Restaurants / Bars

Fort Worth’s Best Cocktail Bars — Hotspots, Hidden Finds and Havens for Proper Drinks

Your Guide to Cowtown's Cocktail Scene

BY // 12.04.19

There are few things better than a great cocktail after a long, hard day — or to start your day. We’re not here to judge. Whether you are partial to whiskey or a gin, Fort Worth boasts plenty of worthy bars to find them in. A well-balanced drink is a true work of art and Fort Worth has no shortage of  cocktail artists..

These are Fort Worth’s Best Cocktail Bars — in no particular order:

The Usual

Located on Magnolia Avenue, The Usual is mainstay in the near southside. The low-key spot has officially been slinging craft cocktails for the masses for 10 years. The space is minimal yet warm with a welcoming vibe that makes you want to hang out for while with cozy indoor booths or outdoor seating. The drink menu rotates year round, but consistently offers high quality spirits to wet the most particular of whistles and if you’re not sure what it is that you’re wanting, just ask one of the extremely knowledgeable bartenders. The old fashioned comes highly recommended.

Proper Bar

Further down on Magnolia Avenue, you will stumble upon Proper. There is something innately romantic about this neighborhood hub with its dimly lit atmosphere and close quarters. They offer a hefty menu of craft made cocktails, but if you’re more into brews than spirits, you can find plenty of craft beers on Proper’s menu as well. While this mainstay offers all sorts of concoctions, the gin-based bee’s knees is my all-time favorite.

Blackland Distillery

Blackland Distillery set up shop in the up and coming Foundry District next to Doc’s Records and Vintage. This distillery and tasting room combo offers Art Deco ambience in spades.

Blackland is named for the Blackland Prairie, a unique stretch of land that runs from the Red River to San Antonio. All its craft cocktails are made with spirits, vodka, gin, bourbon and whiskey made by the distillery. Owner Markus Kypreos puts a unique spin on each drink because of his culinary background and comes up with unexpected mash-ups that keep you coming back.

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Check the website for distillery tour information or grab a seat at the bar. The most unique tincture is the Cereal Milk Punch, a mixture of Blackland Bourbon and whole milk infused with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cheerios.

Thompson’s

Thompson’s is located in downtown Fort Worth in the historic Vybek building. In a former life, this cocktail bar used to be a pharmacy and bookstore. Fast forward and this space offers prime cocktails in a prohibition-like atmosphere.

The overall feeling of Thompson’s is a little mysterious with no lack of interesting details to observe on ground level, don’t forget to check Facebook on Fridays and Saturdays to get the password to access the basement bar. The menu changes regularly to match the season, but you can always find mules on draft.

If you’re embracing winter, try the Mind Flayer for a delicious blend of walnut, cinnamon, baking spices and a hint of orange.

The Basement Lounge

The Basement Lounge is a tucked away favorite among Fort Worth West siders off of Camp Bowie. Once you find it, you walk down a large staircase to a basement — thus the name.

But, his isn’t your run-of-the-mill dingy basement. This basement is decked out to the point where you forget where you are — or what time it is, for that matter. Grab a comfy chair and settle in while you peruse the seasonal menu of cocktails. This place is designed for great drinks and conversations.

With innovative drinks to spare, you are bound to find something that appeals to your palate at The Basement Lounge. One of the bar’s most recent concoctions is the White Cuban, a tropical twist on a White Russian.

Black Eye Distillery

Black Eye Distillery found fame by making vodka with black-eyed peas and corn sourced 100 percent from Texas, making for a farm-to-bottle experience. The distillery and bar are housed in the same building found in the Southside of Fort Worth.

Make no mistake, Black Eye Distillery has been in Southside before it was cool. You can schedule a distillery tour or go to the bar, or do both. With a menu with more than 40 specialty craft cocktails, you can taste the housemade vodka in Black Eye’s seasonal drinks. Don’t forget to check out the Pecan Pie cocktail, or — if you’re a purist — try a vodka martini.

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