Bocado: Bartender David Durnell is one of the most recent additions to the Bocado team, and a fantastic addition he's proved to be. Cocktails are more fun, better prepared, and a lot more thoughtful. 887 Howell Mill Road. 404-815-1399.
Cakes & Ale: Bartender Corina Darold delivers thoughtful, seasonal drinks to match chef/owner Billy Allin's thoughtful, seasonal food. 155 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-377-7994.
Escorpion: The cocktails are perhaps the greatest achievement at Riccardo Ullio's new Midtown Mexican, where the offerings go way beyond margaritas. Cocktails here stretch tequila and mezcal to their creative ends, with winning results. 800 Peachtree St. 678-666-5198.
H. Harper Station: Owner and barkeep Jerry Slater brings us some of our favorite classic cocktails, as well as punch bowls and more creative endeavors. 904 Memorial Drive. 678-732-0415.
Holeman & Finch Public House: Atlanta's culinary cocktail powerhouse; the spark that ignited our current cocktail blaze. We hear the food's decent, too. 2277 Peachtree Road, Suite B. 404-948-1175.
The Iberian Pig: Expansive restaurant bar that earns its real estate with thoughtful drink-making. 121 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-371-8800.
JCT Kitchen: Lara Creasy delivers Southern-themed drinks that reflect the flavors of the region. 1198 Howell Mill Road, Suite 18. 404-355-2252.
Leon's Full Service: Headed by the über-talented Miles MacQuarrie, Leon's has become the gold standard in Decatur for creativity in cocktails. 131 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-687-0500.
Miller Union: One of the city's most grown-up-feeling bars, but not in a stuffy or fancy way. Drinks are simple, elegant, and thoughtful. 999 Brady Ave. 678-733-8550.
No. 246: Lara Creasy also heads up the bar here, but focuses more on classic flavors than at the more Southern-themed JCT. 129 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 678-399-8246.
Octane Grant Park: Simple, straightforward classic cocktails, made right. One of the most laid-back bars in town, in all the right ways. 437 Memorial Drive, Suite A5.
One Flew South: Located in the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, this serious bar is a serious godsend to the weary traveler. If you're lucky enough to find Tiffanie behind the bar, you'll get a serious dose of service as well. 6000 North Terminal Parkway. 404-209-8209.
Pura Vida: Paul Calvert has taken over behind the bar at this beloved tapas spot and brought all of the magic he created as opening bartender at the Sound Table. 656 N. Highland Ave. 404-870-9797.
Restaurant Eugene: The much quieter older brother of Holeman & Finch nonetheless has a cocktail program that's just as accomplished. 2277 Peachtree Road. 404-355-0321.
Sotto Sotto: As with the food, the drinks pay homage to rich Italian traditions. A better Negroni you will not find. 313 N. Highland Ave. 404-523-6678.
The Sound Table: After 10 p.m., this O4W establishment gets packed to the brim with the party crowd. But stop by before then for drinks from the long and diverse drink menu that focuses equal attention on craft and fun. 483 Edgewood Ave. 404-835-2534.
Top Flr: The back-to-back tiny bars that make up the two sides of Top Flr put out carefully crafted drinks in one of the most fun atmospheres in town. 674 Myrtle St. 404-685-3110.
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