In the mood for a Mississippi Mule, a Mississippi Mudslide, or perhaps a cup of Mississippi Punch? There’s really only one place to go to sample these concoctions and that’s, not surprisingly, Mississippi. Our state is home to a variety of hip cocktail bars, brew pubs, and some homegrown beers and spirits, too. Below are a few of our favorite spots for a fun night on the town. (Do be sure to designate a driver or use a ride-sharing app to make sure your visit is memorable – for all the right reasons.)
The Apothecary, located in Jackson’s trendy Fondren district, has been named one of “The South’s Best Bars” by Southern Living and one of “America’s 50 Best Bars” by Esquire. Much like the speakeasies of old, you have to be in the know to find it. Look for The Apothecary in a back room of Brent’s Drugs (which is no longer a drug store but a fun 50s-style restaurant). The bar’s vintage feel, intimate setting, and signature drinks are just what the doctor ordered.
You’ll find one of Meridian’s favorite nightspots, The Boxcar, at the top of their restored Threefoot Hotel. The bar’s name reflects Meridian’s historic importance as a major transportation hub during the heyday of the railroad era. The Boxcar offers spectacular views of downtown Meridian and, for your drinking and dining pleasure, a cocktail menu, local craft beers, shareable small plates, and flatbreads.
You’ll find another of Mississippi’s top rooftop bars, The Coop, at Oxford’s Graduate Hotel – just a stone’s throw from the Ole Miss campus. The restaurant bar is located on The Graduate’s fourth floor terrace and decorated with a cheeky chicken motif (trust us, it works – think hip, yet rustic, styling). Together, The Coop’s locally inspired cocktails and stellar views of Oxford’s square are sure to make your evening unforgettable.
Fondren Public is a popular hangout among youngish (21+) Jacksonians and for good reason. The pub offers 24 beers on tap, including several made by Mississippi breweries, including Southern Prohibition and Lazy Magnolia, and cocktails made with spirits from Mississippi’s own Cathead Distillery. In the mood for some games? Fondren Public has a shuffleboard table and, on their spacious outdoor patio, a few bocce ball courts.
The Guest Room was heralded as one of the 19 best hidden bars in the country in a 2018 Men’s Journal article. Although it’s located on Starkville’s Main Street under the popular Restaurant Tyler, you’ll have to walk down an unnamed alley and through a nondescript door to enter. But once you’ve found it, you’ll be glad you did. The Guest Room has a cozy, old-world style, with crafted cocktails and a full dinner menu from the restaurant above.
Here’s the rundown: Key City Brewing was started by San Diego transplant, Zack Erickson, after he developed an interest in brewing during his time as a staff member at Sony’s videogame division. He moved to Vicksburg to open a brewpub in partnership with the Cottonwood Public House. Today, Key City offers twenty or so beers at any given time, with new varieties introduced regularly. The Mississippi Queen, their original beer, is a permanent fixture on the menu. The first batch sold out in just six days – it’s that good.
Opened in 2016, Queen’s Reward is Mississippi’s first (and currently only) meadery. The Tupelo-based business makes their mead in small batches with 100% Mississippi honey. Samples are available in their tasting room and meads can be purchased by the bottle, as well. Be sure to try their deliciously refreshing mead slushies, which blend their meads with fruits and other seasonal flavors.