Anvil Bar & Refuge

1424 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006, USA

Craft cocktails have been a thing for a while now, and Anvil Bar & Refuge, opened in 2009, was one of the first places to put Houston’s mixology scene on the map. Specializing in drinks that use local ingredients and house-made syrups, Anvil is the place to go if you’re serious about your spirits. Cocktail options may include the First Name Basis (chamomile-infused Brugal Especial white rum, lemon, hibiscus, and strawberry), the Anvil Pousse-Cafe (a layered shot with Citadelle dry gin, Pimm’s No. 1, Aperol, lemon, and mint), and the on-tap Nitro Cuba Libre (Plantation Original Dark rum, Cruzan Black Strap rum, Mexican Coca-Cola, lactose sugar, and Angostura bitters). While you’re there, be sure to peruse Anvil’s famous list of 100 classic cocktails, which features everything from a Pimm’s Cup to a mai tai.

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Passing Deadline

For most devotees of cocktail culture in Texas, the Anvil Bar & Refuge, on the major Houston thoroughfare Westheimer Road, was where it all began—or at least, where the classic cocktail can claim reinvention and perfection, and where it continues its evolution. Opened in 2009, and led by young visionary, Bobby Heugel, the place boasts a menu of more than 100 temptations, plus a separate selection of house cocktails that are hard to pass up—Passing Deadline and El Berrinche, among them. The former, a bourbon and vermouth libation with a dash of assorted bitters and chocolate, took as its inspiration a Douglas Adams quote: “I love deadlines. I love the whooping noise they make as they go by.” Meanwhile, Berrinche (tequila, sapin liqueur, agave, kaffir leaf) means tantrum in Spanish. Enough said.

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