Cocktails + Spirits

Cocktails allow a bartender to truly flex his or her creative muscle. Augmented by a counter full of syrups, shrubs, bitters, and sodas—often made in-house—cocktails are an avenue for pure expression, leading travelers to scour the world for ever distinct, more surprising flavors and presentations. Cocktail culture, too, adds to the mystique: from private roof terraces to unmarked speakeasies to Victorian-style lounges with oil lamps and waistcoated bartenders, the full experience relies heavily on a sense of place. That’s why so many travelers consult Travel + Leisure’s guide to the world’s best cocktails when planning a trip. Drawing on our network of reviewers and experts, we sift through the pile to bring you the very finest places to knock one (or a few) back.Where to drinkNow that mixology has officially made it into the mainstream, cities around the world continue to up the ante with brilliantly conceived concoctions. Travel + Leisure keeps tabs on its favorite cocktail destinations, championing new takes on classics—like a rose petal-infused Gin & Tonic—as well as inventive use of exotic ingredients such as coconut cream, Japanese Shiso leaf, and house-fermented herbs.Many of our favorite drinking dens are about more than just cocktails. From San Francisco to Cape Town to Edinburgh, patrons can also enjoy Michelin-starred cuisine, live music, and festive themes—a spaghetti western saloon in London, for example, or a Charleston bar that projects black-and-white movies onto the wall. The latest on cocktail cultureThere’s no end to the creativity: catering to travelers’ diverse tastes, bartenders at the world’s top bars will happily whip up a cocktail based on individual preferences—just name a spirit, call out a flavor profile (‘spicy,’ ‘citrus’) and watch the magic unfold. Feeling adventurous? From micro-cocktails to caramelized sugar masterpieces, Travel + Leisure devotes serious time finding the game-changing cocktail trends that are shaking up the scene.

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Southern Comfort Whiskey Is Opening Its First Restaurant in the Smoky Mountains

The restaurant will serve up Southern comfort food classics, like fried green tomatoes, fried okra, shrimp and grits, and more.

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