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Bullfight's cocktails
Bullfight's cocktails
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Where to Find Fortified Wines and Herbal Liqueurs in Austin

Vermouth, sherry, and aperitifs.

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Bullfight's cocktails
| Bullfight/Facebook
Cocktail Week eyebrow

In American cocktail culture, fortified wines and liqueurs are commonly regarded as ingredients that add oomph to beverages. The spirit is usually still the star, while amari or chartreuse is a supportive actor at best. How times have changed. Apéritifs, digestifs, and sherries of French, Italian, and Spanish origins are now taking the center stage at bars and restaurants across Austin. For palates that crave the bitter, vegetal, and botanical complexities, these bars showcase these dubious sippers as is, or mixed into cocktails without masking its distinctness.

— Melody Fury

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bullfight

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This newish tapas restaurant holds its own under the Parkside Projects brand, especially for its focused fortified wine list. Sherries and vermouth ranging from bone dry to sweet, pair perfectly with the aged jamon and small plates. The liqueurs also reign in cocktails such as the Cortés (Lustau cream Sherry, Acha vermut, orange bitters).

Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Longstanding pre-prohibition style bar and eatery is well regarded for its absinthe service, boasting over 16 bottles on the shelf. What's more, a section of their cocktail menu is dedicated specifically to chartreuse and absinthe, for those that are fond of its herbal nature.

The Townsend

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This handsome new bar utilizes the prowess of bitterness craftily by grounding the drinks with bold ingredients like Bigallet Amer (a bitter orange liqueur infused with anise, gentian, cinchona, clove), Cynar (artichoke bitter liqueur), and Cardamaro (a bittersweet liqueur made with cardoon, blessed thistle, and more).

Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

Bar Congress

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Behind these heavy curtains, the bar is not shy to liven the spirit-forward drinks with lesser-seen elements like Marolo Chamomile Grappa (technically a grape-based liquor), Manzanilla Pasada Sherry, and Lyle’s Amaro Abano. The Shift Shots, served neat or on the rocks, are composed entirely of spirits, bitters, and amaro. The Room #1868 (Averna Amaro, Suze Gentain, Orange Oil) should settle any stomach.

NO VA Kitchen & Bar

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This gleaming bar houses an impressive variety of booze, period. The bar menu is divided by the spirit, with entire sections focused on aperitifs and digéstifs. The staff will recommend the classics, Americano (Campari, Vermouth Carpano Antica, orange, seltzer) and Rosabel (Vermouth Carpano Antica, creme de cassis, lemon, prosecco), to start off any meal.

Gelateria Gemelli

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What pairs seamlessly with organic, small batch gelato? If a Negroni or Aperol Spritz pops into mind, you're in luck. This boutique gelateria showcases a list of amaros and cocktails to balance the bitter with the sweet. If you answered coffee, well, they got that too.

Olive & June

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In terms of having the most variety of all things fortified-herbal-bitter-sweet, this beloved Italian eatery may take the lead. Besides having a diverse collection, it also utilizes the liqueurs creatively in cocktails like Gianni (Johnnie Walker Black scotch, Dimmi Liquore di Milano, grapefruit) and Little Italy (Bulleit whiskey, Carpano Antica, Nonino Quintessentia, bitters). Best of all, cocktails are half-off during happy hour.

Bullfight

Robert J. Lerma/EATX

This newish tapas restaurant holds its own under the Parkside Projects brand, especially for its focused fortified wine list. Sherries and vermouth ranging from bone dry to sweet, pair perfectly with the aged jamon and small plates. The liqueurs also reign in cocktails such as the Cortés (Lustau cream Sherry, Acha vermut, orange bitters).

Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Peché

Longstanding pre-prohibition style bar and eatery is well regarded for its absinthe service, boasting over 16 bottles on the shelf. What's more, a section of their cocktail menu is dedicated specifically to chartreuse and absinthe, for those that are fond of its herbal nature.

The Townsend

Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

This handsome new bar utilizes the prowess of bitterness craftily by grounding the drinks with bold ingredients like Bigallet Amer (a bitter orange liqueur infused with anise, gentian, cinchona, clove), Cynar (artichoke bitter liqueur), and Cardamaro (a bittersweet liqueur made with cardoon, blessed thistle, and more).

Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

Bar Congress

Behind these heavy curtains, the bar is not shy to liven the spirit-forward drinks with lesser-seen elements like Marolo Chamomile Grappa (technically a grape-based liquor), Manzanilla Pasada Sherry, and Lyle’s Amaro Abano. The Shift Shots, served neat or on the rocks, are composed entirely of spirits, bitters, and amaro. The Room #1868 (Averna Amaro, Suze Gentain, Orange Oil) should settle any stomach.

NO VA Kitchen & Bar

This gleaming bar houses an impressive variety of booze, period. The bar menu is divided by the spirit, with entire sections focused on aperitifs and digéstifs. The staff will recommend the classics, Americano (Campari, Vermouth Carpano Antica, orange, seltzer) and Rosabel (Vermouth Carpano Antica, creme de cassis, lemon, prosecco), to start off any meal.

Gelateria Gemelli

What pairs seamlessly with organic, small batch gelato? If a Negroni or Aperol Spritz pops into mind, you're in luck. This boutique gelateria showcases a list of amaros and cocktails to balance the bitter with the sweet. If you answered coffee, well, they got that too.

Olive & June

In terms of having the most variety of all things fortified-herbal-bitter-sweet, this beloved Italian eatery may take the lead. Besides having a diverse collection, it also utilizes the liqueurs creatively in cocktails like Gianni (Johnnie Walker Black scotch, Dimmi Liquore di Milano, grapefruit) and Little Italy (Bulleit whiskey, Carpano Antica, Nonino Quintessentia, bitters). Best of all, cocktails are half-off during happy hour.

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