Let’s just agree that cocktails are the best. Because I can pour a glass of wine at home, but am I going to muddle mint leaves and brûlée orange peel for the perfect cocktail? No way. Am I even going to have any liquor sitting around, except for 1/2 a bottle of Rumchata that I used for a recipe last fall? Probably not. So for wine, I stay in, but for cocktails, I go out. And can I just say that I love how cocktails are fancy now. And cocktail places are fancy now! Or maybe they’ve always been fancy and I just discovered them, but either way, it takes great self-control not to order five drinks at these places because they are all beautiful and wonderful and incredibly delicious and here’s what you need to go:
- Hotel Tango. I’ve been a fan of this almost-to-Fountain Square hotspot since the beginning and I mean that as they are about to celebrate their third anniversary pretty soon. I love the free popcorn, I love the fireplace, I love the trivia nights, I love the option of having food delivered to me while enjoying a drink, I love the seasonal menu changes, and pretty much everything else about this place. Plus it’s cool that they distill their own liquor and it’s the first serviced-disabled, combat-veteran owned distillery in the country. So they are really rocking it out.
- Platt 99. This downtown spot serves complimentary truffle popcorn, so you know I am all about it. I also enjoy an aspect of mystery when coming here because I never know if my drink will be tall or short or purple or topped with egg whites or really anything else about it because the descriptions are super fancy and I just pick the one which the most recognizable ingredients. It’s been working out for me so far. Plus, there is garage parking, so I’m not fighting for a spot when rushing to meet friends. Also, it’s GORGEOUS inside!
Eat + Drink. Keeping it real, I always expect this place to close. It’s a darling retro cocktail joint connected to SoBro classic Taste, but I sometimes think I am the only person who knows it exists. There’s part of a train car inside and old movies playing and tables made out of paint cans, so it’s a colorful delight. Cocktails are delicious and late night snacks are perfect with frites and chocolate mousse options. I like the atmosphere and that it’s walking distance from my house, so I’m really hoping other people will catch the vibe and take a break from cheap Broad Ripple beer to appreciate a creative mixed drinks options.
- Ball & Biscuit. The only downside about this Mass Ave classic speakeasy longue is that everyone else seems to like it too. I’ve spent 1/2 hour looking for parking and walking to the entrance, only to be turned away by the bouncer due to being over capacity. On the lucky night that I do get in, I enjoy the chill music, the fancy glasses, and tasty small plate options. There’s definitely a cozy, romantic feeling about the place and I can even convince Husband to relax and enjoy the setting.
- Tini. I was introduced to this bright, colorful space pretty quickly after moving to Indianapolis, so I have many fond memories of stopping in for a pre-theater beverage or post-dinner selection. The interior is loud and crowded with TV screens playing original MTV-era music videos. The hardest problem when visiting is deciding which craft martini to order. This is not somewhere to hang all night, but definitely worth a stop on your Mass Ave visit.
Where else should I be drinking?