Next time you’re planning a night out with friends, skip your regular bar. Delaware’s stylish cocktail bars will transport you to another era. From chic speakeasies to cool bungalow-style bars, these cocktail joints promise a memorable night. Here are our favorites.
Focused on providing high-quality, approachable food and spirits, this relaxed, bungalow-style cocktail bar and eatery serves small plates, signature cocktails, and seafood dishes. Interestingly, the cocktail menu at the Fork changes with the seasons and offers drinks based on what is fresh and in season, like the Spring Fling and the Cucumber Gimlet.
For New England fine dining and cocktails, there is only one place to go if you are on The First State’s most famous island. You will get your choice of seafood straight from the docks, crab cakes, dry-aged steaks, or lamb, as well as selections from an impressive wine menu. Moreover, the staff and atmosphere are warm and friendly and standard and signature cocktails are available from the cocktail bar.
Fresh off a Best of Delaware Award, it doesn’t get much more authentic Italian in Delaware that V&M. Plus, although V&M has a fully stocked cocktail bar, there is really only one drink you need to know when you got there. Their famous Limoncello Ice Martini is a vodka martini mixed with house-made limoncello and topped with two scoops of homemade lemon ice.
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Established in 2016, this small cocktail bar quietly opened in the Powder Mill Square Shopping Center. One part speakeasy, one part razzle-dazzle, Copperhead offers traditional cocktails with a twist. Take the Old Fashioned, for instance—Murano cherries, Mexican brown sugar, smoked ice, and a puff of smoke from a dispensing gun hidden behind the bar. Surely this is a drink that draws crowds and speaks of an opulence of a gone by era.
Established in 2011, Painted Stave worked closely with The First State’s most well-known brewery and distiller, Dogfish Head Brewery to eventually become Delaware’s first stand-alone distillery in 2013. Painted Stave uses only the freshest local ingredients when possible to produce their own vodka, gin, rye, and bourbon whiskey. Plus, in the visitor’s room and lounge, you will find some of the best cocktails in the state using PSD’s spirits.
Merchant Bar is a self-proclaimed elevated gastropub that boasts a chef-driven menu featuring high-quality ingredients and hand-crafted, original cocktails. Perfect for both intimate dining or the casual drink, Merchant offers classic aperitifs like the Old Fashioned, the Moscow Mule, a Classic Margarita, as well as signature cocktails that include their house-made coffee-infused tequila or lemongrass vodka.
Featuring unique house-made cocktails, this traditional speakeasy will take you back in time to an era of elegance and sophistication, not to mention you need to be buzzed in. Located atop the Catherine Rooney building in Trolley Square, the drink list includes beer, wine, and cocktails, such as the Poolside Kiwi Splash and Not Your Son’s Chocolate Milk.
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