Editor's note: In our original article, we incorrectly identified the head bartender at Qui. The piece has since been updated.
Just a few weeks after Draft Magazine named two of Austin's craft beer bars the best in the country, Southern Living has named three Austin cocktail joints the Best in the South.
Dirty Sixth's shining star Midnight Cowboy is up first, named No. 1 in the "Speakeasy" category. Southern Living editors suggest ordering a "Joe Buck, a twist on a Moscow Mule with blue corn whiskey instead of vodka." And this certainly isn't the first time this massage parlor turned cocktail lounge has been lauded for its craft cocktails: both The Guardian and Food & Wine have heralded it as one of the best in the United States.
Also garnering praise for its impressive cocktail menu is Contigo. In addition to having a power staff in the kitchen, this East Austin joint has some very big names behind the bar. Southern Living suggests sipping "the Vineagroon with tequila, mezcal, sage shrub, and a Herbsaint rinse." While we do love us some tequila, this time of year we're ordering an Old Fashioned and enjoying Contigo's cozy interiors.
And what would a list about the best things in Austin be without — wait for it — Qui. While Chef Paul Qui is no stranger to accolades, Qui's elite bar staff is stocked with industry vets and sommelier June Rodil has an impressive resume of her own. The staff's impressive bar menu is as dynamic as the dishes coming out of the kitchen. While Southern Living is ordering "the Saucy Jack with Laird’s Bonded AppleJack, Hamilton Jamaican Pot Still Black Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, dark maple syrup and bitters," we're excited to try all six of the new cocktails they added to the menu last week.