7 Places to Enjoy a Cocktail in Blue Ridge (with recipes)
Spring and summer weather afford more reasons to explore Blue Ridge on the trails, in the shops and aboard the train. When you need a rest (or some air conditioning) head into one of these seven restaurants for a specialty craft cocktail. They’re out of this world and even better when paired with friends and family.
Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill (pictured above)
Chester Brunnenmeyer’s is a downtown treasure with an upscale casual atmosphere; the type of place you want to be while you’re enjoying your friends and ordering a second drink. The Shrimp and Grits are delicious, and the Tomato Bisque is a crowd favorite.
As for cocktails, we love the Chester’s Mary with pepper vodka, and the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned! Don’t miss the cocktail lounge above the restaurant, Hideaway at Chester Brunnenmeyer’s. Lounge on the leather chairs and couches under subdued lighting while you wait for your table with a Moscow Mule. Chester Provisions is their shop with everything you need to build your own at-home libation.
Thank you to Chester Brunnenmeyer’s for sharing the secret to one of their popular drinks.
1.5 oz house-infused habanero pineapple tequila
1 oz Combier orange
1 oz sour mix
Slash of cranberry
Shake and serve over ice with a salted rim
Mona Lisa’s Dessert House
Sometimes you don’t need a full dinner–just a marvelous martini (and maybe a slice of Blackberry Lemon Buttercream Cake on the side). Enter Mona Lisa’s: An elegant dessert house featuring scratch-made sweets and martinis, wines and other adult indulgences!
Can’t make up your mind between dessert and a cocktail? Combine them! Their Black Forrest Trifle with homemade Cherry Liqueur sauce is a decadent splurge.
The Mediterranean Basin meets the Appalachian Mountains at Masseria. Try House Special Roasted Brisket with polenta or Eggplant Parmesan with cous cous. Yum! But don’t stop there; every unique dish deserves the perfect cocktail paring. Masseria crafts their own infusions, bitters and handmade syrups for creative elixirs that are constantly changing.
The Black Sheep
Blue Ridge’s largest outdoor bar and patio can be found at The Black Sheep. Take it easy under the grand 200-year-old oak tree while sipping a bourbon at this home-turned-restaurant, the historic William Butt House, circa 1914. It was one of the first homes in the area to have indoor plumbing, built by the former Georgia Legislator and Blue Ridge Mayor.
Tuna Nachos, Black Sheep Meatloaf or Veal Osso Bucco are just a few of the dinner options available as pairings to your main course–the cocktail. Try the Blue Ridge Lavender Smash, a Georgia Peach Bourbon or their highly desired Trouble in Blue Ridge. Lucky you, they’ve shared the recipe so you can enjoy one at home to remind you of your time here.
TROUBLE IN BLUE RIDGE
2 oz Four Roses bourbon
1 oz Campari
.5 oz each of lemon juice, grapefruit juice and honey water
Shake in a shaker with ice.
Strain and garnish with basil leaf and fresh cracked pepper.
Just down from The Black Sheep and owned by the same fantastic crew is The Dogwood. If your cocktail vibe requires a more casual setting, then come grab a drink here. 150 outside seats are primed for your hangout pleasure, with live music and no TVs…just pure al fresco fun.
Specialty craft cocktails are top of mind, but there is also a wonderful wine list and a “beer garage” with over 70 options for creating your own six-pack. The menu offers 10 curated dishes served in portions made for sharing while you chill out to the music and friendly conversation.
If you’re shopping on Main Street and looking for a place to pull up a chair, nosh on delicious eats and sip a craft cocktail, then Harvest on Main is ideal. Try a Harvest Sangria paired with a dish that leverages the local growers like Mercier Orchards and Brasstown Beef.
After you’ve spent the day on the waters of Lake Blue Ridge, step foot on land at Boat Dock Bar & Grill for a casual (but classy) cocktail. The best seat in the house is on the deck or at the tiki bar, with views of the lake and a brilliant sunset.
Wandering out there on the weekend? You’ll love the live music on the weekends.