By Amanda Harper


Given that Kentucky is the state that birthed it, it’s no wonder that we’re all such fans of bourbon. Whether you like it neat or shaken up, you can find great bourbon all over Lexington. This month, we’re exploring five spots that have set out to shine the spotlight on “America’s Native Spirit” through distinctive bourbon selections or truly imaginative cocktails.


With an industrial-inspired interior that makes the most of the space’s historic brickwork and tile, Centro offers a chic space to slide in after work or between songs during Thursday Night Live. They offer a hefty list of bourbons including several rare pours, but their Bacon Old Fashioned is a true delight: it’s made with Knob Creek Smoked Maple bourbon, blood orange bitters and Luxardo cherries, served with house made candied bacon.

113 Cheapside | 859.368.7972 |

Prichard & Bail Cocktail Bar

Hartfield & Co. is a small batch distillery that was the first licensed distillery in Bourbon County since prohibition. Their cocktail bar, Prichard and Bail, offers a curated bar experience. Whitewashed brick walls, rustic wooden tables and a minimalist aesthetic makes it a cool spot to enjoy truly great spirits. They serve up cocktails that were carefully created to bring out the best in their product, as well as local beer and hand-selected wines.

108 East 4th Street in Paris, KY

Bluegrass Tavern

Consistently ranked among the best bars in the South, Bluegrass Tavern boasts one of the biggest bourbon menus anywhere, with hundreds of selections including rare bottles. The bartenders are all handy with a recommendation for bourbon explorers. Love cocktails? Regulars swear that Bluegrass Tavern’s Manhattan is one of the best around.

115 Cheapside |

Elkhorn Tavern

Located in the Pepper Campus, the interior makes the most of the industrial, rustic vibe of the area with natural wood accents and copper bar tops and ceilings. As the taproom for Barrel House Distilling, they offer house-made bourbon along with other spirits, beer and wine. Their Big Ass Mule is made with Big Ass Bourbon, ginger syrup, lime juice and ginger beer, served with lime.

1200 Manchester Street |

Bourbon on Rye

This prohibition-era style bar is a gorgeous, historic location with a 28-foot-long flamed mahogany bar from the 1880s. Stamped tin ceilings, mosaic tile floors and beautiful lighting fixtures make the space both chic and inviting. But it’s their vast selection of bourbons and artisanal cocktail ingredients that make this spot shine. The menu changes seasonally, offering guests something new every time they stop in.

115 West Main Street | 859.327.9505