Best of Philly

Best Cocktails

2017 BEST Cocktail

Assassin’s Handbook at Friday Saturday Sunday

These days, even your corner shot-and-a-beer bar can mix up a technically perfect manhattan. (In other words, we wonder if Philly has reached maximum craft-cocktail capacity.) And then along comes barman Paul MacDonald with his zinger of a list. The star: the Assassin’s Handbook, a mixture of Jamaican rum, cognac, averna, amaro and mulled wine, with a spark of habanero at the finish. Wow.

261 South 21st Street, Philadelphia, PA | 215-546-4232 | Website

2014 BEST Cocktail


627 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA

The gin curry cocktail is icy, spicy and sweet, and it shouldn’t taste good (curry? In a cocktail?), but the flavors sing in a drink that stands out even in this gin-soaked town. Read more »

2013 BEST Cocktail (Suburbs)

Frisco Kid at Citron and Rose

370 Montgomery Avenue, Merion Station, PA

Rye whiskey, ginger-lime syrup, and a touch of that bitter-bomb so many serious bartenders swear by, Luxardo Fernet. If this is what kosher drinking tastes like, well be sailing into our Hebrew lessons 15 minutes early and three sheets to the wind. Read more »

2012 BEST Classic Cocktails


701 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Go to Southwark and order a Manhattan or a Sazerac. Then go anywhere else in the country and order the same cocktail. Then come home to Southwark, because the quaint Queen Village bar and restaurant does classic better than anyone. Read more »

2011 BEST Nonalcoholic Summer Drink Involving Pickles

Pickled Lemon Soda at Pho 75

1122 Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

Like Sprite, but exotic: Asian-style preserved lemons muddled with sugar and topped with soda. Read more »

2010 BEST Cocktail

Chick’s Caf and Wine Bar

614 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA

There’s a lot of drama involved in the preparation of this gin drink vigorous smacking of fresh basil leaves to release their essences, loud clashing of ice in the shaker but the end result is a lightly fragrant (from the rose-petal-infused simple syrup) and lemony concoction that will convince even the most avid gin-haters to… Read more »

2009 BEST Cocktail


237 St. James Place, Philadelphia, PA

It’s not that we’ve never had a drink that tastes like what it claims to be (peanut-butter-and-jelly shot, anyone?), but this grainy concoction mixed with pumpernickel-and-caraway-infused rye and celery soda truly tastes like a fresh loaf of yummy, anise-y bread. Only better, ’cause it has booze. Read more »

2009 BEST Cocktail List


217-219 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Amada works so well because every aspect fits together seamlessly. And the well-thought-out drink list is a shining example of the understatedly cool Jose Garces touch. The three varieties of sangrias are a hallmark, and the cocktails are infused with flavors you find on the menu: ginger in the bourbon smash, apricot rye in the… Read more »

2009 BEST Way to Live Large and Drink Cheap

Borgata Hotel, Casino and Spa

1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ

Sure, you get free drinks at the blackjack table. But by the time your waitress returns with your watered-down cocktail, you’ve blown a hundred bucks. In the Borgata’s horse-betting lounge (how retro!), a $2 wager gets you a drink ticket (you may have to ask for it) good for most top-shelf liquor, including normally $10-a-shot… Read more »