The happiest of holidays are those celebrated over holiday cocktails. Whether your holiday get together calls for post-dinner drinks with family and friends, cocktails with coworkers or a romantic night for two, the perfect seasonal concoction is one surefire way to make your holiday celebration one to remember. This holiday season, raise a glass and toast to these Pittsburgh bars serving the city’s best holiday cocktails.
Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brassiere
107 6th St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
When you think of holiday drinks, a warm buttered rum surely makes the list. If you want a strong rum-based cocktail done right, you must sample the hot buttered rum cocktail at Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brassiere. Deemed the best-of winner among the Great Bourbon Bars of America, Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brassiere has preserved this traditional winter recipe while adding its own special ingredients, including clove, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, brown sugar, salt, hot water, English butter and Sailor Jerry rum. This hot buttered rum is perfect for warming up on a cold evening as is the bar’s Braddock’s Revenge that delivers a spicy kick from a combination of Milagro tequila, cilantro, raspberry, cinnamon sugar, lime juice, Licor 43 and jalapeno. Braddock’s Pittsburgh Brassiere is located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.
25 Market Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Your holidays will be extra happy when you swing by Perlé’s happy hour, held every Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. Score super specials on the bar’s favorite seasonal cocktails, including its Cranberry Smash and Champagne Wonderland. These cocktails are an impressive taste of everything the season should encompass, featuring wintery fig flavors, orange bitters, muddled cranberries and brown sugar. If you’re not in the mood for a seasonal cocktail, Perlé also offers plenty of other delicious cocktails, champagne cocktails, sparkling wines, import beers, champagne and red/white wines. Celebrate the season at Perlé located in the city’s Market Square area.
5336 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
If you prefer a place where the drinks rival the food, Cure has you covered. From amaro to whiskey, Cure has a diverse and expansive selection of seasonal drinks to put you in the holiday spirit. Ask your bartender for a Yuletide-inspired julep cognac made from cherry brandy, lemon balm and mint or a cobbler oloroso that features smoked maple flavor and plum brandy. Perhaps you fancy a glass of wine, beer, rum or sherry; Cure has all of those and more on its drink menu. Cure is located in the Lawrenceville region of Pittsburgh.
James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy
422 Foreland St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Whether you want wine, cocktails, spirits, beer or ciders, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy has something to suit every drinker this holiday. This unique cocktail lounge keeps it simple with classic recipes that pay homage to prohibition era that, when sipped in its speakeasy section or authentic prohibition-style bar, practically takes you back in time. The atmosphere is fun, casual and perfect for enjoying an evening of live music following happy hour that features specials on martinis, wine, craft beer, local brews and appetizers. Visit James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy in Pittsburgh’s North Side.
200 Shiloh St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
There’s no view more breathtaking than that of the city from Mt. Washington, except if that view happens to be from the bottom of a cocktail glass from The Summit where holiday cocktails abound. Toast with a spiked cider made from apple cider, cinnamon, bourbon, butter and maple syrup for a warm and welcoming jump start to your holiday plans. The Summit’s pumpkin pie cocktail is also a heavenly treat thanks to a sweet and spicy combination of Licor 43, cinnamon, cream, spiced vodka and pumpkin. If a lighter gin-based drink is more your style, order the Autumn Smash, which blends gin, cynar, berentzen, allspice, citrus, pear and ginger into a delicious concoction. The Summit is located on Shiloh Street on Mt. Washington.
Jessica Wasik is a graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies. She is also a contributing writer for AXS.com and Examiner.com. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.