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June 13, 2017

Where to drink bourbon in Philly

National Bourbon Day is celebrated in June

Food & Drink Bourbon
Bourbon at Barclay Prime Max Grudzinski/Barclay Prime

The Smoking Gun bourbon cocktail at Barclay Prime.

June 14 is National Bourbon Day. To celebrate the excuse to drink holiday, we've listed Philly's top spots to grab a bourbon cocktail or the spirit served neat.

First though, let's explain what makes bourbon different from rye or scotch.

Bourbon is a whiskey that’s distilled from corn. For a whiskey to be considered bourbon, the mash – the mixture of grains from which the product is distilled – must be at least 51 percent corn. 

Also, the mixture must be stored in charred oak barrels, nothing but water can be added and must be made in the United States of America. Fun fact: much of the bourbon we drink comes from Kentucky.

Now, on to the good stuff. Below are 14 local bars with the best bourbon selections.


The bar has an extensive list of bourbons and two speciality bourbon cocktails. The Kentucky Maid uses Jefferson’s Stateside Single Barrel Bourbon, mint, cucumber and lime, while the Brown Derby uses Bulleit Bourbon, grapefruit and honey.

1536 E. Passyunk Ave.

The Twisted Tail

This restaurant-bar features plenty of small batch bourbons and bourbon cocktails. Plus, on Wednesdays during happy hour from 5-7 p.m. all bourbons are 20 percent off.

509 S. Second St.

Barclay Prime

Sure, wine is a big thing at Barclay Prime, but bourbon is another drink that pairs perfectly with steak. Try the restaurant's Smoking Gun cocktail, which is made with Knob Creek Bourbon, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, smoked Vermont maple and Aztec chocolate bitters.

237 S. 18th St.

Fette Sau

This barbecue restaurant on Frankford Avenue features an extensive list of over 100 North American bourbons and whiskeys.

1208 Frankford Ave.

V Street

A vegan spot with two excellent bourbon cocktails. The Miles Davis in Byblos is made with bourbon, arak and mandarin, while the Lokum at the Bazaar is made with bourbon, jallab and Turkish coffee.

126 S. 19th St.

Ashton Cigar Bar

This place has more than cigars – like over 385 whiskeys. The bourbon list is long, so you're sure to find a variety you like.

1522 Walnut St.

Bank & Bourbon

Besides having an extensive list of bourbons and fancy bourbon cocktails, the restaurant-bar offers a bourbon flight. There's also a "Bourbon Master" in house to help serious bourbon drinkers.

1200 Market St.

Charlie was a Sinner.

It's a vegan spot known for creative cocktails. Go for the East of Eden with Bulleit Bourbon, tea-infused dolin blanc, lillet and fig or try the Bullseye with farro-infused Jim Beam Black, meletti amaro and absinthe.

131 S. 13th St.


It's got a speakeasy feel and specializes in bourbons and ryes.

229 S. 45th St.

Bourbon & Branch

Another spot with bourbon in the name that has plenty of options. Plus, Old Fashioned cocktails are $5 during happy hour.

705 N. Second St.


One of the whiskey bar's signiture cocktails is the Jack and Wendy, which is made with Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon, sweet vermouth, fresh lemon, apricot preserves and fresh sage. 

Other bourbon-based cocktails include the New York Sour, Frozen Mint Julep and Bourbon Sweet Tea.

529 E. Girard Ave.

The Franklin Bar

The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company was a front for America's largest alcohol running ring during prohibition. Now, The Franklin Bar still has a speakeasy feel and features inventive craft cocktails.

112 S. 18th St.

The Trestle Inn

Try a single barrel bourbon flight or a small batch bourbon flight. The Trestle Inn also features classic cocktails made with whiskeys and bourbons.

339 N. 11th St.

Village Whiskey

Opt for the Old Fashioned or the Commodore cocktail at this bar that specializes in speakeasy-style mixed drinks.

118 S. 20th St.