Cocktails that matter are made by people who care. These four beverages destinations have drinks that excite and people that inspire.
My journey as a bartender usually takes a pit stop at the watering hole of another mixologist. Rarely do we drink our own Kool Aid, because we would simply critique everything wrong with our self made beverage and our hand crafted ice would melt, much like our soul.
I have had a pretty damn cool journey, and it occured to me that it's probably due more to the other cocktail destinations and bartenders that I have had the pleasure to be served by
than anything I have ever pretended at doing well. The people who serve drinks here have caused me to rethink old norms, challenge convention, and also take more pride in my work and the industry as a whole.
I could have made this list be 5,000, but that would take too long and the algorithim would banish me. In no particular order, here are four drinks destinations that have changed my booze universe for the better.
The oldest tavern in the Elm City (possibly the state) is a bona fide top tier destination for cocktails. The menu was written by and for students and enthusiasts of advanced cocktail culture, while the staff are ambassadors not only to their personal bar program, but the expansive world of inspired beverages as a whole.
Birch Hill Tavern-Glastonbury
If I had to tell a foreigner what it means to have a relaxing night in New England, Birch Hill would be the destination.
The woodsy decor goes past inviting to cathartic. The whiskey selection is as informed as the elevated pub food menu, and the bar staff is ready and willing to treat you like a regular, be it your first or thirty first experience.
Brinx After Dark, Litchfield
This cozy nook in the heart of downtown Litchfield offers the fusion of a tenured coffee aficianando and the owner of Sawyer’s for a revolutionary concept that cares equally about local purveyors, international espresso standards, a wide array of ingredients and a smart cocktail list. This is one of the only spots that has you covered be it 8 am or 9 pm.
The Charles, Wethersfield
When a bar attempts to give high end service, provide classic cocktails and keep things fun and light, the pressure is on to deliver. The Charles does so at every turn with amazing knowledge behind the bar and one of the top tier pun-driven drink menus in the state. Whether you’re in a tux with tails or a T-shirt and jeans, this top tier bar in a historic landmark of a building is consistently welcoming and impressive.