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Willie’s Cup at Geraldine’s
Richard Casteel

Austin’s 16 Most Iconic Drinks

Wet that whistle with cocktails, beer, and more

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Willie’s Cup at Geraldine’s
| Photo by Richard Casteel

A good meal always requires a satisfying beverage as a complement, but Austin does goes one step beyond that. From an afternoon cocktail to a late night cheap liquor-beer deal to a hangover cure-all, this list offers something for everyone. Yup, we’ve even remembered the teetotalers with must-have sips like coffee, juice, and agua fresca.

The following list of Austin’s iconic drinks and where to find ‘em spans staples that have been around for years (Lone Star and Mexican Martini, we’re looking at you), plus an old favorite — Mattie’s 1965 Milk Punch — that returned for an encore all the way to relatively new cocktails like The Roosevelt Room’s Poet's Muse

If you’re looking for a beverage bucket list around town, consider this your guide. The map will take you around town from quintessential dive bars like Barfly’s to Live Oak Brewery’s taproom to a bunch of Austin standbys like Curra’s Grill and Broken Spoke. Plus, you’ll appreciate the pitstop at JuiceLand after some of the more potent offerings.

Together this group represents a range of prices and helps define the world of sipping, glugging, and chugging in this town. Disagreement is inevitable, but in our view, Austin wouldn't be Austin without the drinks on this list. All of these drinks are worth trying at least once.

Hungry yet? For defining Austin eats, check out the city's most iconic dishes, classic restaurants, plus best barbecue, burgers, and pizzerias.

Think of a drink that screams Austin that’s missing below? Let Eater know on the tipline or within the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Happy Meal at Barfly's

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5420 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX
(512) 452-6455
Visit Website

This is the gold standard of dive bars complete with cheap drinks, no frills, no outside light, pool tables, a jukebox, and more. It should be no surprise then that its Happy Meal is comprised of a can of Lone Star and a shot of Jagermeister for about $5.

Barfly’s
Barfly’s/Facebook

2. Mexican Martini at Trudy's Texas Star

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409 W 30th St
Austin, TX
(512) 477-2935
Visit Website

The potent Mexican martini is more of a variation of a margarita that a martini (and it’s certainly not Mexican). But it is wildly popular at all three of the Trudy’s locations.

Mexican martini at Trudy’s
Shirley L./Yelp

3. Tito's Vodka and Topo at Contigo Austin

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2027 Anchor Ln
Austin, TX
(512) 614-2260
Visit Website

This dog- and kid-friendly neighborhood spot has an admirable cocktail menu however sometimes happiness comes in the form of a Tito’s Vodka and Topo Chico under the central Texas sky. It doesn’t get more Austin than that.

Contigo
Contigo [Official]

4. Juice at JuiceLand

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2307 Lake Austin Blvd
Austin, TX
(512) 628-0782
Visit Website

Drink the rainbow at this Austin-based chain. With over 20 types of juices to choose from (including organic and cold-pressed varieties), there’s an option for every craving.

5. Mad Dog Margarita at Texas Chili Parlor

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1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX
(512) 472-2828
Visit Website

Guy Clark memorialized the funky Lavaca Street restaurant and dive bar and this drink when he sang, “I wish I was in Austin at the Chili Parlor Bar, drinking Mad Dog Margaritas and not caring where you are” in the song “Dublin Blues.” The drink swaps out tequila for mezcal.

Texas Chili Parlor
Stephen C./Yelp

6. Bloody Mary at Rio Rita

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1203 Chicon
Austin, TX

When East 6th Street bar Rio Rita’s moved to Chicon Street in 2016, its reputation for serving up a killer breakfast of champions, the Bloody Mary, stayed intact. The tomato meets salt and citrus cocktail is capped off with celery, pickled okra, lime, olives, and banana peppers. Stay the course with the house special or be daring with a spicy infused vodka like one with habanero.

Bloody Mary at Rio Rita
Tori M./Yelp

7. Austin Eastciders at The Mohawk

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912 Red River St
Austin, TX
(512) 666-0877
Visit Website

Austin Eastciders prides itself on making cider the traditional way. Thanks to its blend of cider apples sourced from Europe and apples from Washington state, the taste is dry, crisp, refreshing, and balanced. Red River music venue and bar The Mohawk carries the original version, as well as other flavored varieties.

Cans of Austin Eastciders
Austin Eastciders/Facebook

8. Poet's Muse at The Roosevelt Room

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307 W 5th St
Austin, TX
(512) 494-4094
Visit Website

Justin Lavenue and his bar The Roosevelt Room received national attention in 2015 after securing the title of Most Imaginative Bartender at a cocktail-crafting throw down held by Bombay Sapphire Gin. The winning drink, found on the bar’s menu today, is dubbed Poet’s Muse and its made with gin, poet’s cordial (pistachio milk sweetened with wildflower honey, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean, and matcha), a fresh citrus blend, and an umami tincture. It’s served in a chilled coupe and garnished with lime peel.

Poet’s Muse at The Roosevelt Room
The Roosevelt Room [Official]

9. Mezcal at Mezcalería Tobalá

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1816 E 6th St
Austin, TX

This intimate Oaxacan-style mezcalería upstairs from Whisler's offers a broad selection of mezcals including some rare finds. Order a half-pour (3/4 of an ounce) in a clay copita or a full pour in a traditional veladora glass.

Mezcal at Mezcalería Tobalá
Brett E/Yelp

10. Coffee at Cuvée Coffee

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2000 E 6th St
Austin, TX
(512) 264-1479
Visit Website

Cuvée Coffee is often credited as both the city’s most popular roaster and a pioneer of specialty coffee in Texas. Sure you can get a cup at restaurants throughout Austin but why not make a stop to its East 6th Street coffee shop? Be sure to try the Black & Blue, its nitro cold brewed coffee, if you haven’t already.

Pouring coffee at Cuvée
Cuvée Coffee/Facebook

11. Willie’s Cup at Geraldine's

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605 Davis St Ste 400
Austin, TX
(512) 476-4755
Visit Website

As an ode to Willie Nelson, the patron saint of Austin music, Geraldine's created the Willie’s Cup. The creative take on a mint julep is made from double rye whiskey, housemade hemp seed milk, and muddled fresh sage. It’s served in a steel cup, wrapped with a red bandana, secured with a roach clip, and garnished with sage leaves — a legal alternative of the Willie-approved herb.

The Willie’s Cup at Geraldine’s
Geraldine’s/Facebook

12. Milk Punch at Mattie's at Green Pastures

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811 W Live Oak St
Austin, TX
(512) 444-1888
Visit Website

Green Pastures’ reimagined restaurant Mattie’s brought back its delectable 1965 Milk Punch, which is comprised of house-made sweet vanilla cream, aged bourbon, VSOP Cognac, and Jamaican rum and topped with a dash of nutmeg. It's available as a single serving or in a carafe that serves up to four.  

Milk punch at Mattie’s at Green Pastures
Nick Simonite

13. Pitcher of Lone Star at Broken Spoke

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3201 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX
(512) 442-6189
Visit Website

The duo brings together two long standing local symbols — a South Lamar dancehall founded in 1964 and an ever-popular Texas beer that also hasn’t lost its luster.

Broken Spoke
Broken Spoke/Facebook

14. Agua Fresca at Taco More

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2015 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX
(512) 383-5531

Find strong array of aguas frescas, from horchata to tamarindo to watermelon, at the three area taquerias.

Taco More
Jennifer Y./Yelp

15. Avocado Margarita at Curra's Grill

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614 E Oltorf St
Austin, TX
(512) 444-0012
Visit Website

When Curra’s proudly boasts it is “Home of the Original Avocado Margarita in Austin,” purists may shudder — until they give it a try. The novelty frozen beverage with its refreshing/boozy/cold/creamy combination has been making believers out of locals and tourists alike for years.

Avocado margarita at Curra’s Grill
Mark F./Yelp

16. Hefeweizen at Live Oak Brewery

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1615 Crozier Lane
Austin, TX

Founded in 1997, Live Oak Brewing Company is pegged as Austin’s original craft brewery. Its European-style microbrewery in Del Valle offers a taproom and biergarten with tours, special tappings, food trucks, and other events. Drop by and pick from the several all-year beers, plus seasonal and limited offerings.

Beer at Live Oak Brewing Company
Live Oak Brewing Company/Facebook

1. Happy Meal at Barfly's

5420 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX
Barfly’s
Barfly’s/Facebook

This is the gold standard of dive bars complete with cheap drinks, no frills, no outside light, pool tables, a jukebox, and more. It should be no surprise then that its Happy Meal is comprised of a can of Lone Star and a shot of Jagermeister for about $5.

5420 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX

2. Mexican Martini at Trudy's Texas Star

409 W 30th St, Austin, TX
Mexican martini at Trudy’s
Shirley L./Yelp

The potent Mexican martini is more of a variation of a margarita that a martini (and it’s certainly not Mexican). But it is wildly popular at all three of the Trudy’s locations.

409 W 30th St
Austin, TX

3. Tito's Vodka and Topo at Contigo Austin

2027 Anchor Ln, Austin, TX
Contigo
Contigo [Official]

This dog- and kid-friendly neighborhood spot has an admirable cocktail menu however sometimes happiness comes in the form of a Tito’s Vodka and Topo Chico under the central Texas sky. It doesn’t get more Austin than that.

2027 Anchor Ln
Austin, TX

4. Juice at JuiceLand

2307 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX

Drink the rainbow at this Austin-based chain. With over 20 types of juices to choose from (including organic and cold-pressed varieties), there’s an option for every craving.

2307 Lake Austin Blvd
Austin, TX

5. Mad Dog Margarita at Texas Chili Parlor

1409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX
Texas Chili Parlor
Stephen C./Yelp

Guy Clark memorialized the funky Lavaca Street restaurant and dive bar and this drink when he sang, “I wish I was in Austin at the Chili Parlor Bar, drinking Mad Dog Margaritas and not caring where you are” in the song “Dublin Blues.” The drink swaps out tequila for mezcal.

1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX

6. Bloody Mary at Rio Rita

1203 Chicon, Austin, TX
Bloody Mary at Rio Rita
Tori M./Yelp

When East 6th Street bar Rio Rita’s moved to Chicon Street in 2016, its reputation for serving up a killer breakfast of champions, the Bloody Mary, stayed intact. The tomato meets salt and citrus cocktail is capped off with celery, pickled okra, lime, olives, and banana peppers. Stay the course with the house special or be daring with a spicy infused vodka like one with habanero.

1203 Chicon
Austin, TX

7. Austin Eastciders at The Mohawk

912 Red River St, Austin, TX
Cans of Austin Eastciders
Austin Eastciders/Facebook

Austin Eastciders prides itself on making cider the traditional way. Thanks to its blend of cider apples sourced from Europe and apples from Washington state, the taste is dry, crisp, refreshing, and balanced. Red River music venue and bar The Mohawk carries the original version, as well as other flavored varieties.

912 Red River St
Austin, TX

8. Poet's Muse at The Roosevelt Room

307 W 5th St, Austin, TX
Poet’s Muse at The Roosevelt Room
The Roosevelt Room [Official]

Justin Lavenue and his bar The Roosevelt Room received national attention in 2015 after securing the title of Most Imaginative Bartender at a cocktail-crafting throw down held by Bombay Sapphire Gin. The winning drink, found on the bar’s menu today, is dubbed Poet’s Muse and its made with gin, poet’s cordial (pistachio milk sweetened with wildflower honey, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla bean, and matcha), a fresh citrus blend, and an umami tincture. It’s served in a chilled coupe and garnished with lime peel.

307 W 5th St
Austin, TX

9. Mezcal at Mezcalería Tobalá

1816 E 6th St, Austin, TX
Mezcal at Mezcalería Tobalá
Brett E/Yelp

This intimate Oaxacan-style mezcalería upstairs from Whisler's offers a broad selection of mezcals including some rare finds. Order a half-pour (3/4 of an ounce) in a clay copita or a full pour in a traditional veladora glass.

1816 E 6th St
Austin, TX

10. Coffee at Cuvée Coffee

2000 E 6th St, Austin, TX
Pouring coffee at Cuvée
Cuvée Coffee/Facebook

Cuvée Coffee is often credited as both the city’s most popular roaster and a pioneer of specialty coffee in Texas. Sure you can get a cup at restaurants throughout Austin but why not make a stop to its East 6th Street coffee shop? Be sure to try the Black & Blue, its nitro cold brewed coffee, if you haven’t already.

2000 E 6th St
Austin, TX

11. Willie’s Cup at Geraldine's

605 Davis St Ste 400, Austin, TX
The Willie’s Cup at Geraldine’s
Geraldine’s/Facebook

As an ode to Willie Nelson, the patron saint of Austin music, Geraldine's created the Willie’s Cup. The creative take on a mint julep is made from double rye whiskey, housemade hemp seed milk, and muddled fresh sage. It’s served in a steel cup, wrapped with a red bandana, secured with a roach clip, and garnished with sage leaves — a legal alternative of the Willie-approved herb.

605 Davis St Ste 400
Austin, TX

12. Milk Punch at Mattie's at Green Pastures

811 W Live Oak St, Austin, TX
Milk punch at Mattie’s at Green Pastures
Nick Simonite

Green Pastures’ reimagined restaurant Mattie’s brought back its delectable 1965 Milk Punch, which is comprised of house-made sweet vanilla cream, aged bourbon, VSOP Cognac, and Jamaican rum and topped with a dash of nutmeg. It's available as a single serving or in a carafe that serves up to four.  

811 W Live Oak St
Austin, TX

13. Pitcher of Lone Star at Broken Spoke

3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX
Broken Spoke
Broken Spoke/Facebook

The duo brings together two long standing local symbols — a South Lamar dancehall founded in 1964 and an ever-popular Texas beer that also hasn’t lost its luster.

3201 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX

14. Agua Fresca at Taco More

2015 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX
Taco More
Jennifer Y./Yelp

Find strong array of aguas frescas, from horchata to tamarindo to watermelon, at the three area taquerias.

2015 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX

15. Avocado Margarita at Curra's Grill

614 E Oltorf St, Austin, TX
Avocado margarita at Curra’s Grill
Mark F./Yelp

When Curra’s proudly boasts it is “Home of the Original Avocado Margarita in Austin,” purists may shudder — until they give it a try. The novelty frozen beverage with its refreshing/boozy/cold/creamy combination has been making believers out of locals and tourists alike for years.

614 E Oltorf St
Austin, TX

Related Maps

16. Hefeweizen at Live Oak Brewery

1615 Crozier Lane, Austin, TX
Beer at Live Oak Brewing Company
Live Oak Brewing Company/Facebook

Founded in 1997, Live Oak Brewing Company is pegged as Austin’s original craft brewery. Its European-style microbrewery in Del Valle offers a taproom and biergarten with tours, special tappings, food trucks, and other events. Drop by and pick from the several all-year beers, plus seasonal and limited offerings.

1615 Crozier Lane
Austin, TX

Related Maps