Perhaps even more ubiquitous than Texas’s obsession with craft beer is its long-time love affair with whiskey, and you can find some of the best whiskey bars right here in the capital city. Each barrel-aged bourbon has its own distinct flavor as rich and bold as Texas itself. For all the Jim, Jack and Jameson lovers, here’s a guide to some of the best whiskey bars in Austin:
This swanky southern-style Bourbon house and lounge serves scrumptious, stick-to-your ribs gourmet comfort food along with craft cocktails and whiskey flights from the largest small batch bourbon collection in the city! TenOak’s expert list of “Elixirs” includes craft cocktails like the TenOak Manhattan with Weller 12 and Whiskey Basil Lemonade with Jim Beam Devil’s Cut along with draft IPA’s and classic cocktails. And their delicious daily specials include whiskey deals like Two Step Tuesday and Whiskey Wednesday. For a spicy belly-burner with a smooth finish, try their “Golden Rule” with 2 Gingers Irish whiskey, Licor 43, lemon juice, Xoacalatl Mole bitters and soda.
Exhibiting true Austin style, The Wheel is an antique-esque bicycle-themed bar that caters to thirsty peddlers and hungry hipsters with a variety of rotating beers on tap, seasonal cocktails and savory sandwiches from their neighbor, Austin Daily Press. Whether you take your booze straight up or with a twist, this hip bar has something for everyone to sip. If you’re looking for something fun to do, they even host trivia bingo and Bring Your Own Vinyl nights. Have a shot of their $4 whiskey of the day deals Mon-Fri and try something different from their list of rotating specialty craft cocktails, named after the owners’ daughters. For something especially dark and decadent, try the Avery with Bulleit Bourbon, Luxardo, Green Chartreuse and chocolate bitters.
This mustache-themed bar is a fun place to hang with friends and enjoy a select drink from their rotating list of local beers, “boiler makers”, specialty house-infused spirits and craft cocktails. Try a game of giant Jenga as you sip on a Ron Burgundy with Amaretto dropped in wheat beer and OJ, then jump in their photo booth and snap some candid pics with a friend. Check out their all vinyl DJ set on Timeless Tuesdays and pick up a bottle of Woodsman Beard Oil and Mustache Wax to keep your ‘stache looking sharp. If you’re looking for something extra bold, try “Bill the Butcher” with Wild Turkey Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica, Yellow Chartreuse and rhubarb bitters.
Located in the heart of Rainey Street District, The Blackheart is a historic establishment-turned bar with strong influences from 19th century New Orleans. The bar, built inside a 200-year old Victorian home using reclaimed and original materials, aims to preserve the history and integrity of the building while serving Austinites a unique taste of Texas ancestry. Along with nightly live music and daily whiskey flights from 3PM-8PM, this bar boasts an enormous whiskey menu with everything from Royal to Rye. Take your pick of just about any bourbon you can think of or try one of their specialty featured drinks like The Cocquette and The Gertie. The Blackheart has everything a Texan could want: good tunes, local history and whiskey for days. For a real shot of Texas, try the Cowboy Killer with Dickle Rye and a house-pressed cigarette!
A one-of-a-kind experience in Austin, the Firehouse Lounge and Hostel offers both travelers and locals a getaway with a great little room, cozy decor and a sultry cocktail lounge open daily. The enticing setting and large leather seats beckon you to sit and enjoy an expertly-made craft cocktail along with live jazz, blues and DJ’s. Their various drink menus include everything from daytime drinks to specialty seasonal cocktails and happy hour specials every day. Have your pick of one of their classic cocktails like the Gold Rush or the Fitzgerald, or for special events you can even work with the bartenders to create a uniquely themed drink menu. For a familiar flavor with a sweet spin, try the Rye Derby with rye, grapefruit and honey.