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The 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America: Restaurants + Bars: GQ

September 24, 2010

If you haven’t noticed, we are in the middle of a cocktail revolution in this country. A wave of bitters and tinctures and hard-to-find spirits has spread so quickly and widely that no one has stopped to take its measure. Until now. A year ago, we at GQ decided to rank the nation’s very best cocktail bars—in order. So we traveled. A lot. Enough miles to circle the earth, the moon, and then some. We explored New York and San Francisco, where the renaissance began ten years ago. But also Nashville and Houston and Decatur and Healdsburg, where it has washed up and settled. Recommendations came from bartenders, writers, blogs—anyone who knew the difference between a Gibson and a Vesper. In the end, we visited twenty-one cities and 102 bars. We drank no fewer than three cocktails at each, but usually many more. Most we tried to limit ourselves to a few sips, but some we finished—the pull of a good cocktail was just too great. The winners are listed here (and in more robust form on But first, a few lessons learned after twelve months of serious drinking:

via The 25 Best Cocktail Bars in America: Restaurants + Bars: GQ.

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