The 10 Best Whiskey Speakeasies in the United States

The 10 Best Whiskey Speakeasies in the United States

Speakeasies, those hidden gems steeped in the nostalgia of the Prohibition era, beckon cocktail enthusiasts with their clandestine allure. Imagine secret doors, whispered passwords, and dimly lit interiors—the very essence of a bygone era when cocktails were an art form and rebellion simmered beneath the surface. 

If you’re a whiskey lover, prepare to be transported. Across the United States, some of the finest speakeasies pay homage to this exquisite spirit. Join us as we lift the veil on the ten best whiskey speakeasies, where every sip carries echoes of bootlegging days and the thrill of forbidden libations.

Apothéke - New York City, NY

Location: Tucked behind a 200-year-old door beneath a seemingly innocuous ‘Gold Flower Restaurant’ sign on Doyers Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Ambiance: Once an opium den, Apothéke now exudes an apothecary-inspired charm.

Cocktails: Medicinal-inspired concoctions crafted with organic produce, herbs, and botanicals, including a curated selection of absinthe.

Notable Drinks: Deal Closer, Devil’s Playground, and Pink Panther.

Fun Fact: Apothéke has outposts in downtown Los Angeles and a second New York location, Apotheke NoMad.

Denson Liquor Bar - Washington, D.C.

Discovery: For those in the know, find this Art Deco-style cocktail bar in the lower level of 600 F Street NW.

Setting: Classic cocktails served alongside upscale bites like fine cheese, charcuterie, and Petrossian caviar.

Signature Drinks: Pepino Fresco (herbaceous gin delight) and Branca Ave. (a twist on the boulevardier).

Laundry Room - Las Vegas, NV

Access: A hidden gem within the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Vibe: Intimate and exclusive, with a dash of vintage glamour.

Whiskey Selection: Impeccable, featuring rare and sought-after labels.

Insider Tip: Make a reservation—it’s worth the intrigue.

The Felix - San Francisco, CA

Entrance: Disguised as a vintage phone booth within the Hotel Zeppelin.

Speakeasy Vibes: Dim lighting, plush seating, and a sense of stepping back in time.

Whiskey Focus: A curated menu of exceptional whiskeys awaits discerning palates.

Swizzle - Miami, FL

Location: Hidden behind a secret door within the St. Roch Market.

Tropical Twist: While Miami isn’t typically associated with speakeasies, Swizzle surprises with its Caribbean-inspired flair.

Rum and Whiskey: Explore a fusion of both spirits in inventive cocktails.

The Flatiron Room - New York City, New York

Location: Nestled in the heart of Manhattan at 37 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010.

Whiskey Paradise: The Flatiron Room is a haven for whiskey enthusiasts. Its extensive whiskey library boasts over 1,000 bottles, spanning various styles and regions.

Atmosphere: Step into an elegant, jazz-infused ambiance where live music sets the tone.

Expert Guidance: Knowledgeable staff members are on hand to help you navigate the impressive selection and even craft custom whiskey flights tailored to your taste.

The Patterson House - Nashville, Tennessee

Location: Tucked away in the vibrant city of Nashville at 1711 Division St, Nashville, TN 37203.

Classic Cocktails and Fine Whiskey: The Patterson House pays homage to classic cocktails and exceptional whiskey.

Curated Menu: Explore an array of bourbons, ryes, and Scotch whiskies.

Attention to Detail: While the ambiance remains relaxed, the bartenders excel in meticulously crafting cocktails that elevate the whiskey experience. Don’t miss their whiskey-based concoctions or the option to sample a variety of flavors throughout a flight.

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Location: Transport yourself back to the Prohibition era at 112 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Vintage Charm: The speakeasy’s vintage decor and clandestine ambiance evoke the spirit of secret gatherings during Prohibition.

Whiskey Spotlight: While their cocktail menu impresses, whiskey takes center stage. Explore a selection of rare and sought-after bottles.

Neat or Crafted: Whether you prefer your whiskey neat or in a meticulously crafted cocktail, The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. promises delights for your palate.

Canon - Seattle, Washington

Location: Find Canon at 928 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122.

Spiritual Commitment: Canon is renowned for its unwavering dedication to spirits, especially whiskey.

Vast Collection: Prepare to be awestruck by their jaw-dropping collection of over 4,000 different whiskey bottles, including some of the rarest and most sought-after labels worldwide.

Midnight Cowboy - Austin, Texas

Location: Housed in a former brothel, Midnight Cowboy is now a thriving speakeasy bar in Austin.

Mythic Vibes: The allure lies in its secretive entrance and intimate setting.

Cocktails: Expert mixologists craft inventive cocktails that pay homage to the Prohibition era.

Fun Fact: Reservations are essential, and the experience is worth the intrigue.

Honorable Mentions

While the above top speakeasies steal the spotlight, there are hidden gems across the country that deserve an honorable mention. These lesser-known establishments offer unique experiences, secret entrances, and carefully crafted libations. 

From cozy corners in historic buildings to unexpected hideaways within bustling cities, these speakeasies invite you to step back in time and savor the thrill of secrecy. So, let’s raise our glasses to these unsung heroes—the unsung speakeasies that quietly weave magic for those who seek them out. 

The Barbershop - Las Vegas, Nevada

Entrance: Disguised as a vintage barbershop within the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

Hidden Gem: Beyond the barber chairs lies a sophisticated speakeasy.

Whiskey Focus: Explore an impressive selection of rare and aged whiskeys.

Note: The secret password adds to the adventure.

The Office - Chicago, Illinois

Setting: Located beneath the renowned Aviary cocktail bar.

Exclusive Experience: The Office is an intimate, members-only speakeasy.

Whiskey Wonderland: Immerse yourself in a world of exceptional whiskeys, curated by experts.

Tip: If you’re lucky enough to secure a reservation, savor the ambiance and sip on liquid history.

The Violet Hour - Chicago, Illinois

Location: Concealed behind an unmarked façade at 1520 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622.

Artistic Ambiance: The Violet Hour exudes an artistic and elegant vibe, with dim lighting and plush seating.

Crafted Cocktails: Talented mixologists create bespoke cocktails using fresh ingredients and house-made syrups.

No Cell Phones: Embrace the prohibition-era spirit by adhering to their no-cell-phone policy.

The Gibson - Washington, D.C.

Entrance: Look for a simple red door at 2009 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009.

Intimate Setting: The Gibson offers an intimate, candlelit space with cozy booths.

Gin Haven: While whiskey is celebrated, gin steals the show here. Explore their extensive gin menu.

Reservations Recommended: Like any good speakeasy, reservations ensure you secure a seat in this hidden gem.

Best Whiskey Speakeasies Final Thoughts

Whiskey speakeasies offer a unique blend of history, ambiance, and craftsmanship, making them a must-visit for any whiskey enthusiast. 

Whether you're in the bustling city of New York or the vibrant music scene of Nashville, you can uncover the secrets of these hidden gems and enjoy the art of whiskey appreciation in a nostalgic setting. 

So, step back in time, explore the world of whiskey, and raise a glass to the charm of speakeasies.

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