If you're passing the evenings alone at home by forming a mountain of crushed domestic beer cans or polishing off the last little bit of that prized bottle of single-malt Scotch that's as aged as the Old Testament, you can be as cranky or convivial as you'd like. You'll only bother the pets, maybe the neighbors.
But drinking in public isn't such a one-sided deal. There's the setting to consider, the standards that each place sets for the denizens looking to sip or get soused. There are your fellow revelers or lamenters, looking to blow off some steam or find a party of their own. And there are, of course, the workers who make it possible for you to escape your own troubles by temporarily absorbing them—the bartenders who serve you, the bouncers who safeguard the space, the managers who coordinate it all.
For the INDY's inaugural DRINK issue, we opted not to drift through the Triangle's rapidly multiplying breweries, bars, pubs, and dives, one by one, but instead by considering the multiple sides of a single drink. We meet a Raleigh doorman with a sensitive side, have a night out with three top bartenders, and learn about the trouble with fake IDs through a bar owner. Then we test the goods themselves with a trip to every Triangle distillery, three searches for a perfect cocktail, and a list of the spots you're most likely to find us.
We'll see you there soon.
You've probably seen Hank Williams sitting beside the door in Raleigh. When it comes to maintaining civility, he likes to take it easy.
Smiling through a night out in Chapel Hill and Carrboro with Bowbarr's Fiona Matthews
Learning through a night out in Raleigh with Bittersweet's Tony Ursone
Seeing Durham through a day out with Nana's Adrian Lindsay
A Franklin Street bar owner will take your fake ID—and tell everyone
I toured a half-dozen Triangle distilleries. We have those now, you know.
Searching for two classic cocktails—and one novel creation—in the Triangle's best bars
The bars keep coming. These ten are (some) where we keep going.