From interactive media exhibitions to premieres of box office hits, South by Southwest brings an impressive lineup of tech events, films, and music to Austin, Texas every March. This multimedia event, which includes Interactive Events from March 11th–15th (featuring President Barack Obama as a keynote speaker!), Film Events from March 11th–19th, and Music Events from March 15th–20th, takes over Austin nightlife, and draws thousands of people from all over the world.
Whether you’re exploring Sixth Street’s debauchery or looking for a Texas cold brew, there’re plenty of boozy options to try. While you’re wandering the streets of Austin, you’ll probably find yourself at one of these local favorites:
1. Péché—Tucked away in the Warehouse District, Péché is Austin’s first absinthe bar. Sip on a pre-prohibition era cocktail and enjoy the classic style of this popular eatery. The “French 75” might be their most popular drink, but be sure to taste their “Fig Manhattan,” which owner Rob Pate describes as their most creative cocktail.
Photo by @annieraydotnet
2. Geraldine's— Enjoy a bat’s-eye view of Lady Bird Lake at Geraldine’s, located on the fourth floor of the Hotel Van Zandt. Order a “Ladybird” while you stare into Austin’s skyline or go “Deep in the Heart” with a Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka cocktail, distilled right in southern Austin.
3. The Roosevelt Room— With 53 craft cocktails offered, there's something for everyone at The Roosevelt Room. The cocktails are separated by the era they’re from and listed according to their abv. Try “The Poet’s Muse,” which is “Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Cocktail 2015.”
4. Revolution Spirits— Take a tour of the Revolution Spirits distillery and enjoy some of their award-winning, 100-proof Austin reserve gin. Learn more about gin as you taste all of their spirits, including their Cafecito coffee liqueur.
5. Container Bar— Wet your whiskers in a bar built out of stacked shipping containers. The Container Bar offers a variety of drinks, from draft beer to the classic Paloma tequila cocktail. Try an Austin-brewed (512) IPA or a Firemans #4 Blonde Ale while enjoying the beautiful Texas weather.
6. Blue Owl Brewing— While it’s still relatively new to the Austin scene, Blue Owl Brewing is the first brewery in the country dedicated to sour-mashing its beers. From their sour cherry stout, Professor Black, to their sour pale ale, Spirit Animal, Blue Owl Brewing will turn you into a sour-mash connoisseur.
7. Qui— While sipping away at Qui, you have to order the “tepache,” which was named the Official Drink of Austin in 2014. Made with Lone Star, a Texas-made beer, the tepache brings together sugar and spice to create a tasty cocktail.
8. The White Horse— When in Texas, you have to find yourself in a honky-tonk. Check out the whiskies they have on tap or try an Austin Eastcider Gold Top cider. Don’t forget to wear your cowboy boots!
Be sure to check out The Field Guide to Drinking in America by Niki Ganong on your way to the Lone Star state for a refresher on Texas’ drinking laws. Cheers!