The Ultimate Guide to the 10 Best Bars in St. Louis for a Perfect Whiskey Sour

St. Louis is a city that takes its whiskey seriously. Whether you’re a connoisseur or just enjoy a good whiskey sour, there are plenty of bars in St. Louis that will satisfy your cravings. From upscale lounges to dive bars, here are the top 10 bars in St. Louis to get a whiskey sour.

  • Blood & Sand: A members-only bar offering exceptional drinks and an upscale ambiance in the heart of downtown St Louis.
  • Small Batch: A whiskey-focused bar with a vintage charm and a rich selection of vegetarian dishes.
  • The Whiskey Ring: A neighborhood bar in Cherokee Street known for its wide range of whiskey and friendly atmosphere.
  • The Royale: A cultural hub that offers an impressive drink list and an outdoor patio, perfect for a relaxed evening.
  • Retreat Gastropub: A modern bar in Central West End featuring craft cocktails and a comforting menu, all in a contemporary setting.
  • Planter’s House: A historic Lafayette Square bar offering an array of expertly crafted cocktails and hosting cocktail classes.
  • The Silver Ballroom: A unique pinball arcade and dive bar combo offering straightforward cocktails and a fun atmosphere.
  • The Last Kitchen: Located in The Last Hotel, this stylish bar offers creative cocktails and a focus on local flavors.
  • Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar: A downtown destination boasting over 200 beers and an impressive wine list, paired with small plates and charcuterie.
  • Gamlin Whiskey House: A Central West End gem known for its extensive whiskey selection, unique Whisky Sour, and personalized Whiskey Sommelier Service.

Blood & Sand: A Whiskey Haven in St Louis

In the heart of downtown St Louis, lies a unique gem of the city’s nightlife, Blood & Sand. From the moment you step inside, the bar’s character is immediately palpable. Housed in an architecturally impressive, century-old building on St. Charles Street, the bar presents a charming blend of tradition and innovation, radiating the spirit of St Louis itself.

The first thing that captures your attention as you enter Blood & Sand is the ambient lighting. The soft glow of vintage Edison light bulbs illuminates dark wood and exposed brick, creating an atmosphere that’s both intimate and cozy. The long, gleaming wooden bar beckons patrons in, inviting them to perch on high-back stools and take in the impressive array of bottles adorning the wall. Jazz, a staple of St Louis, subtly wafts through the space, creating a vibe that’s both classic and modern.

One of the bar’s biggest draws, both literally and figuratively, is the whisky sour. Blood & Sand has put its unique spin on this classic cocktail, transforming it into a must-try delight for any whisky enthusiast. The foundation of the drink is, of course, a top-notch bourbon, providing a smooth, rich base for the other ingredients to play off of.

At Blood & Sand, the Whisky Sour is not just your ordinary mix of spirit, lemon juice, and sugar. They innovate with a house-made brown sugar simple syrup, which adds a depth and complexity to the drink, and the lemon juice is always freshly squeezed, ensuring a vibrant acidity that balances the sweetness of the bourbon and sugar. However, the real twist comes with the addition of a red wine float on top, creating a visually striking layer and adding a hint of dry fruitiness that further complements the whisky.

Beyond their standout Whisky Sour, Blood & Sand boasts an extensive and meticulously curated selection of spirits and wines. Cocktails are crafted with flair and precision, each one a testament to the creativity and expertise of the bar staff. The bar’s eponymous cocktail, “Blood & Sand,” named after the 1922 silent film, is a Scotch-based blend featuring Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, and orange juice, offering an enticing mix of flavors that are simultaneously robust and refreshing.

Furthermore, Blood & Sand offers a unique membership program, adding a distinct sense of community and exclusivity. Members enjoy an array of benefits including priority reservations and access to exclusive tastings. But rest assured, non-members are also warmly welcome to enjoy the array of libations on offer.

In sum, Blood & Sand is more than a bar; it’s an experience. It’s a place where the love for whisky is palpable, the atmosphere is inviting, and the art of cocktail making is honored and celebrated. A visit to St Louis isn’t complete without a nightcap at Blood & Sand, sipping their signature Whisky Sour amidst the rich, warm glow of the bar.

Small Batch: A Whiskey Bar with Character in St Louis

In the vibrant Midtown district of St Louis, you will find a distinctive bar called Small Batch. As you might deduce from the name, this locale specializes in craft spirits, particularly whisk(e)y, and takes a unique approach to cocktail-making that sets it apart from the rest.

Situated in an elegantly refurbished historic building on Locust Street, Small Batch seamlessly integrates its past with the present. The interior has been thoughtfully designed with a balance of chic industrial elements and refined vintage aesthetics. Exposed brick walls and high ceilings create an airy atmosphere, while leather seats, dark wooden tables, and a glowing bar offer a rich warmth that beckons guests to relax and imbibe.

Aptly named, Small Batch is renowned for its extensive selection of small-batch whisk(e)y, carefully sourced from local distilleries and international labels alike. However, it’s the inventive cocktails that truly underscore the bar’s ethos of quality and craftsmanship, and their Whisky Sour is no exception.

The Whisky Sour at Small Batch is a blend of tradition and innovation, maintaining the essence of the classic recipe while adding an unforgettable twist. The spirit, often a small-batch bourbon, forms the core of the cocktail, imparting its distinct character and richness. The cocktail is mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a simple syrup, providing a counterpoint of refreshing acidity and sweetness. But the magic lies in the unique addition of a touch of apple cider, a nod to the state’s apple heritage. This surprising element brings a fruity, slightly tart complexity that enhances the overall balance of the cocktail.

Finished with a cherry and a slice of apple as garnish, and served over hand-chipped ice, their Whisky Sour is not just a drink, but a visual and taste experience that tells a story of craftsmanship and creativity.

Beyond their superb Whisky Sour, Small Batch’s cocktail list is a treasure trove for drink enthusiasts. From the vibrant ‘Bourbon Daisy,’ a refreshing blend of bourbon, lemon, grenadine, and soda, to the ‘Locust Manhattan,’ a sophisticated fusion of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and angostura bitters, each cocktail is crafted with precision and passion.

One of Small Batch’s unique features is its commitment to vegetarian cuisine. The food menu is wholly vegetarian, with vegan and gluten-free options, offering a distinct pairing for the robust drink selection.

In short, Small Batch is a place where every detail is intentional, every element curated with care. It is a testament to St. Louis’s blossoming craft spirit scene and a must-visit for anyone who appreciates the refined art of cocktail creation, unique food pairings, and an atmosphere steeped in history and character.

The Whiskey Ring: A Celebration of Whiskey in St Louis

Nestled in the heart of the Cherokee Street arts district of St Louis, The Whiskey Ring stands as an homage to the city’s storied past while embracing the vibrancy of its present. This popular watering hole brings together whiskey aficionados and novices alike, offering an impressive selection of spirits and a welcoming atmosphere that is unmistakably St. Louis.

The Whiskey Ring’s location is as much a part of its charm as its drinks. The Cherokee Street district is known for its eclectic blend of old and new, and the bar mirrors this spirit perfectly. Exposed brick walls are adorned with vintage photos and art pieces from local artists, while a warmly lit wooden bar spans the length of the interior. The vibe is casual yet energetic, making it an ideal spot for a laid-back evening with friends or a spontaneous night out.

The Whiskey Ring’s take on the classic Whisky Sour is something to behold. Here, it’s not just a cocktail; it’s an experience. Their whisky of choice is usually a well-balanced bourbon, which forms the base for the sweet and sour symphony to come. Fresh lemon juice and a house-made simple syrup are the usual companions, but The Whiskey Ring does not stop there. They set their Whisky Sour apart with the addition of a fragrant rosemary-infused simple syrup, adding an aromatic dimension to the cocktail that harmonizes beautifully with the richness of the bourbon.

Each Whisky Sour is crowned with a float of red wine, just like the New York Sour style, providing not only an attractive presentation but also an added layer of complexity. This cocktail is a delightful balance of sweet, sour, and herbaceous flavors that continually unfolds as you enjoy it.

While the Whisky Sour stands out, The Whiskey Ring boasts an extensive selection of over 200 whisk(e)y varieties from around the world, catering to the tastes of all whiskey lovers. Their other cocktails are just as impressive, with creations like the ‘Cherokee Street Old Fashioned,’ a delightful medley of bourbon, bitters, and orange essence that brings a refreshing twist to the traditional recipe.

One unique feature of The Whiskey Ring is their Whiskey 101 classes. These educational sessions are a treat for patrons wanting to learn more about whiskey, its production, and how to appreciate it. From tasting notes to pairing suggestions, the classes offer an in-depth understanding of this beloved spirit.

In summary, The Whiskey Ring is not just a bar—it’s a testament to the love of whiskey. From the carefully crafted Whisky Sour to the range of spirits on the shelves and the inviting ambiance, it’s a place that invites you to stay, enjoy, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of St Louis.

The Royale: An Iconic Bar in the Heart of St Louis

The Royale, located in the bustling South Grand district of St Louis, has long been an integral part of the city’s nightlife. The moment you step through its doors, you’re enveloped in a warm and inviting ambiance that blends the nostalgic charm of an old-school tavern with the buzz of a contemporary cocktail lounge.

Housed in a beautiful historic building, The Royale sports a unique aesthetic that is both eclectic and sophisticated. With its tin ceiling, globe lighting, vintage art, and an impressive mahogany bar, the place evokes a sense of timelessness. An inviting patio out back adds to the allure, offering a serene outdoor oasis amidst the urban landscape. This is a place where everyone is welcome, a place where you can indulge in a drink and great conversation.

The Whisky Sour at The Royale is the embodiment of the bar’s commitment to delivering classics with a twist. Crafted with bourbon as the base, the drink is a smooth mix of sweet and sour. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup form the traditional counterparts, balancing the warmth of the whiskey with a citrusy zing.

However, The Royale takes it up a notch with the addition of a unique ingredient – ginger-infused simple syrup. This gives the Whisky Sour a spicy kick that sets it apart. The drink is rounded off with a touch of egg white for a creamy mouthfeel and a frothy top, garnished with a cherry and a dash of bitters. Served in an old-fashioned glass, this Whisky Sour is a multi-sensory delight, as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Aside from their Whisky Sour, The Royale offers an extensive and well-rounded drink menu. Standout cocktails include ‘The Southsider,’ a gin-based cocktail infused with lime and mint that pays homage to the neighborhood, and ‘The Royale Cup,’ a refreshing blend of Pimm’s, gin, and lemon soda. Their rotating beer list, highlighting local breweries, and a well-curated wine selection further accentuate the bar’s commitment to variety and quality.

A unique feature of The Royale is its dedication to community engagement. The bar regularly hosts community events, political discussions, and even screen films, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie that extends beyond the bar.

In summary, The Royale is more than just a place to grab a drink. It’s a community hub, an emblem of the South Grand district, and a destination for those seeking a top-tier cocktail experience. Whether you’re a Whisky Sour aficionado or a craft cocktail enthusiast, The Royale promises an experience that’s distinctly St Louis.

Retreat Gastropub: A Cozy Corner of Cocktail Craftsmanship in St Louis

Positioned in the lively Central West End neighborhood of St Louis, Retreat Gastropub is a sanctuary for those seeking a fusion of inventive drinks, comfort food, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. With its modern, rustic decor and an emphasis on innovative, crafted beverages, Retreat Gastropub offers a unique take on the traditional bar experience.

Retreat Gastropub’s ambience is a study in cozy, chic sophistication. The combination of dark wood, ambient lighting, and locally sourced artwork creates a comfortable, inviting space that resonates with both the casual after-work crowd and the more discerning drink enthusiast. Outdoor seating on the patio adds to the appeal, providing a relaxing retreat in the heart of the city.

Their Whisky Sour represents the essence of Retreat Gastropub’s approach to drinks – classic with a creative spin. It all starts with their selection of a high-quality bourbon, chosen for its robust and smooth character that forms the heart of the cocktail. The traditional lemon juice and simple syrup are there, delivering the signature sweet and tangy flavors of a classic Whisky Sour.

Where Retreat Gastropub stands out is their inspired addition of a house-made spiced pear syrup. This addition brings an autumnal feel to the drink, offering a hint of sweet fruitiness that harmoniously blends with the whiskey’s complexity. Topped with a dash of Angostura bitters and a luxuriant layer of egg white foam, the cocktail is finished with a sprig of fresh thyme for an aromatic garnish. This Whisky Sour is not just a cocktail; it’s an exploration of flavors that dance together in a delightful symphony.

Beyond their exceptional Whisky Sour, Retreat Gastropub’s drink menu extends to a diverse range of meticulously crafted cocktails, as well as a wide selection of beers and wines. One must-try is their signature ‘Retreat Old Fashioned,’ a blend of rye, maple syrup, and bitters that offers a sweet and spicy twist on the traditional old fashioned.

One of the features that set Retreat Gastropub apart is their dedication to providing an exemplary culinary experience alongside their beverage offerings. The food menu, like the drink list, is a playful take on comfort food, with an emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

In conclusion, Retreat Gastropub is a haven for those seeking an elevated drinking and dining experience in a comfortable and welcoming environment. Whether you’re in the mood for an exceptional Whisky Sour or just looking for a cozy spot to retreat from the city’s hustle, this gastropub delivers on all counts.

Planter’s House: A Historic Cocktail Haven in St Louis

Located in the vibrant Lafayette Square neighborhood, Planter’s House is a bar steeped in St Louis’ history and tradition. With its name paying homage to the iconic Planter’s Hotel that was renowned for its cocktails in the 19th century, the bar continues this legacy by serving some of the city’s finest and most creative drinks.

Planter’s House is set in a beautifully restored historic building, adding to its charm. The ambiance is an elegant blend of classic and contemporary, with rich wood accents, vintage-inspired wallpaper, and a well-appointed bar. The atmosphere is simultaneously sophisticated and welcoming, and the dim, warm lighting lends a sense of cozy intimacy.

When it comes to their Whisky Sour, Planter’s House ensures a top-tier cocktail experience. The whiskey, usually a premium-quality bourbon, is carefully selected for its depth and smoothness. The classic ingredients, freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup, are mixed in to provide the customary tartness and sweetness. But at Planter’s House, the Whisky Sour takes a delightful twist.

Their secret is the addition of an Earl Grey-infused simple syrup, lending a subtle, aromatic citrusy undertone to the cocktail, evoking hints of bergamot. The mixture is then shaken with an egg white to create a frothy, velvety texture that’s garnished with a few dashes of bitters and a cherry. Served in a lowball glass, their Whisky Sour is not only a delicious blend of flavors, but it’s also a testament to their commitment to innovative cocktail craftsmanship.

Beyond the Whisky Sour, Planter’s House boasts a variety of other fantastic cocktails, each thoughtfully created. A fan favorite is the ‘Tom and Jerry,’ a winter classic featuring a warm, spiced mixture of brandy and rum. The bar also offers a selection of excellent wines and beers, ensuring there’s something to please every palate.

Notably, Planter’s House hosts cocktail classes, which give patrons a chance to learn more about the art of mixology from their expert bartenders. These interactive sessions offer a deeper understanding of cocktail history, spirits, and the techniques involved in crafting the perfect drink.

In essence, Planter’s House is more than just a bar – it’s a journey into St Louis’s rich cocktail history. Whether you’re enjoying their inventive Whisky Sour or soaking in the ambiance of the historically inspired setting, a visit to Planter’s House is an experience to savor.

The Silver Ballroom: A Pinball Wizard’s Dream in St Louis

Situated in the culturally diverse Bevo Mill neighborhood of St Louis, The Silver Ballroom stands as a truly unique drinking destination. It brilliantly combines the excitement of a vintage pinball arcade with the inviting atmosphere of a local dive bar, making it a must-visit for pinball enthusiasts and cocktail lovers alike.

The ambiance inside The Silver Ballroom is a delightful blend of nostalgic fun and laid-back charm. The dim, neon-lit interior, punk rock memorabilia lining the walls, and the sound of clinking glasses blend harmoniously with the mechanical chatter of pinball machines, creating an environment that is both engaging and relaxing. With over 20 pinball machines, this is a bar where you can truly indulge your competitive streak while enjoying a quality beverage.

Their Whisky Sour stays true to the bar’s unpretentious vibe. The Silver Ballroom favors a classic, no-nonsense approach to this popular cocktail. A smooth bourbon forms the foundation of the drink, with the traditional mix of fresh lemon juice and simple syrup providing the sour-sweet balance. The drink is shaken until chilled and served neat, in a classic rock glass, garnished with a cherry and an orange slice for a touch of fruitiness. The result is a Whisky Sour that’s refreshingly straightforward and satisfying.

While their Whisky Sour is a timeless choice, The Silver Ballroom also offers a variety of other drinks to suit all tastes. Their diverse beer selection, which includes numerous local brews, is a crowd-pleaser. The bar’s signature cocktail, ‘The Pinball Wizard,’ a delicious blend of vodka, lemon-lime soda, and a splash of blue curaçao, is also a hit, living up to its name with its bright, playful color and refreshing taste.

However, what sets The Silver Ballroom apart from other bars in St Louis is its commitment to celebrating the timeless joy of pinball. The bar regularly hosts pinball leagues and tournaments, making it a hub for the local pinball community. It’s not just a bar; it’s a venue that celebrates the intersection of drink and play in a way that few others do.

In summary, The Silver Ballroom provides a unique, exciting twist to the traditional bar scene in St Louis. Whether you’re a pinball wizard, a lover of classic cocktails, or just someone seeking a fun, relaxed night out, The Silver Ballroom promises an experience like no other.

The Last Kitchen: A Feast of Flavor and Style in St Louis

Perched in the heart of downtown St Louis within The Last Hotel, The Last Kitchen is a bar that truly celebrates the spirit of the city. This stylish destination offers an ambiance that seamlessly blends casual comfort with upscale sophistication, making it a perfect retreat for both travelers and locals alike.

The Last Kitchen’s setting is an homage to the building’s historic past as a shoe factory, boasting stunning design elements that incorporate exposed brick, large windows, and sleek, modern furnishings. The open, airy space coupled with the warm, inviting décor creates a pleasing atmosphere that perfectly complements the innovative food and drink menu.

Their Whisky Sour embodies The Last Kitchen’s dedication to creativity and quality. The drink starts with a base of high-quality bourbon, providing the smooth, full-bodied taste that makes a classic Whisky Sour so satisfying. The sweetness of the simple syrup and tartness of the fresh lemon juice are meticulously balanced to complement the bourbon’s rich flavor.

What sets The Last Kitchen’s Whisky Sour apart is the addition of a house-made lavender syrup. This unique ingredient lends a subtle floral note to the drink, introducing a surprising and delightful twist to the traditional Whisky Sour. The cocktail is shaken until perfectly chilled, and served over ice in a rocks glass, garnished with a lemon wheel and a sprig of fresh lavender for an elegant finish.

Aside from their exceptional Whisky Sour, The Last Kitchen also features a wide array of other crafted cocktails, each with their own distinctive flair. A standout is the ‘Garden Mule,’ a refreshing concoction of vodka, lime, ginger beer, and a house-made garden syrup.

One of The Last Kitchen’s defining features is its commitment to showcasing local flavors. The bar emphasizes locally sourced ingredients in its drinks and offers an array of locally brewed beers and regionally produced wines. Additionally, the bar’s location within The Last Hotel allows patrons to enjoy the hotel’s rooftop, offering stunning views of downtown St Louis.

In summary, The Last Kitchen offers a refined, yet approachable bar experience in the heart of St Louis. Whether you’re savoring their unique take on the Whisky Sour, exploring their diverse drink menu, or simply soaking up the stylish ambiance, a visit to The Last Kitchen is a memorable culinary journey.

Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar: St Louis’ Premier Destination for Beer and Wine Lovers

Located in the bustling downtown district of St Louis, Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar offers a welcoming haven for those who appreciate a meticulously curated beverage menu. With its focus on craft beers and an extensive selection of wines, Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar is a testament to the art of drinking well.

The ambiance of the bar is an inviting mix of rustic charm and modern elegance. Exposed brick walls and dark wood create a warm, cozy atmosphere, while the beautifully arranged display of wine bottles and kegs behind the bar add a sophisticated touch. Whether you choose to sit at the elegant bar, the cozy booths, or the comfortable outdoor patio, the setting is perfect for unwinding with a drink in hand.

While Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar primarily focuses on beer and wine, their Whisky Sour demonstrates their commitment to quality across all beverages. They start with a base of a high-quality bourbon, known for its robust, smooth character. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is added for its sharp, refreshing tang, balanced by the sweetness of the simple syrup.

Their Whisky Sour embraces the classic rather than reinventing it. Served on the rocks in a lowball glass, it’s an example of how simplicity can still mean sophistication when the ingredients are of the highest quality. The cocktail is garnished with a cherry and an orange slice, adding a splash of color and a hint of additional flavor.

Beyond their Whisky Sour, the star of the show is undoubtedly the beer and wine selection. Boasting over 200 beers, ranging from local craft brews to international favorites, and an impressive wine list featuring selections from around the world, Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar offers something to satisfy every palate.

Another standout feature of Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar is their food menu, which offers a variety of small plates, charcuterie, and artisanal cheeses. The dishes are designed to pair beautifully with the drinks, enhancing the overall tasting experience.

To conclude, Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar represents a fusion of casual comfort and refined taste. Whether you’re a whisky enthusiast, a beer aficionado, or a wine lover, this bar promises an experience that caters to your palate. With its extensive selection, warm ambiance, and knowledgeable staff, Bridge Tap House and Wine Bar is truly a gem in St Louis’ drinking scene.

Gamlin Whiskey House: St Louis’ Destination for Whiskey Aficionados

Situated in the vibrant Central West End neighborhood of St Louis, Gamlin Whiskey House stands out as a distinguished destination for those with an appreciation for all things whiskey. With an extensive whiskey list and a passion for creating superb cocktails, this bar has earned its reputation as a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Upon entering Gamlin Whiskey House, patrons are greeted with a warm and inviting ambiance. The rustic design, rich leather seating, and a beautiful wooden bar set the stage for a classic yet comfortable whiskey experience. Whether you’re enjoying the cozy indoor seating or the lively patio, you’ll find this establishment offers the perfect setting for a leisurely drink or a social gathering.

The Whisky Sour at Gamlin Whiskey House is a true showcase of their expertise. Starting with a foundation of premium bourbon, the cocktail is carefully balanced with the tart freshness of lemon juice and the sweetness of simple syrup.

The unique touch comes with the addition of their house-infused citrus bourbon. This special ingredient adds a distinctive layer of complexity and richness, creating a Whisky Sour that is familiar yet pleasantly surprising. The cocktail is served over ice in a rocks glass and garnished with a slice of orange and a cherry, making it as visually appealing as it is flavorful.

While their Whisky Sour is a popular choice, Gamlin Whiskey House also offers a diverse range of other whiskey-based cocktails, and of course, an impressive selection of whiskies from around the world. Whether you’re a novice to whiskey or a seasoned connoisseur, their knowledgeable staff is ready to guide you through their extensive menu.

One notable feature of Gamlin Whiskey House is their Whiskey Sommelier Service. This personalized service, unique to Gamlin, allows guests to explore the world of whiskey with guidance from a whiskey expert. This ensures a tailored whiskey experience that is both educational and enjoyable.

In summary, Gamlin Whiskey House provides a well-rounded whiskey experience in a comfortable, inviting setting. Whether you’re savoring their unique take on the Whisky Sour, exploring their extensive whiskey list, or taking advantage of their Whiskey Sommelier Service, you’re in for a memorable experience. With its combination of quality drinks, knowledgeable staff, and a warm atmosphere, Gamlin Whiskey House truly is a gem in St Louis’ bar scene.

St. Louis is a city that takes its whiskey seriously, and there are plenty of bars in town that serve up some of the best whiskey sours you’ll ever taste. From speakeasies to dive bars, these 10 bars are a must-visit for any whiskey enthusiast. So grab your friends and head out for a night of sipping on delicious cocktails in St. Louis.