If you enjoy drinking in candle-lit historical buildings, look no further than Whisler’s in East Austin. This cocktail bar features bartenders who really know their stuff: from the history of bitters to how to make old-fashioned cocktails. With three bars and a food trailer named Dumpling Happiness outside, there’s no reason you can’t stay here for the long haul. Depending on the weather, there’s nice ambiance inside and outside. The bar has plenty of tables, bar stools along the bar and seating on the patio.
1816 E. 6th St.
Daily 4 p.m.–2 a.m.
Takes cash and cards
Drink suggestions: Noveau Western ($11) and Brown Derby ($9)
When you enter the front, you’ll find low-lit mood lighting consisting only of candles, except for the chandelier directly above the bar.
The bartenders, Justin (Lavenue) and Ben, are friendly and helpful, assisting with a drink based on your tastes. My preference is gin and slightly sweet, while Antonio prefers whiskey.
Justin suggests a house cocktail, the Noveau Western ($11), for me, which is what I had been eying to begin with. It includes gin, aperitif wine, unfiltered sake, cardamom (a favorite of mine) syrup and lime bitters garnished with a sprig of thyme and a slice of lime.
For Antonio, he suggests a Brown Derby ($9) from the classic menu, consisting of bourbon, grapefruit and honey syrup.
Both are just what the doctor ordered—playing to our individual tastes perfectly.
Antonio says his drink reminds him of his childhood when he’d go to the mall with his mom because she’d promise him an orange Julius. To him, this drink offered the same sort of refreshment.
We also tried the Naughty Literati punch, which was the special of the night because a book club had met there earlier in the evening (Lisa, take note! My book club is cool, but no Naughty Literati’s yet!). We also enjoyed this drink of raspberry liquor, sapphire Bombay, orgeat (a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar and rose water or orange flower water) and lemon bubbles, while learning about the history of punch, which you can hear for yourself in our podcast from Justin himself.
As for ambiance, friends and couples alike can sit at the bar or at a cozy table. There’s inside and outside seating, depending on your mood, and, of course, the always-changing Austin weather (except in the summer, when it’s just HOT).