“Mixology” is the art of mixed drinks, and it is an art form in true Renaissance in Baltimore. Baltimore is renowned for its thriving bar and night-life scene, but there are some places that stand out for the pride they take in the drinks they serve up. Come experience a palette of flavors and sensations at some of these exciting destinations across the Baltimore area, served up by some of the most experienced of mixologists, who aren’t just good at what they do – they love doing it.
Bookmakers Cocktail Club
31 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(443) 438-4039

Located in the heart of Federal Hill, Bookmakers tries to foster an earthy, traditional feel. The bar is set up to feel more intimate and private – like a cocktail lounge might have looked in the early 20th century, and they specifically use classic tools of the mixology trade which make the patron feel as if they are about to savor some old world recipe rather than something flashy and modern. The “beverage director,” Ryan Sparks, aims for a compromise in the feel and the flavor, stating that his recipes are “modern takes on the classics.”

W.C. Harlan
400 West 23rd St.
Baltimore, MD 21211
(301) 848-2849

W.C. Harlan is the closest thing you will find to a 1920’s Speakeasy around the corner. Not only is it tastefully styled in period decor; but it has the discrete entrance, the intimate feel, and the low-profile, under-the-radar, word-of-mouth reputation which makes it a favorite of the in-the-know crowd. As one might expect from such a place, the drinks are well worth scouting out. Served in antique glassware, all of the cocktails are hand-crafted and made from fresh ingredients. They serve the classics and a drink of the day, but the bartenders are friendly, and will serve up requests. The drinks go well with the cheese plate (the only food you’ll find inside). Come check them out. If you’re lucky, you might catch some live music.

807 S. Broadway
Fells Point, MD 21231
(443) 438-3296

Rye, in the historic Fells Point area, has a name which really spells out their philosophy. Hailing the famed libation which forms the base of such classics as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned, Rye (the restaurant) celebrates Rye whiskey for the preeminent distilled whiskey of Maryland since before the prohibition. With this in mind, Rye sets an eye to bringing the best in cocktails and mixed drinks to the thirsty public. The bar has an old-fashioned, country feel to it; but their bartenders are some of the most experienced and informed in the business. So informed, in fact, that they offer classes in Mixology to anyone interested in attending, one Sunday each month. But if you’re less interested in learning, and more interested in drinking, the knowledge the bartenders have still works in your favor, as the drinks they offer are mined from some of the best the past has to offer with some new blended in. A lot of the drinks are pretty stiff, but you can get some sweet, mild, dry or whatever your tastes might be that night. The menu has whatever is right.

Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Baltimore

Bad Decisions
1928 Fleet St.
Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 979-5161

Bad Decisions is a bar which flirts with the less than savory behavior of the un-sober-minded. After all, they are there to sell drinks, right? But the quality of the drinks is well worth the bad decisions they may bring on down the road, as the bartenders really play with their recipes to create some original flavors that you’ll be glad to try out. The bartenders aren’t just skilled mixologists, they’re also customer friendly, learning your name and chatting with you, just like a neighborhood bartender ought to do. The ambiance feels like a classic bar – it strives to be cozy, but doesn’t come off as a dive. Creative drinks are the real draw, here.

Fork And Wrench
2322 Boston St.
Baltimore, MD 21224
(443) 759-9360

Try not to get overwhelmed at the size – the size of the space, the size of the cocktail menu, and during the right time of the week, the size of the crowd. But in this tasteful and tasty bar and restaurant, it’s hard to blame the crowds for wanting to flock there to grab a seat at the bar and start perusing the sizable selection of mixed drinks for themselves. Join in the fun for yourself, and come back often to try the new and seasonal items.

Related: Best Cocktail Happy Hours In Baltimore

Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.