This story was originally published in December 2019; offerings and opening times may be different due to COVID-related restrictions, so check in advance of a visit.
Every tour at Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery ends in the bar, where guests are taught how to mix (and then enjoy) a whiskey cocktail. Even without the DIY experience, the drinks by themselves are worth a visit.
Michter’s consulted with cocktail historian David Wondrich for the “Classics” section of the menu, which features not just the Manhattan (in both bourbon and rye variations) and Boulevardier, but the Whiskey Fix, a refreshing combination of Michter’s US*1 bourbon, lemon juice, and raspberry-pomegranate syrup, and the Fort Nelson Crusta, a mix of bourbon, yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice, demerara and honey syrups, and creole bitters, served in a footed glass with a sugar-crusted rim. (You won’t find an Old Fashioned on the menu, but just ask and the bartenders will mix one up with your choice of Michter’s.)
The opposite side of the menu features “Modern Twists,” original creations designed by the bar’s staff. Options cover a wide range of cocktail styles, from the tiki-esque American Idle—which blends Michter’s US*1 American whiskey, peated scotch, sweet vermouth, passion fruit and demerara syrups, and lime juice—to Long Walks in the Rain, a clarified milk punch made with American whiskey, two types of rum, absinthe, chai, pineapple and lime juices, coriander, allspice, and milk. A few non-whiskey cocktails are also available.
The elegant second-floor space overlooks Main Street and offers a perfect view of the Louisville Slugger Museum’s giant baseball bat. With small touches like custom glassware, bar nibbles, and a robust ice program contributing to the cool-cat elegance of the space, you won’t be able to resist ordering a second round.
Must-Drink Cocktail: AM to PM, a black and white cookie–inspired drink mixing Michter’s US*1 bourbon, vermouth di Torino, coffee-infused chocolate liqueur, mezcal-infused cream, and black walnut bitters, topped with a sprinkling of espresso dust
Don’t Miss: The display of vintage Michter’s decanters downstairs in the gift shop