By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
You can get a drink most anywhere. But nowhere else will you find a bar or a cocktail list like that of Dram Whiskey Bar.
Located at the heart of Mountain Brook Village, Dram is named for the traditional Scottish whiskey measure. An ambience of reclaimed wood and exposed brick makes Dram feel like your neighborhood bar, even if you do not live in the neighborhood. And so do their bartenders. Dram boasts an extensive collection of bourbon, scotches, and other whiskeys. And patrons enjoy them mixed in their own specialty libations, classic cocktails not listed on the list, poured neat or on the rocks.
After falling in love with their Blackberry Winter cocktail for the first time years ago, it is always difficult for me to order anything else. But lately I have been more adventurous and discovered three more favorites: Bourbon Slush, California Margarita, and Mint Julep. If you loved slushies as a kid, try Dram’s Bourbon Slush. Served in a tall, frosty glass and topped with mint, this golden-colored, frozen bourbon punch is layered with notes of black tea, orange, and lemon.
Dram’s Mint Julep is a serious yet balanced cocktail—not too minty and no burn—of Old Forester, bruised mint, powdered sugar, and Dram’s Personal Selection Woodford Reserve 12. Two barrels of this Reserve can also be found in the staircase that leads from Dram to its sister, Avo Restaurant, upstairs. It is served on the rocks and garnished with mint.
And the California Margarita is like no other. It even includes avocado. Served in a low ball on the rocks with a lime wedge and a generous helping of salt on the rim, this margarita is lime green in color. It also includes Corralejo (reposado), Cointreau, fresh lime, and cilantro. Big in body and fabulous in flavor, this margarita just became my new benchmark for judging others. I expect to be saying, “It is not as good as Dram’s,” a lot when tasting other margaritas in the future.