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Where to drink in Fort Worth right now: 5 best bars to warm up with fall cocktails

November 18,2019

See full CultureMap article by Celestina Blok here.

With cooler weather comes cravings for something to warm up our insides, be it spicy, smoky, or just plain strong. These bars offer libations that’ll shake off the chill, from smooth bourbon concoctions to piquant cocktails that will tantalize the tongue. One bar even has an entire menu of coffee cocktails for those who like to start early.

Lobby Bar inside The Sinclair
Don’t let the simple name fool you. Downtown’s hottest new bar is located inside the lobby of Fort Worth’s newest hotel, The Sinclair. With swanky art deco influences, crisp subway tile, and touches of Cowtown flair in the form of cowhide barstools, the bar is quietly in soft opening mode while the hotel restaurant, Wicked Butcher, prepares to open next month. But anyone can visit now for bites and cocktails, including a smooth concoction called the Hot Headed Butcher. Served in a rocks glass with a crystal-clear square ice cube, the sophisticated drink is put together with Amador double barrel bourbon whiskey, an herbal French liqueur, bitters, and lemon oil, all garnished with mint leaves and a lemon wedge. The Urban Cowboy pays homage to hometown favorite TX whiskey, which is perked up with lemongrass syrup and orange bitters. Go now before the masses follow.

Mi Dia From Scratch
The busy Grapevine Mexican restaurant and tequila bar takes its drink program very seriously. Bartenders use lemons over limes in their margaritas (they deliver a bright and consistent flavor profile year-round, they say), only blue agave tequila, and organic light agave nectar as a sweetener. Spice things up with Hell Freezes Over, the bar’s signature, Instagram-worthy cocktail that creates some heat with Hatch chile-infused tequila and a hefty dressing of a Hatch chile salt blend on the rim. Dry ice adds a smoky effect. Or tuck into a warm mug of Chiapas Mexican coffee kissed with Kahlua and Don Julio tequila. Snag a seat at the sleek tequila bar and prepare stay put — the drink list is long.

Niles City Hall
This “period-correct” craft cocktail bar in the Stockyards might be where cattle barons and ranchers of yesteryear would have toasted to a hard day’s work. With long and cozy banquette seating, hardwood floors and wooden barstools, the classic saloon atmosphere is apparent upon arrival. Go now for a creative fall menu, including Brandy You’re a Fine Girl, a libation with roots tracing back more than 200 years featuring American brandy and apple butter finished with a dark cherry, cinnamon and angostura bitters. Or try the cuddle-worthy Hibernatin’ with my Honey, made with brown sugar bourbon and turkey bacon-washed Kentucky bourbon along with a warm s’mores garnish.

Thanks to darker evenings (and perhaps earlier bedtimes), daytime imbibing might be more appealing these days. Wake up with fall cocktails at this breakfast bar and restaurant, which serves several spiked coffee beverages. The AM Manhattan comes with bourbon, espresso, and Irish cream, while the chilled Brew Me Up, Bourbon Cup is finished with maple syrup and a slice of bacon. The spicy jalapeño-infused Morning Marg will also warm the insides as temperatures drop outside. Snooze is only open until 2:30 pm, so visit early.

The Tavern
This west Fort Worth mainstay, which is approaching its ninth year in business, has a devout neighborhood following for its chef-driven dishes and contemporary cocktails alike. Warm up with the classic spiced apple cider, spiked with spiced rum and tinged with fresh lemon and simple syrup. Other flavorful fall favorites on the lengthy cocktail menu include the Irish Rush, made with Irish whiskey, spiced pear liqueur, and honey; and the Sacred Martini, which combines brandy, cinnamon simple syrup, and sage. Wear comfy clothes and prepare to sit and sip a while — the atmosphere is nothing but inviting and unpretentious.

Location Mentioned: The Sinclair, Autograph Collection Hotel