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The Best Places for Cocktails in America

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Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, home of the Best Bartender in America
Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, home of the Best Bartender in America

Tales of the Cocktail — the annual cocktail industry festival held in New Orleans — is over, and the big news here in Seattle is that our own Murray Stenson of the Zig Zag Cafe is the American Bartender of the Year.

But what about the rest of the country? Where do you go for the Best. Cocktails. Ever.?

If a site called World’s Best Bars can’t tell you, who can? Readers pick their top 100 bars in the world, but the experts pick just 20. The best of the best. And 11 of those are here in the United States of America:

Bix – San Francisco
Bourbon and Branch – San Francisco
Brandy Library – New York
Dylan Prime – New York
Macao Trading Co. – New York
Mayahuel – New York
Milk and Honey – New York
Oliver’s – Seattle
PDT – New York
The Pegu Club – New York
Zig Zag Cafe – Seattle

A note to Americans – World’s Best Bars will likely ask you to input your birthday to verify you can legally drink a cocktail. The format is day / month / year. You’re welcome. Also note that’s just the list from one set of experts. Other experts have their favorites. There are an awful lot of great bars in the world, after all.

Esquire Magazine rates bars in every state in the union for their list, The Best Bars in America. And if you can’t get a great cocktail at the best bars in America, well, what’s the point? The top 7, in order:

Beachcomber – Wellfleet, MA
Drink – Boston, MA
The Brewer’s Art – Baltimore, MD
Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop – New Orleans, LA
The Trail Center – Grand Marais, MN
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar – New Orleans, LA
Helen Back Cafe – Fort Walton Beach, FL

See the complete list so you know where to go in your state. Although I admit it’s likely you already know.