Picture this: It has been a long day and your cubicle neighbor had three conference calls in a row, but you only have enough happy hour time for one drink before you head home to make dinner and do laundry because, well, adulting. What's one to do? Make it count, that's what.
For this list, we opted to share options outside of booze-heavy classics like traditional martinis and sazeracs, and we omitted anything that tastes like straight jet fuel. We're looking for the more artful
roundhouse-kick-to-the-face-before-knowing-you-were-in-a-fight kind of cocktails. So good luck exploring this list, and make sure your Lyft app is up to date for a quick trip to your couch. Pizza may also be important.
Atwater Alley's Deadly Angel, $13
4900 McKinney Ave.
We all have a little angel in us, but The Deadly Angel at Atwater Alley has a lotta devil in it. With 2 ounces of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky and five of the six ingredients with a potent level of alcohol, it's sinful in the best possible way.
Mi Cocina's Mambo Limousine, $10
If you've been in Dallas for more than a month, you've no doubt heard about the famed Mambo Limousine, a frozen margarita made with Mi Cocina's famous margarita (Sauza Silver Tequila and lime juice) swirled with house-made sangria — and for good measure, topped with Chambord. The trick is to drink these quickly to avoid ingredient separation, and that only adds to the danger.
Armoury D.E.'s Deadly Melody, $18
2714 Elm St.
Most tiki drinks give you a
rum run for your money, but the Deadly Melody from Armoury D.E. will give you a sprint. It's off-menu, so you know it's a less than mild concoction. (And any drink that can be lit on fire should be sipped slowly.)
The Grapevine Bar's frozen cocktails
3902 Maple Ave.
The Grapevine Bar is a Dallas mainstay — not too fancy, but always a good time, thanks to their sprawling patio, rooftop and basketball court. And what kind of patio-goer would you be in 90-plus-degree weather without a frozen drink in your hand? So grab one of their killer "signature" frozen cocktails — a bellini, Tangarita or Pom Pom — and let the games begin.
Rapscallion's Have You Seen My Keys?, $12
2023 Greenville Ave.
Another tiki option to get you feelin' festive is Rapscallion's Have You Seen My Keys? Made with some of the best things behind the bar (rhum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, a Peruvian syrup and more), it's no wonder it's incredible easy to down. It's on Rapscallion's Tiki Tuesday lineup, but the nice gents behind the bar will make it for you anytime if you ask nicely.
Javier's Mexican Martini
4912 Cole Ave.
Austin has its fun with the Mexican Martini (which is, essentially, a margarita served "up"), but Javier's gives you a little
more less with their Skinny Mexican Martini. Featuring Hornitos Plata tequila, Cointreau and fresh lime juice, it's a fancy way to enjoy the traditional margaritas they make so well. And it'll put you on your ass if the cigar smoke doesn't get you first.
Kenny's Wood Fired Grill's Homage to Sam, $10
5000 Belt Line Road
Sometimes a strong drink is just what you need to drown your sorrows, and chef-restaurateur Kenny Bowers knows that all too well. After his longtime dog Sam passed, he came up with this cocktail to pay homage. Made with 120-proof Knob Creek bourbon from Kenny's hand-selected barrels and just a touch of lemon, honey and ginger beer, a couple of these will have you howling at the moon. As an added bonus, it's available at all Kenny's concepts, including Kenny's Burger Joint, Italian Kitchen and Smoke House.
Mattito's Rumba Rita, $8.49 ($5 during happy hour)
When we hear that a bar has a drink limit, our ears perk up. How many could we really handle? Mattito's limits diners to two of their "world famous," electric-blue frozen Rumba Ritas (made with Sauza Gold tequila, Blue Curacao and citrus) for a good reason. And yes, it will turn your tongue bright blue. Stop in during happy hour and you can score one for just $5.
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Razzoo's Gator Punch, $12 two, $22 for four
You just know any Cajun restaurant will have drinks with the spirit of New Orleans, and Razzoo's six-liquor trash can punch, dubbed Gator Punch, definitely has bite. Meant to be consumed by four people simultaneously, the massive fishbowl of liquor comes garnished with Mardi Gras beads and 2-foot straws.
Basically anything at The Loon, starting at $6
3403 McKinney Ave.
Because it'd be poor form if we didn't, we're giving an honorary placement to The Loon. The Dallas institution was torn down to make way for a CVS a few years back, but it resurrected just around the corner. The atmosphere is different, but the drinks are just as strong.