Tap cocktails—straight from the faucet, just like beer!—don’t just rescue busy bartenders from rapid-fire slicing, shaking and muddling: The tap actually changes the way drinks taste. In the keg, booze and other ingredients meld together, creating flavors distinctly different from the stirred-on-site version. Sound like your cup of Long Island Iced Tea? Visit these six stellar spigots.
SAN DIEGO // POLITE PROVISIONS
A 48-tap former pharmacy is master bartender Erick Castro’s lab where he rotates six draft cocktails like the Full Windsor, a dark-fruited blend of Scotch, apple brandy, vermouth, Benedictine and bitters, and Mr. Brownstone, Irish whiskey, bitters, and the spiced caramel soda he makes in-house.
SAN FRANCISCO // JASPER’S CORNER TAP & KITCHEN
Bar manager Kevin Diedrich pioneered the cocktails-on-tap concept; if you can manage to look past the 18 other taps loaded with the likes of Heretic Miscreant, you’ll spot the faucet that spews his classic Negroni.
CHICAGO // TAVERNITA
Tapas and 10 kegged cocktails flow at this classed-up, gilded gastropub. Can’t decide between a Quixote (brandy, sherry, chartreuse and Grand Marnier) or a Turista (tequila, grapefruit, preserved cherries, black pepper syrup and barbecue bitters)? Order the Little Twins—drinker’s choice of two half-size tap cocktails.
ST. LOUIS // SANCTUARIA
Order a draft sangria while you consider this modern tapas spot’s three other taps pouring seasonal cocktails and the Sanctuaria House Punch, which marries chamomile-infused tequila with Lambrusco, passionfruit and lemon.
HOUSTON, TEXAS // 3RD FLOOR
Houston’s sprawling ode to American craft booze combines house-made lemonade and Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka in its Arnold Palmer, poured from a frosted Cobra tap that chills each serving to precisely 22 degrees.
D.C. // TEDDY AND THE BULLY BAR
Proof that everything beer does is en vogue, this sleek Dupont Circle eatery serves both barrel-aged cocktails and draft drinks: A classic Americano and a Sheeney’s Rickey made chic with gin, seltzer, a bourbon reduction and lime foam.