up to the sound of ocean waves, or a...
Read More