A great cocktail bar is difficult to find, even harder to create, and nearly impossible to define. From decor to guest list, the ephemeral elements that make up a fabulous night on the town are truly in the eyes of the beholder. Luckily for New Hampshirites, the Granite State boasts bars of every variety. Whether you like a high energy crowd or a more laid back, lounge atmosphere, the cocktail bars of New Hampshire are standing by and ready to pour.
At Codex, B.A.R. stands for books, antiquities, and rarities, but their craft cocktails are fairly spectacular as well. With both classic and inventive drinks, Codex walks the line between traditional and trendy in an expert fashion. If you’re as hungry as you are thirsty, the food menu is mostly comprised of fresh takes on expected dishes, like a burger with garlic-peppercorn aioli, and a bacon and eggs selection made up of fried pork belly and an over easy duck egg. Enjoy live, ragtime piano Friday and Saturday nights, and one of the coolest crowds in Nashua.
Whether you’re staying at the Omni Mt. Washington Resort at Bretton Woods, or simply make the Cave a very special destination, this Prohibition-era speakeasy is bound to blow your breath away. Enter through a glamorously spooky rock lined hallway, and bask in the vaulted brick ceilings, the likes of which they simply don’t make anymore. Generous, expert cocktails and live entertainment make the Cave a must-sip in the Granite State.
The folks at the Birch on Elm are like the foodies of cocktails—the boozies, if you will. Dedication to excellence, attention to detail, and a lighthearted attitude makes this the premier drinking destination in Manchester. Local ingredients are used to handcraft syrups and elixirs, and juice comes from fruit, never a carton. If you can tear yourself away from the bar, the tapas-style eats are equally exquisite.
With locations in Dover, Epping, and Portsmouth, Federal Cigar is a growing force on the New Hampshire cocktail scene, and with good reason. Craft cocktails, and an extensive beer collection, alongside some of the best quality cigars imaginable. Whether you’re a cigar aficionado, or just looking to give them a try, the warm and welcoming staff at Federal Cigar are as expert as they are engaging.
Though billed more as a restaurant than a cocktail bar per se, Moxy goes above and beyond the typical meal side mixology. With a cocktail section entitled “test kitchen,” rules are forgotten and cutting edge drinks presented, with unusual ingredients ranging from fungi to fig jam to birch salt. Feeling entirely adventurous? Order up the “Ultimate Test Kitchen Experience,” in which a bartender will create something entirely bespoke, based on your favorite flavors or mood. If you’re looking for something to snack on, you simply must try the caramelized ricotta or deep fried feta.
Another flawless spot to integrate your smokes and your sips is Twins Smoke Shop. With locations in Londonderry and Hooksett, this incredibly sleek spot is a laid back way to find much needed solitude, or spend time bonding with your buddies. Whether you’re after craft beer on tap, or a quality cocktail, Twins Smoke Shop pours out perfection time after time.
With 50 available martinis, Jocelyn’s would be worth a try even without the rest of the drink (or even food!) menu. If you do crave more, this Salem location serves up a Mediterranean menu with ample selection for both lunch and dinner.
Cotton’s cocktail selection is borderline breathtaking, featuring winners like a blueberry basil mojito, and even a sampler of three different martinis. Add in a beautiful, sparkling bar complete with fairy lights and miniature disco balls, and you’ve got an Instagram-worthy night on the town!