Cotton & Rye in Savannah
Cotton & Rye in Savannah

A Boozy Tour of Georgia: 8 Awesome Watering Holes

From infamous bootleggers to modern day award-winning distilleries, to wineries and craft brew houses, you’ll find it all in Georgia.

It’s five o’clock somewhere. Our boozy tour of Georgia starts at a local favorite in Savannah and at the only Prohibition museum in the country, then heads to the mountains for some moonshine, rounding the tour out with a few suggestions on Georgia restaurants that offer a little something more than the standard cocktail. Who's thirsty?

Cotton & Rye in Savannah

Cotton & Rye, Savannah

A favorite watering hole for locals, Cotton & Rye is located outside the Historic District in the Starland Arts neighborhood. Proprietors Kimberly and Brandon Whitestone pride themselves on knowing the latest trends and coolest cocktails. Bet you can’t stump them! And, if you get hungry, the food is pretty fantastic, too.

The American Prohibition Museum in Savannah

American Prohibition Museum, Savannah

America’s Prohibition Era has a certain allure that attracts young and old. At the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, step back in time for an interactive adventure the chronicles life during the “noble experiment.” Afterward, kick back at the museum’s authentic speakeasy, 220 Congress Street Up, offering Prohibition-era cocktails (and mocktails for the kiddos). Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the bar is open to the public with more modern favorites available. Be sure to sample the bathtub gin drink that is served in a little porcelain bathtub.

Grandaddy Mimm's Moonshine Distillery and Gift Shop in Blairsville

Grandaddy Mimm's Moonshine Distillery and Gift Shop, Blairsville

Granddaddy Mimm was an infamous bootlegger in North Georgia from the 1930s until his death in 1969. With Mimm’s passing, the production of his famous apple brandy, peach brandy and corn whiskey stopped — until recently. His grandson, Tommy Townsend, resurrected the old recipe and started Granddady Mimm’s Moonshine Distillery. Take one of the distillery tours, or just opt for the tastings. And, be sure to check the website for concert series dates. In addition to his interest in Grandaddy Mimm’s, Townsend is also the lead singer for Waymore’s Outlaws, a reunion of former members of Waylon Jennings recording and touring bands. Take in a concert and make a weekend of it.

Fiddler bourbon by ASW Distillery in Atlanta

ASW Distillery, Atlanta

After two years in business, ASW Distillery competed for the first time in the prestigious 2018 San Francisco World Spirits competition and received five medals, including the coveted Double Gold for the Duality Double Malt Whiskey. You can sample the goods during a distillery tour of ASW’s pioneering Scottish + Appalachian distillation method. Tours are held on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Fainting Goat Vineyards and Winery in Jasper

Fainting Goat Vineyards and Winery, Jasper

For a casual afternoon soaking up the spectacular mountain vistas, visit Fainting Goat Vineyards. Play a few lawn games or just sit by the fireplace and listen to live music on the weekends while sipping award-winning wines (they have coffee tastings, too). And, yes, there are goats at this Jasper winery.

Jailhouse Brewing in Hampton

Jailhouse Brewing, Hampton

Started in 2009, Jailhouse Brewing was the fourth production brewery in Georgia. The brewery is located in a former jailhouse, hence the name, and has some of the most creative beer names around. Sample Slammer Wheat, Mugshot IPA, the seasonal Breakout Stout, or the single release Vigilante Justice sour black IPA. Visit on Thursday, Friday or Saturdays to see the brewery, sample one of 16 different beers on draft while hanging out on the outdoor patio playing a bit of cornhole. Afterward, visit some of excellent restaurants nearby.

Front Porch Swing cocktail at Liam's in Thomasville

Liam's Restaurant, Lounge, and Cheese Shoppe, Thomasville

Liam's is a fun, locally owned restaurant in the historic downtown area of Thomasville. Cocktail hour here includes made-from-scratch cocktails using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. May we suggest the Rose City Special, named after Thomasville, which is often called the Rose City.

Cocktails at Irish Bred Pub in Covington, Georgia

Irish Bred Pub, Covington

Georgia is becoming Hollywood South, and it is even showing up in the mixed drinks. Fans of the Vampire Diaries can enjoy a Vampire Kiss champagne cocktail on the balcony at Irish Bred Pub on the Covington Square. Are you a fan of the TV series “In the Heat of the Night?” Try the Heat Sweet Tea – just like your mama used to make, but with a kick.

Published: October 2018
Written by: Sue Rodman