It’s time to get off your barstool. Like the sound of the last-call bell, Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer travel season and fortunately for the thirsty traveler there are a number of new destinations to visit and sights to see. From a pop-up bar and whiskey archeology to limited-edition bottlings, you’ll want to add these seven things to your itinerary.
The Dead Rabbit Pop-Up Bar, London, England
Last fall, New York’s Dead Rabbit was crowned the world’s best bar. This August (from the 15th to the 22nd) co-founders Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry will take their show on the road with a pop-up bar at the opulent Claridge’s Hotel in London’s Mayfair neighborhood. Expect a special menu featuring Dead Rabbit favorites, including its delicious Irish Coffee. You can get access to reservations early by registering now.
Bourbon Pompeii, Frankfort, Kentucky
This summer go back in time at Buffalo Trace’s beautiful distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Last fall, while renovating a vacant building on its campus, construction workers uncovered the ruins of whiskey legend Col. E.H. Taylor’s 1873 distillery, which stood on the site. Starting this June, Buffalo Trace will begin offering the Taylor Tour of this so-called bourbon Pompeii. Just like the rest of the company’s other five tours it’s free and includes a tasting. Reservations will be required.
Prairie School, Chicago, Illinois
Ten years ago, Jim Meehan ushered in the modern-speakeasy craze with his James Beard Award-winning spot PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in New York’s East Village. (You enter the watering hole through an old wooden phone booth in a neighboring hot dog restaurant.) Meehan’s latest project, Prairie School, is a Frank Lloyd Wright bar in Chicago that he’s opening in conjunction with Heisler Hospitality, which is the group behind establishments Bad Hunter, Pub Royale and Trench. It’s a homecoming for Meehan who grew up just outside the Windy City. Expect the bar to open at end of August.
The Langham, Boston, Massachusetts
Gin lovers visiting Boston will want to stop off at The Langham to try a cocktail made with its Reserve Gin produced exclusively for the property by local craft distillers, Bully Boy. The hotel is even offering a Sip, Savor + Stay package that includes, of course, signature drinks made with the house spirit.
Star Hill Provisions, Loretto, Kentucky
You can work up a real appetite touring Kentucky’s bourbon trail. Fortunately, Maker’s Mark just opened Star Hill Provisions, which is run by chef Newman Miller and serves lunch five days a week. The dishes are made with local ingredients and are, naturally, designed to be paired with the café’s list of bourbon cocktails.
Stranahan’s Whiskey, Denver, Colorado
To get your hands on some of Stranahan’s best single malt whiskey you’re going to have to actually visit the distillery in Denver. At its company store you can buy bottles of its Distillery’ Single Barrel Single Malt ($60). Another distillery exclusive is the Stranahan’s Batch 200 Survival Pack ($210). It contains a TOPO Designs Klettersack, a bottle of Stranahan’s Batch 200 Rocky Mountain Single Malt Whiskey, coasters and tumblers. There are just 200 of these special kits available.
Dorothy Parker Celebration, Brooklyn, New York
Fans of writer and critic Dorothy Parker won’t want to miss two special events happening at the New York Distilling Company (NYDC) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. On June 2nd, it will host Memories of Aunt Dot, which will feature Parker’s grand-nieces Susan Cotton, Nancy Arcaro and Joan Grossman chatting with Kevin Fitzpatrick, the Director of the Dorothy Parker Society. And to mark the 50th anniversary of Parker’s death, on June 7th the NYDC will offer a special program, which include readings of Parker’s work and, of course, drinks made with its own Dorothy Parker Gin.