By Bartender Sara Justice
The Philadelphia cocktail scene is really growing and spreading and you are starting to see more local influence, where different bartenders from different bars around the city are influencing each other. Whereas before, I think there was a lot of influence from bigger cities like New York. We are starting to find our own style here.
Three Cocktail Places on My Radar
This is located in North Philly and it's great. Pheobe Esmon, who runs the program here, is just super talented and very creative. It's always very inspiring to see what drinks they are offering here.
1052 N Hancock Street, #67, Philadelphia, PA 19123
This is Philly's first tiki bar. The drinks are always awesome.
1444 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19122
T: 267.251.3234 | www.yachtsmanbar.com
Pennsylvania-made Spirits to Take Home
Penn 1681 Vodka
It's distilled from rye grain, so it has a huge bitter chocolate note. It's got a great body, which can be hard to find in vodka.
We are a small, intimate, cocktail bar. We have about 45 seats and we don't allow standing, so the guests have the opportunity to get a lot of interaction with the staff. We just started offering a five-course cocktail tasting, much like if you went to a restaurant and ordered the chef's tasting menu. The menu is inspired by PA Dutch cuisine (Pennsylvania German), which is very personal to me because I grew up in Lancaster County. I grew up on a lot of the regional cuisine there and have found that many people here in Philly either grew up on the same food, or are at least familiar with it, so a lot of people can relate to this story.
112 South 18th Street, Basement, Philadelphia, PA 19103
T: 267.467.3277 | thefranklinbar.com
Sara Justice is the head bartender at The Franklin in Philadelphia. Previously, she ran the bar program in Atlanta at Holeman & Finch Public House. Justice is a native of Lancaster, PA, and aside from working in Atlanta, she was part of the team at PDT, the James Beard Award-winning cocktail bar lead by Jim Meehan. In 2014, Food & Wine magazine recognized her as one of their Best New Mixologists.
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