Cocktails on cold nights will warm you from the inside out, and who doesn’t enjoy that! Charlottesville restaurants are known for their amazing drinks from simple classics like gin martinis to craft cocktails with creative names. Whether you’re stepping out for the evening, or ordering in, there’s a drink that’ll fit your mood.
Drinks mixed by bartender extraordinaire Micah LeMon are a Charlottesville experience not to be missed. He’s not just a mixologist; he’s a published author of a book on bartending and an undeniable expert who’s made craft cocktails a science.
The menu takes inspiration from France and Belgium, and they have the perfect adult beverages to accompany dishes like smoked trout mousse and crispy scallops. Order up a glass of wine, a beer and specialty cocktails like the 23 Skidoo (Old Forester Rye, Aperol and Averna) or the Queen Bee (Barr Hill Gin, green peppercorn, Chartreuse and lime foam).
Firefly is all about having fun. The space is packed with games like pool and pinball, and their cocktails are a good time, too. We’re especially intrigued by the CFO (CBD water and hard cider) and the Smoky Mezcal Fig Ginger Sour.
The freshest addition to the Charlottesville cocktail scene is the Milkman’s Bar inside the new Dairy Market off Preston Ave. The space “pays homage to classic 1950s and ’60s drugstore soda fountains,” and while we don’t think all those milkshakes back then were spiked, we’re not complaining about authenticity here. Non-alchoholic beverages also flow freely at the Milkman’s Bar.
One of Charlottesville’s most legendary restaurants, C&O has a reputation as the place to go for special occasions or intimate dinners. Their cocktails won’t disappoint either. You can order specialty drinks like the Arsenic & Old Lace (gin, dry vermouth, creme de violette, and asinthe rinse) or the Half Smoke (reposado tequila, mezcal, agave, bitters and burnt orange).
With a huge array of pizzas, salads, calzones and sandwiches, Fry’s Spring Station is a hub in the Fry’s Spring neighborhood. If you’re in the mood for something stronger than one of their dozens of craft beers, they’ve got an array of signature cocktails as well including a jalapeno margarita and the Blue Ridge Mule.
Modern Mexican and cocktails? Um, yes please! The cozy space upstairs above The Whiskey Jar on the Downtown Mall is known for live music and amazing margaritas. They even have a bar blog with topics like “Tequila and You: The Healing Process.” What more do you need to know?