The barrel room at Whiskey Exchange houses more than 500 barrels of ASW whiskey.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED
Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Springtime sipping: 6 can’t-miss drink events in metro Atlanta

Songbirds are singing, flowers are popping, and people are gravitating to patios. Spring is here. Raise a glass to celebrate the temperate season at one of these six events. 

Everything is coming up cherry blossoms at O-Ku on April 4.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY O-KU 

Blossom fête at O-Ku 

From the end of March to the beginning of May, cherry trees bloom all over Japan. Hanami “flower viewing” is the custom of enjoying the transient beauty of the flowers. Westside Japanese restaurant O-Ku honors the blooming of those iconic Sakura trees with a one-day blossom fête April 4. Regular service will be offered all evening, with a new spring menu. Festivities kick off at 9 p.m. with a complimentary passed tasting of spring items. Sip on cherry blossom-infused cocktails and listen to live entertainment in cherry-blossom decorated surroundings. 

O-Ku, 1085 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-500-2383, o-kusushiatl.com.

Friday and Saturday nights in spring bring live music and drink specials to City Winery's expansive patio.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY CITY WINERY ATLANTA 

Wine Down Weekends at City Winery

The expansive patio at Ponce City Market’s City Winery hosts Wine Down Weekends, now through May. Listen to a different performance of “old favorites and new faces” every Friday and Saturday evening, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event is free for all ages, and the patio is dog-friendly. Nosh on chef Mario Manzini’s spring menu while sipping on signature cocktails, or choose from their 315-plus-bottle selection of wines. This is a time to try their house-made rosé on tap. 

City Winery, 650 North Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-946-3791, citywinery.com/atlanta

Every Friday in spring is Fri-yay at Ray's at Killer Creek.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY RAY’S AT KILLER CREEK 

Friday rosé specials at Ray’s at Killer Creek

Speaking of rosé season, Alpharetta’s Ray’s at Killer Creek encourages guests to get their pink on. Every Friday in spring, from 5 to 8 p.m., they pop the corks of Whispering Angel and Fleur de Mer rosé, with drink specials and live music. Executive Chef Mike Fuller has a menu of bites to pair with the fragrant wines of their Fri-yay celebration.

Ray’s at Killer Creek, 1700 Mansell Road, Alpharetta. 770-649-0064, raysrestaurants.com/raysatkillercreek

Chef Nick Anderson's menu at the newly renovated taproom at SweetWater Brewing complements the 36 beers on tap.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY SWEETWATER BREWING CO. 

Beer at newly renovated SweetWater Brewing Co. 

The snazzy renovated taproom at SweetWater Brewing Co. finally is opening its doors at 4:20 p.m. April 3. A centerpiece bar with intricate stonework anchors the space. Large roll-up doors bring springtime weather inside, and glass windows overlook the action going on in the main brewery. Executive Chef Nick Anderson’s new menu of shareables, handfuls (sandwiches), forkfuls, sides and munchies (dessert) is designed to pair with the drink menu of 36 unique beers. Try the two newest brews — Mango Kush and Peach Love & Happiness — with a bowl of 420 boiled peanuts or a Korean BBQ Philly. Shake It Baby is the taproom’s new beer ice cream shake. Lunch service (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) begins April 5. 

SweetWater Brewing Co., 195 Ottley Drive NE, Atlanta. 404-691-2537, sweetwaterbrew.com

The new ASW Whiskey Exchange is modeled after old-style commodities exchanges.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY BRETT FERENCZ 

Spirits from ASW Distillery’s new tasting room 

ASW Distillery has been working on a tasting room/barrel house for more than 18 months, and it’s finally ready for unveiling. The West End ASW Whiskey Exchange and Barrelhouse grand opening will run noon-8 p.m. April 13. The warehouse and tasting room houses more than 500 barrels. There will be live music, food from Mexican Viddles and Honeysuckle Gelato, and new cocktails to sample. On this day, they also will release their Cask Strength Resurgens Rye. Because of the award-winning spirit’s popularity, this will be your only chance for months to sample or purchase a bottle. The entire Lee and White development has an open-container policy, so you can walk with drinks and sample other locations. Next door, at Monday Night Garage, they will be serving Won’t You Be My Neighbor, an imperial milk stout aged in ASW barrels. Tickets.

ASW Whiskey Exchange and Barrelhouse. 933 Lee St. SW, Atlanta. 404-590-2279, aswdistillery.com

Friday celebrates both National Clam Day and the return of frosé to Roswell's C&S Chowder House.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED BY C&S CHOWDER HOUSE 

Clam Jam at C&S Chowder House

Roswell’s C&S Chowder House kicks off spring with an ode to bivalves. Clam Jam runs 7-10 p.m. March 29, with a menu chock full of mollusks in various preparations, as well as the return of frosé to the bar menu. Drink specials, like $5 Scofflaw drafts and $8 signature cocktails, will pair with clam flatbread, Ipswich steamers, fried clam bellies, and, of course … chowder. Jam to live music throughout the night. 

C&S Chowder House, 12040 Etris Road, Roswell. 470-321-5077, candschowderhouse.com

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