By Amanda Harper


Whether you’re ringing in the New Year with a bang or enjoying a relaxed toast to the year gone by, Lexington’s cocktail scene is bursting at the seams with wonderful options to make your night truly magical. Here are five bars that put the focus on local, handcrafted drinks to make your spirits merry and bright!

Whiskey Bear

Located in The Barn at The Summit at Fritz Farm, Whiskey Bear is a neighborhood bar that treats every customer like family. Their Hot Toddy will warm you right up this winter with Benchmark Bourbon, lemon, honey and spices (you can also substitute Copper & Kings Floodwall Apple Brandy.) Their lengthy menu features bourbons, wines, beers, mocktails and a host of great spirits.

119 Marion, Ste. 170 • 859.368.8325 •

Elkhorn Tavern

A lounge and taproom in the heart of the Distillery District, Elkhorn Tavern’s interior makes use of the rustic location and historic theme, with natural wood accents and copper bar tops and ceilings. They serve craft cocktails made with Barrel House Distilling Co. spirits, which are made next door. They also feature a short menu of appetizers, dishes and desserts to make it an exciting evening.

1200 Manchester St. • 859.368.8122

West Main Crafting

This bar prides itself on creating inspired cocktails and curating a menu that’s both authentic and surprising. Their special cocktails rotate throughout the year, but their standards are anything but ordinary: their White Old Fashioned features Kentucky bourbon whiskey, gomme, acorn bitters and woodland essence for a taste of winter that’ll warm you to the core. Their Absinthe Service will make any evening feel like a special event.

135 W. Main St. • 859.618.6318 •

Carson’s Food & Drink

A rustic, yet refined concept with chef-driven recipes served up alongside prohibition-era cocktails, hand-selected wines and craft beers awaits at Carson’s. The Rosé Seelbach will feel festive: it features Hangar One Rosé Vodka with fresh lemon juice and strawberry purée, topped with LaMarca Prosecco and garnished with a mint leaf. Their extensive list of bourbons, wines, scotch, cognac, bottled beer and more will ensure that there’s a sip for everyone in your crew.

362 Main St. • 859.309.3039 •

Bourbon on Rye

With an intimate atmosphere that hearkens to a prohibition-era bar, Bourbon on Rye is a great spot for a cozy toast. The bartenders can make great recommendations from their bourbon selection, or choose a mixed drink made with house-made bitters, syrups and freshly-squeezed juices. Just be sure to pair it with their homemade beer cheese!

115 W. Main St. • 859.327.9505