Restaurant Review: The Cocktail Off

The best part about being a blog for eats AND treats is that treats can be anything from cookies to cakes to cocktails.

a root beer float + a negroni = joy

I loooove a well thought out cocktail – mixing the best of liquor, liqueur, herbs, and more. I am super jazzed that Austin has some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had, and I am here to point out a few of my FAVOURITES that you have to get your hands on!


 

Nightcap – August 21

I loved checking out this new addition to West 6th. Nestled beside Winflo Osteria, this homey bungalow-turned-bar reminded me of a more relaxed Rainey St Bar. Nightcap has been applauded for their high quality cocktails, so I made sure to add it to my list. Pictured are the “Don’t Be Bitter” (their take on a negroni) and the “Not Your Father’s Root Beer Float.” The drinks were amazing. They really focus on blending the ingredients into a perfect melody of joy in a glass. I ordered the Don’t Be Bitter because the waitress said it is less bitter than a normal negroni, however, mine was more bitter than negronis I’ve had in the past. I still enjoyed it but it took almost 1.5 hours from start to finish. Joel ordered the root beer float, and I am honestly not a fan of them, but adding vanilla bean ice cream to anything makes it more enjoyable!


 

such. beautiful. drinks.
such. beautiful. drinks.

77 Degrees Rooftop – August 27

The much anticipated 77 Degrees opened and I had to get my hands on one of their fabulous drinks. I ordered the Violet Sky, which is pictured next to Norman’s Cay, which Joel ordered. My drink was a harmonius blend of Hendrick’s gin, watermelon and thyme infused syrup, lime juice, sweet vermouth, with a skewer of fresh watermelon on top. What could be more of a summertime drink than this?! It was absolutely delicious. Joel’s drink was a mix of bacardi coconut rum, bacardi mango fusion, bacardi pineapple fusion, coconut water and lime, with a fresh eucalyptus leaf on top. This was basically the healthiest cocktail I’ve ever seen. I mean the coconut water and fresh eucalyptus make it good for you, right?) I would definitely go back for a drink, but maybe not on a bustling Saturday night; the bar had a very Dallas-esque feel, which for me, isn’t my cup of tea. But those of you looking for a ritzy night out – this is it.


cheers to hot summer nights with rose sangria!

 

Irene’s – July 14 and August 20

Irene’s took place of an old surfer bar on the West 6th strip of bars, and it was an absolute DELIGHT the two times I visited. The first time around I ordered their signature Trinidad Rum Punch, which is served in a huge glass mug. Just one and I was done! It was incredibly delicious and I’m not exactly sure what was in it because the description is: “one part sour, two parts sweet, three parts strong, four parts weak” but the witty words got me hooked. The second time around, they were having $5 rose sangria which I had to order. Delicious, refreshing, and the perfect thing to sip on when it is 85 degrees at night. I definitely recommend Irene’s for drinks whether it’s happy hour, past 12 am, or even during lunch (hey, we all have those days).


 

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new addition to the fall menu: rum, ginger and orange based cocktail

Burn Pizza + Bar – June 17 and August 30

 

Not only do I LOVE Burn’s food, atmosphere, and location, but they have killer drinks too! Whether you want one of their many beers on tap or a fun mixed drink, Burn has the hookup. In June during happy hour, I took advantage of their $2 off cocktail special and ordered The Spritz – Aperol, grapefruit agave nectar, and topped with prosecco.

Tipsy Golfer, Mosaic IPA, and The Spritz

Talk about a refreshing summer drink! Also pictured is the Tipsy Golfer which is limoncello (that they make in house) reyka vodka, sweet tea, and peach bitters.

The TG was a little too sweet for my taste but it was definitely tasty! Recently, I was invited to their Fall menu tasting where I had the most delectable dishes, as well as a new rum and ginger based cocktail. I know I will be going back for this orange infused drink + fall goodies very soon!


 

St. Genevieve – April 23

I visited St. Genevieve within a week of it opening. I was wooed by the glamour, Mediterranean feel, and gorgeous cocktail menu. A small personal note about myself: I absolutely love anything infused with rose and elderflower. So there wasn’t any surprise when I ordered the drink with both of those included: “I Dream of Genevieve.” And this cocktail lived up to its name – it was definitely dreamy. The description also made me chuckle: “Bombay Sapphire Gin, rose water, & elder flower liqueur topped with rose petals.

a glass of Merlot, a French 75, and the star of the show- I Dream of Genevieve

Strong enough for a man, but pH balanced for a woman.” I feel like they took everything I am and made it into a drink. The quintessential Monique drink. Watching the bartender carefully and intentionally mix my drink and place a rose petal ever so softly on top… I was a goner.

This is what I love about cocktails – the art, creativity, and delicate manner of making. I have yet to go back but I know there will be a visit by me again soon.


These five bars have tough competition for the best cocktail, and it is honestly so hard to choose just one. But if I had to pick the best cocktail based on taste, presentation, (not including bar atmosphere) I would have to say 77 Degrees wins.

What are your favourite cocktails in Austin? Share your thoughts with me!

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