This article was updated September 2018.
Thirsty? Here are the 26 best cocktails in Charlotte, right now.
These top cocktails and cocktail bars were compiled using Agenda reader data, reviews and comments from cocktail bar owners. The list below is in no particular order.
[Agenda related story: 5 best cocktail bars in Charlotte]
Viper – 5Church
Gorgeous, upbeat atmosphere perfect for starting or ending a big night out in Uptown.
Silver tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, cucumber water and cayenne pepper ($13)
The Workman’s Friend – Workman’s Friend
Cozy Irish bar in Plaza Midwood with rich, dark decor.
Jameson’s Irish whiskey, vanilla bean, ginger root cane syrup, fresh orange juice ($10). If you just need the hard stuff, Workman’s Friend has 24 Irish whiskeys for you to choose from.
Transfusion – Selwyn Pub
Charlotte’s favorite bar located in Myers Park and perfect for just about any occasion.
A golf club favorite made with vodka, ginger ale and grapefruit juice. Also, how can you not love that this is one of Charlotte’s favorite cocktails? Of course it is.
Old Fashioned – Dot Dot Dot
Speakeasy found in Park Road Shopping Center’s Backlot.
Elijah Craig 10-year personal selection bourbon, bitters, sugar, orange, cherry, served over ice ($13)
Cucumber Mule – Soul Gastrolounge
Top 20 restaurant in Charlotte with an intimate bar. DJ comes on in this Plaza Midwood hotspot around 9 p.m.
Absolut Vodka, cucumber juice, fresh ginger, key lime juice and sugar – on tap ($12)
Matilda Wong – 300 East
Good date night spot in the heart of Dilworth.
Gin, rum, triple sec, wild berry brandy, citrus juice all in a secret special mix ($12)
Poison Ivy – Ink N Ivy
Get ready to party at Uptown’s Ink N Ivy, it’s slammed and rocking during peak hours.
Ketel One Citroen, pink lemonade, lemon wedges, basil and house-made ginger simple syrup ($9)
Goat’s Breast Milk – Kid Cashew
Dilworth restaurant with a beautiful patio and open kitchen.
Ouzo, ameretto, honey, fresh lemon and mint ($9 glass, $33 for a carafe)
Ballantyne – 204 North
Welcome addition to the Uptown craft cocktail scene.
Gin, elderflower liqueur, strawberries and fresh mint ($12)
Stoke Fashioned – Stoke
Restaurant with a gorgeous bar located in the recently renovated Uptown Marriott.
High West Double Rye with orange bitters and torched angostura ($12)
Legends of the Fall – Dogwood Southern Table
Fancy white tablecloth restaurant in SouthPark with a welcoming bar known for high quality cocktails.
Ceylon cinnamon bark smoked glass, rye whiskey, spiced simple syrup, house bitters, orange zest ($15)
Roman Punch – Punch Room
Unique experience on the 15th floor of the Ritz in Uptown.
Brandy, dark rum, lemon, raspberry syrup, splash of port, topped with prosecco ($35/65/95)
Imperial Old Fashion – The Imperial
Understated Uptown rooftop bar with serious cocktails.
Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Angostura bitters, Agave Simple Syrup, orange oil extract, ice sphere with orange peel and hickory smoked ($12)
Blueberry Smash – Summit Room
Grab a rocking chair and sit outside at this cool Dilworth restaurant and bar that’s emerged as a serious contender for best cocktails in the city.
Tito’s Vodka, fresh squeezed lemon sour, fresh squeezed lime sour, muddled blueberries ($12)
Tea Party – Good Food on Montford
A mainstay top-5 restaurant in Charlotte that never gets full credit for their cocktails because their small plates are so damn tasty.
Rum, orange spice chai tea, pineapple juice, elderflower, lime sparkling wine ($12)
The Bakersfield Margarita – Bakersfield
Perfect casual date spot in Dilworth with a young vibe.
El Jimador Blanco, triple sec, agave nectar, fresh lemon/lime ($8 or $32 for a 64oz pitcher)
Happy Go Lucky Champagne Punch – Haberdish
Located in NoDa, this Southern restaurant and bar is the hottest new concept in the city.
Champagne, Covington vodka, citadel gin, lime juice, cold infused grapefruit-blood orange tea syrup ($11/22/45)
Broken Spoke – Broken Spoke
Classy distillery and bar in LoSo.
Rúa American single malt, Benedictine sweet liqueur sweet, Montenegro Italian digestif ($12)
The East Village – The Cellar at Duckworth’s
Speakeasy vibes underneath Duckworth’s in Uptown.
Manhattan-inspired cocktail with bourbon and Amaros, topped with caramelized Orange Oils. ($14)
Subterranean Spritz – Hello Sailor
A retro vibe with lake views from the minds behind Kindred.
Vodka, smashed pineapple, falernum, agave, key lime and lime La Croix ($10).
Soccer Mom Special – Rosemont
The newest venture from Bottle Cap Group features a quirky cocktail menu perfect for South End.
An adult-style Capri Sun in a plastic sippy pouch ($6). Peach Ring (Bird Dog Peach Whiskey, orange juice, sour mix and grenadine) and Transfusion (vodka, grape juice and sprite) flavors available.
Matador – Superica
Trendy new Tex-Mex spot in South End’s Design Center.
El Jimador Blanco, pineapple, lime and cilantro, served up ($10).
Down in Mexico – The Suffolk Punch
Coffee shop, restaurant, brewery and fermentation lab – all under one roof, situated on the Rail Trail.
Reposado tequila, ruby red grapefruit, rosemary and lime ($9).
M&T Ol’ Fashion – Merchant & Trade
Gorgeous rooftop bar situated atop the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel with views of the skyline and Romare Bearden Park.
Henry McKenna Single Barrel, Trinity Bitters and Orange Bitters ($13).
Uncle Eddy – Zeppelin
South End’s only true cocktail bar, with nods to history scattered throughout.
Waygu fat washed bourbon, slow ginger syrup, buckspice bitters, king cube, candied ginger, cold smoked ($16).
The Gincident – The Stanley
Farm-driven menu from James Beard Award Semifinalist chef Paul Verica, the mind behind the now-shuttered Heritage.
Sutler’s Gin, peach, basil, rosemary and lemon ($13).