Sipping Savannah: a dispatch from America's first prohibition museum

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Jacqui Agate
6/28/2018

0. The best places to drink in Savannah

Looking for a tipple in the Hostess City? These are Savannah's top watering holes:

For craft cocktails

Cocktails are Savannah's bag, and there's no shortage of spots to sip them in the city. Artillery, named for its location in the Georgia Hussars' former armoury, is one of Savannah's finest cocktail lounges. The gilded columns out front drop hints about the interior, which is all green-velvet booths, exposed brick and chandelier rings.

Try Savannah's signature cocktail, the Chatham Artillery Punch: it's a heady mix of rum, brandy, Rittenhouse rye and sloe gin, topped with green tea, lemon and sparkling wine, and served in a golden pineapple.

Special mention, too, for blink-and-you'll-miss-it basement spot AlleyCat Lounge and their extensive craft-cocktail list.

For drinking until the early AM

Loud, proud and pulsing with 80s rock music, dive bar The Original Pinkie Masters has been watering Savannahians since the 50s and is little short of a local institution. It's said that, in the 70s, then-Georgia-governor Jimmy Carter clambered onto Pinkie's well-worn bar to announce his intent to run for president.

Pop some coins in the jukebox, order a beer and hole up here for the night. You're sure to rub shoulders with some colourful characters.

For a great pint

It's cocktails that really set the city apart, but Savannah boasts some great beer too. "No crap, just craft" is the ethos of the Distillery Ale House, which has 21 craft brews on tap and a huge selection of bottled beer. Pick your poison with the help of the knowledgeable staff, and sup it propped at the mahogany bar.

If you'd prefer to visit a brewery, make for Service Brewing Co. It's entirely owned and operated by veterans, producing large-scale and small-batch brews from pale ales to pilsners.

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For a speakeasy-style spot

Given Savannah's past, it's little wonder that many bars want to emulate the roaring twenties. Get a true flavour of the era at Congress Street Up, the American Prohibition Museum's bar. Choose from a list of classic and craft cocktails, including Prohibition Portia, a gin concoction served in a tiny bathtub (rubber duck and all).

For live music

There's live music six nights per week at basement bolthole Jazz'd Tapas Bar, which has a tasty American tapas menu too. Performances range from jazz sets to solo country warblers, and there's a long list of martinis to try.

For more information, visit www.visitsavannah.com. Jacqui stayed in Lucky Savannah rental Downtown Deco - prices start at $175 per night.

Header image: Forsyth Park Fountain, Savannah © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock. Photos from left-right (top-bottom): Prohibition Museum in Savannah © Jacqui Agate; Shops and restaurants on River Street, Savannah © f11photo / Shutterstock; Historic District Waterfront © f11photo / Shutterstock; Ghost Coast Distillery © Jacqui Agate; Artillery bar interior © Jacqui Agate; Cocktails at Artillery © Jacqui Agate; Service Brewing Co. © Jacqui Agate.

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