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Playboy's Best Bars 2013
  • June 20, 2013 : 07:06
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In this era of hand-carved ice, house-made bitters and $50 shots of microbatch bourbon, it’s hard to get anything approaching a bad drink. We’re thrilled about that, but the downside of the cocktail revolution is too many cookie-cutter pseudo-speakeasies lorded over by know-it-all mixologists who’ve replaced simple drinking with too much thinking. To cut through the pretense, we perched on stools across the ­country--at old standbys and groundbreaking ­newcomers--to bring you the best bars for your buck.

The only piece of equipment Booker and Dax seems to be missing is a flux capacitor. Liquid nitrogen chills glasses. A rotary evaporator distills ingredients into essential oils. Bartenders plunge a 1,500-degree red-hot poker into cocktails to caramelize sugars just before serving. There’s a science to taking old standbys back to the future. Take the hood-famous gin and juice: Grapefruit juice is spun through a centrifuge for clarification, mixed with gin and carbonated to perfection.
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read more: nightlife, alcohol, bars, issue july 2013


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