Greetings-from-AustinForbes once said that Austin “may be the hardest-drinking city in America” and that led us to wonder what they’re doing down there in the Lone Star state. Austin has a slew of colleges and universities, which helps make for a young and exciting nightlife with outstanding bars and a cool music scene. They also host the South by Southwest (SXSW) music/film/technology festival every year and bring some of the most innovative minds to the city.


There seems to be a bar for everyone in Austin, which means there are some interesting cocktails to be had as well. Firehouse Lounge is consistently hailed for their craft cocktails and all of the love and care that goes in to making them. Their ingredients are super fresh and we heard a rumor that the owner cuts his ice with a chainsaw. Some awesome drinks include the Old Time Shrub (tequila, kiwi-strawberry shrub, lime, honey, mint), Slapdash (calvados, lime juice, cassis, absint), and Fernet Mule (fernet, ginger beer, lime). The Tigress Pub is also known for their inventive cocktail menu, with a really cool drink called The Chancellor which includes scotch, dry vermouth, ruby port and orange bitters that are aged for 30 days in an oak whiskey barrel. If you’re a fan of “Downton Abbey,” they also have a cocktail inspired by the show called The Cora Crawley, made with Nonino amaro, gin, osborne sherry, and orange bitters.


Of course, the drinking scene is not just limited to what’s happening in the bars and nightclubs; Austin also has quite the collection of local brewers and distillers creating their own concoctions. One of the more recent pioneers is Tito’s Handmade Vodka, an Austin brand built from the ground up that ultimately won a double gold medal in the World Spirits Competition (that’s against 72 vodkas from around the world). Other cool brands include Deep Eddy Vodka (they’ve got a sweet tea version) and Treaty Oak Distilling Company (they make Treaty Oak Rum, Graham’s Texas Tea, Waterloo Gin, and Starlite Vodka).


As far as brewers go, Austin is huge into microbreweries. Some of the biggest games in town include (512) Brewing Company, Austin Beerworks, and Jester King Brewery. Many of them also offer brewery tours, so if you’re ever visiting Austin, be sure to stop by.


Needless to say, if you’re ever in Austin, you won’t go thirsty.