Cocktails dominate the bar scene, and for good reasons. They are fun, complex and when done right, intriguing. But the best cocktails start with the best spirits, and many would argue that the best spirit is Scotch whiskey: single malt, smooth and perfect for a night of Don Draper-like escapades. Pass by the bars with the galvanized beer tubs and slide into a leather booth at one of these old school Scotch bars for three fingers of the good stuff.
1 Village Whiskey
The name of Jose Garces' corner bar says it all, as do the mirror-backed shelves over the bar, teetering with the weight of more that 140 whiskeys. Scotch options are plentiful with nearly 50 to choose from, many getting up their in age. Order up your favorite, or opt for a mini flight of 1 ounce tastes to expand your Scotch schooling.
118 South 18th St.
Part restaurant, part absinthe lounge, part tap room and, yes, part whiskey bar: Time has multiple personalities but does them all surprisingly well. In the later category, the menu is well traveled, breaking the options down by locations and then type. Find a classic single malt Scotch from The Highlands, or a blend from somewhere a little more unusual, like Japan.
1315 Sansom St.
3 Mahogany on Walnut
The old school cigar bar stocks an impressive bar, because everyone knows that when there's a Cuban in your right, there should be a rocks glass in your left. With 110 whiskeys to choose from, there's no doubt you'll find your perfect stogie/Scotch pairing.
1524 Walnut St.
4 The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Company
If you think we are sending you to a bank for your beverage of choice, please join us from behind that rock and check out one of the city's most trendy drinking establishments. Themed as a Prohibition-era lounge, the drinks here are old timey (the return of the egg white!) and strong. Many a concoction starts with a heavy pour of Scotch, but don't be scared to order one of their premium options neat.
112 South 18th St.
5 Cooperage: A Wine & Whiskey Bar
Saddle up to the horseshoes shaped bar at this hidden spot (hint: the entrance is inside The Curtis Center) and enjoy one of the many Scotches available. The staff is always willing to give suggestions, or help you pair with their Southern-inspired menu. Single malt and sweet potato tots: match made in heaven.
661 Walnut St.