Signature Sips

Discover the art of the drink

Anyone can pour a vodka soda. But if you're looking for a finely made cocktail that requires a bit of skill, you've come to the right place. Your mission: Go explore these potent potions from some of Houston's top spots.  

Known to the young professionals that frequent it simply as The Volcano, this West University neighborhood bar is famous for its laid-back attitude and freshly-made Mojitos. The classic Cuban cocktail is made from scratch, one at a time, using Bacardi, sugar and soda, along with fresh lime and mint. Muddled mint not your style? The frozen screwdriver is also a solid selection.  

Tucked away next to a convenient store in the Historic Heights neighborhood, Lei Low’s unassuming exterior makes way to a vintage-America-meets-Polynesian décor indoors, reminiscent of '60s-era island life. The small space is perfectly cozy for friends or a date in need of a taste of tropical paradise without the pricey plane ticket. Go for the Mai tai. Note: Lei Low doesn’t have business signage outside, just look for the neon rum light to know you’re in the right place.

Alex Gregg, along with partners Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse, are the brains behind Downtown’s Moving Sidewalk. Set in the former Goro & Gun space, guests find a softly-lit, linger-worthy space that’s marked by comfy banquettes, shimmering chandeliers and flickering candlelight. The bar’s beverage program offers guests tried and true classic drinks, as well as a half-dozen or so original cocktails created by the entire bar crew. If you aren’t in the mood for Moving Sidewalk’s gin gin mule, we recommend turning your attention to the bar’s “emotional beverage guide” to help steer you to the appropriate libation.

Expect a true multi-sensory experience at the Pastry War with its Dia de Los Muertos - inspired décor and meticulously-selected tequila and mezcal selection—many of which have never before been poured in Texas. Named one of  Southern Living’s Top 100 Best Bars in the South, Pastry War keeps fans returning for the house margarita made with Blanco tequila, key and Persian lime and agave nectar. Don’t leave without grabbing a tamale.

Chef Justin Yu and his restaurant’s former sommelier Justin Vann teamed up on Downtown’s Public Services Wine & Whisky. Located in the old 1884 Cotton Exchange building, the pair promise patrons a global selection of whiskey, wine and an edited cocktail line up and light bites. If you prefer your whiskey in mixed form, try the Presbyterian. The cocktail blends Famous Grouse with ginger beer, topo chico and lime. 

Set on the eclectic Westheimer Curve, Anvil Bar & Refuge is known for its top-shelf sips made with hand-pressed juices, house-made bitters, simple syrups, ginger beer and herbal infusions. The bar also gets kudos for presentation, serving up perfectly-prepared concoctions in vintage glassware scored from several local thrift stores. Go for the signature Border Storm, Anvil's riff on the traditional Dark 'n' Stormy, kicked up with chili pepper and fresh lime juice.