When you head out to meet friends or a special someone for a drink and appetizers, what’s your go-to choice for the perfect cocktail? If you answered anything with bourbon, then you’re in the right place. Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are home to many of the nation’s top spots to get the perfect bourbon drink – and why not? We’re a mere two-hour drive from the infamous Kentucky Bourbon Trail!
No time for the drive to Louisville? Then grab your special someone, and create your own Bourbon Trail right here in Cincinnati! Whether you like your bourbon straight up, on the rocks or part of an expertly crafted cocktail, you’ll definitely be able to experience some of the best bourbons our area has to offer right in our backyard! Below are our picks for the best places in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to get your bourbon fix.
- Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar — Let’s be honest; you can’t really go wrong when you choose any of Molly Wellmann’s fine establishments. Japp’s, Myrtle’s Punch House, Neons or OKBB, you’re going to find a staff that knows what they’re talking about when it comes to cocktails and bourbon. If you’re new to the bourbon scene, check out the bourbon flight at OKBB. With over 120 different bourbons, you’re bound to find one you love.
- The Littlefield — With more than 70 bourbons to choose from, and an ever-rotating monthly drink special list (a portion of sales from which goes to benefit a local charity), this neighborhood bar has the quiet chill you look for when picking a casual date night destination
- Wiseguy Lounge — Located inside Goodfella’s Pizza in Covington and in OTR, this local bar has a selection of more than 150 different bourbons, even some hard to find varieties. Make a night of it with pizza by the slice at Goodfella’s, or plan a progressive dinner through OTR with drinks at Wiseguys as a nightcap.
- Horse & Barrel — Nestled right in next to Nicholson’s, this bar is dedicated to bourbon. If you’re new to bourbon, this is a great place to start. They serve 50 or so different labels from 22 different distilleries. Smaller pours – you can choose from 1 oz. or 2 oz. – means you can try a few to see what you like. Grab a snack while you are there – Maker’s Mark Mac & Cheese anyone? And since it’s right across from the Aronoff it’s a great spot for an after show drink.
- The Lackman — This OTR bar is a craft cocktail haven. With more than 20 bourbons available, you can simply enjoy sipping on your bourbon straight, or choose one of the many delightfully named signature cocktails, such as Whiskers on Kittens (Buffalo Trace bourbon, Cazadores, Reposado Tequila, Heering, lemon, flamed orange) or barrel aged cocktails, such as The Boulevardier (Bulleit Bourbon, Carpano Antica and Campari).
Recommend any other bourbon spots in Cincinnati? Add them to the comments below!