In the Green Mountain State, we know how to make a good drink. It’s not just the craft beer scene that is burgeoning, we know how to concoct a delicious cocktail, too. In fact, there’s even a cocktail named after the state—the Old Vermont—made with gin, maple syrup, lemon and orange juice, and bitters. Whether it’s unique small-batch spirits you seek or signature cocktails, you can find it all at the 10 best cocktail bars in Vermont.
While they may be famous for their jaw-dropping beer selection, smoked meat offerings, and on-site craft brewery, Pro Pig also gets ratings from cocktail drinkers everywhere. Old-fashioned (or “proper”) cocktails and Southern-style small plates makes for a combo that is hard to resist. But, really, what is the point in holding back when there are over 10 signature cocktails to try?
If you want to cut out all of the overly-nuanced cocktails, there is the Mule Bar. Offering fresh takes on traditional house cocktails, old fashioned drinks, and simple bar food in a relaxed and comfortable setting, the Mule may be just what the doctor ordered. And featuring 30 specialty cocktails, you will have fun trying them all—just not all in one sitting.
Known for their collection of classic arcade games and a hefty craft beer selection, the Archives also offers some creative cocktails that no one else has. With 12 unique cocktails to burn through, including the Archive (Beefeater gin, Fernet, lime, turbinado)” and “A F***ing Vodka Drink” (New Amsterdam vodka, ginger lime syrup, lemon, orange, soda), the folks at the Archives are always dancing around novelty and the classics, which you can order as well.
Known for its comfort food, wood-fired pizza, and extensive beer list on tap (over 30), the Bench will also make you a mean drink. Try their Vesper Martini, Espresso Martini, zesty Manhattan, or a Moscow Mule, to name a few. Plus check out their cordial menu featuring port, brandy, cognac, dessert wine, and more.
At Ri Ra, they have managed to combine old world with new traditions. The crowds are as warm as the wood and granite-lined walls, like you would find in the old country. And the drinks are stiff. Find Irish, American, Scotch, and other world whiskeys (in case you did not find the atmosphere to be warm enough) as well as signature drinks, like the maple bourbon cider, the “Hopped Elder Gin,” or a host of “Mule” concoctions.
This inviting brick-oven spot offers wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and craft cocktails. With a focus on exceptional Italian cuisine, their pizzas are an amalgamation of thin crust and the perfect marriage of toppings and cheese. With nine signature cocktails to choose from, each is a delicate dance between balanced flavors, like the “Cloak-and-Dagger,” magically infusing the flavors of lime, grapefruit, mint, and thyme.
Sharing their craft and passion for local food and spirits, the Guild offers fresh, locally-inspired dishes and signature cocktails. Find classic drinks, like the Mai Tai, the Moscow Mule, and the Old Fashioned but also experience new flavors and original cocktails like the award-winning, “Mind Your Own” (Barr Hill Tomcat gin, Lillet, Sercial Madeira, honey-sage syrup, chamomile tea) or the mysterious “Steel Mill” (Rye, Falernum, Blackstrap rum, Cynar, bitters).
This restaurant has been rated the most romantic in the state on more than one occasion, and if you have enjoyed a meal in their restored 19th-century mill overlooking a majestic waterfall you know why. As if that was not enough, you will also find draught beer, a robust wine list, and a handful of knock-out signature cocktails to choose from. Dive into drinks like the “Vermont Red Eye” (Mad River Rye, sapling maple liqueur, espresso) or the honey grapefruit martini, featuring Barr Hill gin.
There is no better place in the Green Mountain State for fresh seafood and West River views than the Marina. This casual, bi-level space with a deck and panoramic views of the water is bright and cheerful, and you will find a full bar and lounge serving up all of your traditional cocktail favorites. But, for our money, nothing beats their lobster mac & cheese followed by a hot chocolate cocktail while watching the sun go down over the river.
Not only does Stonecutter Spirits have some of the best locally distilled whiskeys and gin, but their tasting room and cocktail bar make some of the most well crafted cocktails in the state. Just looking at these beautifully created cocktails is worth the trip alone (Instagrammers rejoice), but tasting them will really have you hooked. Try a Colonel Mustard which in their words is a “nutted old fashioned” featuring spiced brown butter syrup, black walnut bitters, and dry cider. Just wait, you haven’t tried anything like these craft cocktails!
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