Why should Manhattan get all the glory? Namesake drinks are a reason to celebrate a borough, neighborhood or city. The Manhattan already was on its way to becoming a classic in the late 1800s. Perhaps Atlanta’s cocktail scene is in the midst of a classic in-the-making now. Here are some eponymously styled drinks to put you in an Atlanta state of mind, with a tiny bit of neighborhood history for a chaser.
Spring Street Sling, Momonoki
Take a right turn off Spring Street (it runs only one way south) onto 8th Street to reach Momonoki. The name means “Peachtree” in Japanese, and its logo features a peach with the kanji character for “wood” within, which somewhat resembles our Perimeter with I-75/85 running down the middle. The fast-casual spot recently added a cocktail menu to its offerings of ramen, poke bowls and katsu sandos. The Spring Street Sling shakes together gin, Benedictine, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, bitters, lemon and soda. It’s herbaceous, fruity and tastes like paradise.
Momonoki. 95 8th St., Atlanta. 404-390-3025, momonokiatl.com.
Palette of Arabia Mountain at Cold Beer
With this drink, Cold Beer Beverage Director Mercedes O'Brien pays homage to the DeKalb County granite monodrock she loves to explore. You almost can envision the flowering blooms on the exposed granite when looking into her Palette of Arabia Mountain, which consists of white whiskey, young spruce, citrus, absinthe, egg white and lacto-blueberry dust over a large cube of mountain juniper ice. Sip one from the new rooftop patio for mountain-like views.
Cold Beer. 670 DeKalb Ave., Atlanta. 404-254-1032, coldbeeratl.com.
Cabbagetown at Victory Sandwich Bar
Bittersweet, slightly smoky and spicy — Victory’s Cabbagetown stirs together mescal, Aperol, chili, lime and tonic in tribute to its namesake Atlanta neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The narrow streets and1800s mill cottages fill an area of less than 100 acres east of downtown, flanked by the Krog Street Tunnel and Oakland Cemetery. You really can get to know this cool community by attending the Chomp & Stomp Chili Cook-off and Bluegrass Festival every November. Until then, sip on one of these.
Victory Sandwich Bar. 340 Church St., Decatur. 404-377-9300; and 913 Berninia Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-963-1742, vicsandwich.com.
Frozen Ward Six Cup, Bon Ton
Up until 1954, Atlanta was divided into wards. Established in 1883, the Sixth Ward was carved out of the Fourth and Fifth wards along the railroad. One of its boundaries was from Grady Hospital north along North Avenue to a wide street of large lawns called Myrtle Street, where Bon Ton sits. This cold slush of vodka, house-made “Pimms,” cucumber, ginger and lemon also pays homage to a legendary hot spot in New Orleans’ Sixth Ward. A spicy order of boiled peanuts complements the cocktail and is a nod to Georgia history.
Bon Ton. 674 Myrtle St., Atlanta. 404-996-6177, bontonatl.com.
Peachtree & Regent at the Regent Cocktail Club
The Regent Cocktail Club is nestled in the Shops Buckhead Atlanta on Peachtree Road. This boozy sipper incorporates High West Rendezvous rye, fernet, nutty orgeat and citrus. Just across the street, at the intersection of West Paces Ferry and Roswell roads, there once stood a general store and tavern. Henry Irby founded the gathering place in 1837. He mounted a buck’s head on the building, where travelers could see it. Henceforth, the area was called “Buckhead.”
The Regent Cocktail Club. 3035 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 770-415-9961, regentcocktailclub.com.
East Meets Westside at O-Ku
Atlanta’s Westside once was a meatpacking and stockyard industrial area. It’s now a bustling neighborhood of restaurants, shops and swanky condo developments. O-Ku opened in 2015, serving chic Japanese and sushi fare in a former ironworks building. East Meets West is that story in a glass, combining Nobushi Japanese whisky and Southern rye, with a balance of Hoodoo chicory liqueur as well as Dubonnet Rouge (aperitif) and orange bitters, for a fresh take on a Manhattan. It’s best sipped late at night on the rooftop — one of the Westside’s best views.
O-Ku. 1085 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-500-2383, o-kusushiatl.com.
Hotlanta Tiki at the Albert
A quick way to make an Atlantan cringe is to call our city “Hotlanta,” but this cocktail is soft and sweet, with the exotic roundness of the tropics. Intermingling in a glass are light and dark rums, Clement coconut (fresh coconut-infused rhum agricole), pineapple juice, local 18.21 Tiki Thai syrup, and coconut lemongrass tincture … with a cherry on top. Order one with a dozen smoked wings, but leave that moniker with the menu, please.
The Albert. 918 Austin Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-872-4990, thealbertatlanta.com.