Social Distanced Sipping: The Atlanta Bars And Restaurants I’ve Been Boozing It Up At

Woman wearing heart sunglasses drinking a cocktail.

Well, this is certainly a blog post I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be writing. As you all know, Georgia was one of the first states to open back up during the pandemic. My thoughts on that are a whole think piece and not very Lushworthy, so I’ll leave that one alone. The hospitality industry opened up in various stages: from outdoor dining to close to full capacity. I did wait it out a bit, but I eventually did venture out for a good sip and a meal. So, I want to give you all my thoughts on some of my favorites.

Also, I have to absolutely say this, if you find yourself at a bar or restaurant, don’t be an a-hole. It’s a privilege that you’re even being served in the first place, so act accordingly and tip the hell out of your server.

Two Urban Licks

Ahhh, memories. Two Urban Licks was the first restaurant I visited during the pandemic and I’ll say that it’s also the restaurant I’ve felt most safe in thus far. When you first walk in there’s a table where you check in with your reservation (reservations are also highly recommended these days FYI). Your temperature is taken and you’re also informed that masks are required as you make your way through the inside of the restaurant.

Two Urban Licks is huuuge both inside and outside, so distancing is no problem. I will say that the sun hits like a mofo if you’re not under an umbrella, so keep that in mind as we’re still battling it out with summer. While I never indulged in one, Two Urban Licks sells two of their cocktails in fun pouches (think adult Capri Suns). I’m an Old Fashioned lover, and their OF was appropriately boozy and tasty. On the food end, do not pass on their Smoked Salmon Chips.

Cocktail in rocks glass with flamed lemon wheel.
Whiskey cocktail at 12 Cocktail Bar.
12 Cocktail Bar

A speakeasy style bar that was once membership based, 12 Cocktail Bar is by far the most chic destination I’ve visited in recent months. They don’t even have a cocktail menu. It’s just that chic, my friends. Instead of ordering from a menu, you just tell one of their mixologists what you like. I’ve yet to meet a craft cocktail I didn’t enjoy, so I’m okay with being fully surprised. And Jarrett at 12 has come through every time. Continue reading

Lushworthy Creations: The Edited Cosmo

For many of us, our introduction to the Cosmopolitan (or Cosmo) was through the HBO sitcom, Sex & The City. The popular, pink drink can easily be spotted on cocktail menus at bars and restaurants across the country.

While the original Cosmopolitan recipe was created by mixologist/author Toby Cecchini in the late 80s, you’ve likely come across a gazillion, tragic recreations of the Cosmo. Which is ironic given that the Cosmopolitan is really a simple cocktail to make. Cecchini’s recipe merely calls for Absolut Citron Vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and Ocean Spray cranberry juice.

Now if I can do a big of bragging, I’ve actually had the honor of indulging in a Cosmopolitan made by Toby Cecchini himself, and it was amazing. His Cosmo was everything a cocktail should be: boozy, impactful, easy on the eyes.

This week, I was pretty set on recreating this classic Cosmopolitan recipe, but in the unkind spirit of quarantine, I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients. And chances are you probably don’t either. So, I introduce to you The Edited Cosmo! A recipe by moi. And below The Edited Cosmo recipe, you’ll also find the recipe to Cecchini’s Cosmopolitan.

The Edited Cosmo

INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz. Vodka

1.5 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1.5 oz. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice

2 Dashes Lemon Bitters

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lime peel.

Cosmopolitan

INGREDIENTS

2 oz. Absolut Citron

1 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. fresh lime juice

1 oz. Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice

Lemon peel for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Pack your martini glass with ice cubes to chill. Pour ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake for about 20 seconds. Dispose of the ice cubes in your martini glass. Strain contents of your shaker into your martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

Lushworthy Creations: Fresh Citrus Rum Punch

Rum cocktail in a rocks glass garnished with lemon and lime wheel.

Who knew that all it took to have me whipping up new recipes for Lushworthy was a worldwide pandemic? We are living in interesting times, I tell ya. But Lushworthy is all about booze and good times, so enough about all that.

If there’s one thing you should know about me it’s that I’m an absolute rum punch fan. And the great thing about rum punch is there’s sooo many variations on this tropical sip. I actually had a completely different recipe in mind for my rum punch, and I may revisit it at some point, but the rum punch I crafted was my Fresh Citrus Rum Punch. I wanted to create something with ingredients that we all likely have, and I’m pretty sure we’re all stocked up on citrus right about now.

For the Fresh Citrus Rum Punch, I opted for a medley of freshly-squeezed fruit juices: orange, lemon and lime. For my rums, I chose spiced rum and coconut rum. And because this is the Fresh Citrusss Rum Punch, I added a little Cointreau (orange liqueur) as well. Although I have a set recipe for the Fresh Citrus Rum Punch, feel free to play around with the ingredients. Add some freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, swap out spiced rum for an aged rum, etc.

I really hope you guys enjoy it! Cheers, and please stay safe!

Fresh Citrus Rum Punch

INGREDIENTS

1 oz. Spiced Rum

.5 oz. Coconut Rum

.5 oz. Cointreau

1/3 Cup Freshly-Squeezed Orange Juice

.25 oz. Freshly-Squeezed Lime Juice

.25 oz. Freshly-Squeezed Lemon Juice

DIRECTIONS

Separately squeeze your orange, lime and lemon juice. Pour rums, Cointreau and freshly-squeezed juices in a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon and lime peel.

What You Sippin’ On?! – February 2020 Sips

Pretty Fly For A Mai Tai

For those of you who’ve followed Lushworthy since it launched nearly 10 years ago, you may have noticed a dramatic lack of content. Long story short, my past blog posts are in a sort of internet hosting limbo. While the idea of losing nearly a decade’s worth of content is rough, I was planning on revamping the site to make it more personal, but still boozy, so I’m not too bothered.

With that being said, I’d like to introduce “What You Sippin’ On?!”, a new series that will focus on the beer, wine, cocktails and spirits I’ve just discovered, and can personally vouch for. For February’s edition, all of the cocktails can be found at Atlanta bars and restaurants. And I’ll definitely try and highlight a few spots outside of Georgia whenever I can.

The Hilton (Cocktail) – It may be the middle of February, but The Hilton at Old Fourth Ward’s Rina is giving out heavy, beach vibes. I love a good pina colada, not the cringeworthy, pre-made ones that come out of bulky machines, so the combination of Plantation Rum, coconut, pineapple, lime and anessette The Hilton was serving gave me Lushworthy life.

Cream Weaver (Beer) – I’ve been waiting to try Three Taverns’ Cream Weaver for a minute now. And it’s just as good as I hoped! This is precisely the beer you recommend for that friend who “hates beer.” They’ll love it, trust me. My knowledge of beer is still a little meh, so here’s a description of Cream Weaver from the Three Taverns Brewery website: “A tangerine, vanilla and lactose sour ale creating a tart liquid expression of the classic orange creamsicle.” So much yum.

Big Tune (Cocktail) – I’ve been in and out of restaurants so much this month, that I’ve discovered not one, but two restaurants serving up twists on the Old Fashioned. First up is the Big Tune, which can be found at the newly-opened Rock Steady. Keeping to the restaurant’s Afro-Caribbean roots, the Big Tune is made using Havana Club Anejo, Jamaican coffee liqueur and orange bitters. The aged rum paired with the coffee liqueur flaunts a welcome richness, while the orange bitters keep this cocktail from being a little too moody.

Hand holding a cocktail in front of Japanese-inspired decor.
I Got 5 On It

I Got 5 On It (Cocktail) – Just off the Atlanta BeltLine you’ll find another tasty spin on the Old Fashioned. At Hawkers Asian Street Fare, the restaurant offers the I Got 5 On It, a Japanese whisky-based cocktail with lots of flair. In addition to Suntory whisky, there’s Angostura and orange bitters, Five-Spice simple syrup, cherry garnish and an orange twist. While I loved the I Got 5 On It cocktail, I have to give honorable mention to the shrimp curry (Po Po Lo’s Curry) and Pretty Fly For A Mai Tai cocktail. And if you order the Po Po Lo’s Curry, I recommend that you get it extra spicy. It is curry after all!

Antigal Uno Malbec (Wine) – Don’t you just love a great food and wine pairing? I was recently invited to a Galentine’s Dinner at The Shed at Glenwood, and throughout the tasting I switched between a specialty cocktail and Uno Malbec. The cocktail was legit, it was a pink lemonade-inspired marg, but the Uno Malbec paired so well with the dishes we sampled, which ranged from charcuterie to steak. The wine was so rich and buttery, and really elevated each dish.

Firecracker Frosé Is Your New Favorite Boozy Slushie, Trust Me

It’s been a minute, but I finally stepped back into the Lushworthy Lab to work on some boozy, new creations this week. First up was my own personal take on the ultra-popular frosé wine cocktail. Although everyone has their own twist on frose’, it typically consists of frozen rosé blended together to make a boozy slushie.

My wine of choice was Little Black Dress Rosé. And I opted to kick things up a notch with the addition of Smirnoff Red White & Berry (a cherry, citrus, and blue raspberry-flavored vodka). That’s how I ended up with the name Firecracker Frosé. Smirnoff Red White & Berry is basically the classic Firecracker popsicle in boozy, liquid form.

Check out my recipe for Firecracker Frosé, below. Cheers! 

INGREDIENTS

1 Bottle Little Black Dress Rosé
Smirnoff Red White & Berry Vodka
Frozen Strawberries
Fresh Lemon Juice
Simple Syrup

DIRECTIONS

Pour Little Black Dress Rosé into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least five to six hours.

Once your rosé ice cubes have solidified, add seven cubes to a blender, along with three frozen strawberries, 1 oz. Smirnoff Red White & Berry, 1/2 tablespoon simple syrup, and 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Blend all ingredients together. Pour into a glass and garnish with lemon wheel. (Makes one serving)

Devils Backbone Brewing Company Heads To Atlanta For A Week’s Worth Of Boozy Events

There’s a new brew in town and it hails from central Virginia. 

To help introduce the good people of Atlanta to the Virginia-based Devils Backbone Brewing Company, the brand is bringing their Devils Backbone Thru Hike series of events to the city this week. Taking place from April 21 to April 27, the week’s events range from a beer dinner to a Pours & S’mores event on Friday (!!!). I’ll list a full schedule of events at the end of this post, but first I feel obliged to tell you guys about the boozy good time I had last weekend during Devils Backbone’s Craft Beer Hike.

After meeting up with fellow media, we were equipped with Devils Backbone fannypacks (yes, you should be jealous) and some snacks, and soon began our journey. We sipped on Cran-Gose (a.k.a my new favorite “brunch beer”) and other DB brews as we traveled to the Tumbling Waters Trail in Ellijay, Georgia via party bus. Given the monstrously mediocre weather we’ve been having here in Atlanta, we lucked out on a really amazing day for our hike. The sun was glistening and it wasn’t too hot.

The hike was super scenic, especially with the waterfall, but after about an hour and 182 photos later, it was clear that we came, we saw, and we conquered. We then boarded our brew-filled party bus and headed to Freight Kitchen & Tap for some Southern-style grub. ‘Twas a good day. 

A LUSHWORTHY Photo Tour Of The Jack Daniel’s Distillery

It’s truly a rare treat to witness just how a whiskey you’ve sipped for years is made. Last week, I had the opportunity to do just that, given that I was one of a handful of writers invited to visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. I’ve visited distilleries before, but more so on the smaller, local scale, so I was in for quite the treat upon visiting the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. The property really is stunning. From their limestone spring that boasts a seemingly limitless supply of spring water to the flames billowing from the staples of wood burned to create charcoal, all of it just looks amazing.

I took a ton of photos while at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, so I wanted to share a few of them with you guys before I recap my Lushworthy adventure at the distillery in a later post.

Our first stop at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery was Cave Spring Hollow where the pure, spring water used to make Jack Daniel’s is found.  From there, we trekked to the area where stacks of maple wood are burned to create charcoal for the charcoal mellowing process.

Backstage With Avion Tequila During Jeezy’s The Cold Summer Tour

I haven’t been to a concert in forever, so I was pretty amped when a rep for Avion tequila invited me to the Atlanta stop for Jeezy’s The Cold Summer Tour. Jeezy made news at the top of this year after selling his stake in Avion, but he still appears to be pretty involved with the brand. During the sold-out concert, the hometown hero put on quite the show, performing classics like “Go Crazy” and “All There.” Prior to the concert, guests of Avion sipped on their Elevated Margarita in the Avion Suite backstage. I love a simple margarita and Avion’s boozy backstage offering was just that. In case you’re interested in recreating the Elevated Margarita at home, I’ve listed the full recipe below. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

2 Parts Avion Silver Or Reposado Tequila
1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Part Agave Nectar

DIRECTIONS

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain over fresh ice in a tumbler glass.

Cocktails On The Cheap: STK Atlanta Gets B.A.D.A.S.S. With $7 Belvedere Cocktails – LUSHWORTHY

It’s no secret that STK Atlanta can be a little on the pricey side, but if you aren’t planning on going all out with a steak dinner and a bottle of bubbly, then you may be surprised to hear that you can enjoy both cocktails and small bites at an affordable price.

Late last year, the Midtown Atlanta steakhouse launched their B.A.D.A.S.S. specialty cocktail menu. I’m guessing this is the part where you need a little help with that acronym. Well, B.A.D.A.S.S. is an acronym for $7 Belvedere All Day And Saturday, Sunday. Among the Belvedere cocktails featured on STK’s specialty cocktail menu are the Midtown Elixir, Blueberry Collins, and Orange Noir.

I had the opportunity to try the Midtown Elixir and it was both tasty and refreshing. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure it’s a champagne and vodka-based cocktail (one of my favorite boozy combinations). And if you happen to venture outside of STK’s B.A.D.A.S.S. menu then I highly suggest their Strawberry Cobbler cocktail (pictured above). Yeah, it’s $14, but the graham cracker rim is well worth it. The vodka and fresh strawberries too.

In addition to $7 cocktails all day, everyday, STK also offers a $7 Small Bites Menu from 5 to 7 P.M., Monday through Friday. In regards to that menu, my favorite is the Lil’ BGR with truffle fries.

You’ll Also Like: Cocktails On The Cheap: Half Price Whiskey Cocktails On Wednesdays At Decatur’s The Pinewood

9 Cupid Approved Cocktails You Should Consider This Valentine’s Day – LUSHWORTHY

Cupid must have had a serious affinity for cocktails because Valentine’s Day is easily one of the most Lushworthy of holidays. Whether you and your boo plan on having an at home date night this Valentine’s Day, or if you plan on turning up at a V-Day house party (*slowly raises hand*), the cocktails are sure to be flowing. Stumped on ideas for V-Day inspired dranks? Fret not, I’ve compiled a list of nine Valentine’s Day cocktails for both the sweethearts and the love-haters. Check ’em out below!

D’USSE Devotion (Pictured Above)

INGREDIENTS

1.5oz D’USSE VSOP Cognac ¾ oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice ¾ oz House made Cinnamon Simple Syrup* 1 oz Hard Cider

Dash Angostura Bitters