With the holiday shopping season upon us, we thought it might be helpful to give a few suggestions on where you could stop, take a break and actually enjoy some holiday spirit(s). Below is a list of some of our favorite haunts and festive drinks, with a slight locavore bent, of course!
Philly Homegrown’s Holiday Drink Round-Up
Amuse at the Le Meridian Hotel has an incredible bar and serves up well crafted drinks, we suggest the With Love, a champagne cocktail with passion fruit and ginger liqueur. Amuse also has a divine, seasonal menu that’s not to be missed.
C19 is a locavore’s dream. Chef Andrea Luca Rossi is known for working directly with local farmers and artisanal producers to create his focused Venetian menu, which, luckily for us, also includes cocktails. We love their Strawberry Lemon Verbena cocktail made with Hendrick’s gin. The strawberry puree, made from berry’s grown near Philadelphia this past summer and frozen at the peak of freshness, is a ray of sunshine in the dark winter.
One of Queen Village’s newest spots, Kennett Restaurant, has developed a quick following. Enjoy one of their many small plates, like the Parsnips with Parmesan, alongside the one of their beer-based cocktails. We enjoy For the Locals made with Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale, Bluecoat Gin, marjoram syrup and a hit of fresh lemon.
Dressed in your holiday best and feel like going a bit upscale? Head directly to the Rittenhouse Hotel, ogle their beautiful holiday decorations, seat yourself at La Croix and gaze upon festive Rittenhouse Square. Enjoy a Philadelphia French Martini made with Bluecoat Gin, Lillet Blanc and orange.
University City’s MidAtlantic Restaurant is Chef Daniel Stern’s homage to the traditional dishes of the Philadelphia region. We love sitting by their outdoor fireplace and sipping some Schuylkill Fish House Punch, made of brandy, Jamaican rum, peaches and lemon. Rumor has it that this drink dates back to Philadelphia’s early days and was sipped during the Schuylkill Fish House’s Christmas party.
Berwyn’s Nectar is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a expertly crafted cocktail. Our favorite seasonal choice is the Apple Cider Martini, a bourbon based drink with sparkling apple cider, caramel and a hint of cinnamon.
Aside from being filled with small independent businesses, Old City is also a great place to grab a drink. We head straight to Farmicia and place our trust in the hands of bartender, Edward Jones. We love his Rhuby Marmalade, crafted with locally produced Rhuby liquor, Lillet and orange marmalade.
After Farmacia, we suggest you pop over to Positano Coast to enjoy one of their many organic cocktails. Try the Italian With An Accent which includes a fennel infused dry gin, aloe syrup, egg white and fresh lime.
At Center City’s Franklin Mortgage Investment Company it’s hard to go wrong. Their artisnal cocktails are varied and change often. We enjoy the Fairmount Park Swizzle a gin-based cocktail with Cardamoro, John D Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, fresh lemon and lime juice and a house-made ginger syrup. Be careful with cocktails here, they are not for beginners!
Washington Square’s Talula’s Garden is a bastion of locally sourced dishes and cocktails. We love their wine-based drinks like The Winemaker a spiced autumn sangria with brandy, apples and berries. If wine isn’t your thing, opt for The Forager, a wild sage martini with gin, egg white, orange and sage.
Audrey Claire Taichman’s Twenty Manning Grill, is a neighborhood favorite that boasts one of Philadelphia’s best bars (according to Philadelphia Magazine). Coffee lovers will enjoy the Cafe Canela, a warming drink with hot coffee, locally produced Snap liquor, Siembra Azul Blanco and Licor 43.
Newcomer Vedge is a modern “vegetable” restaurant by Philadelphia Chefs Richard Landau & Kate Jacoby, formerly of Horizons. The bar is an absolute delight and includes innovative cocktails like the Apple Cide Car with Lairds Bonded Apple Brandy, cointreau, apple, maple and smoked cinnamon. The entire cocktail menu is worth a try, but we suggest at least a few trips to work your way through them all!
Aside from offering one of the largest Israeli wine lists outside of Israel, Zahav pours creative and interesting cocktails to accompany it’s modern Israeli fare. We can’t help but order the Jerusalem Cocktail, a sparkling wine, lychee and pomegranate drink that is all at once sweet, tart and refreshing.
Cheers, Philadelphia and Happy Holidays!