Bourbon and Branch has been in my neighborhood for a few years now and much to my surprise they've been able to maintain the same strict house rules and reservation/time limit policy in place since they opened. These same rules and policies keep me from going very often because while I appreciate the novelty (and quiet) I generally don't like rules. I especially don't like rules when I'm drinking.
However on Tuesday I found myself there with 5 other wonderful folks to celebrate MAP's birthday and I was reminded of how great their drinks really are. I had a Liberal and was tempted to order another but had a something Louisiana instead that was almost as delicious. The Liberal, however, was sublime. Many Sazeracs were consumed, all of them expertly made- and I am a very picky Sazerac drinker. Also tasty were the Saint Germain and the Ramos Gin Fizz, which was not on the menu but willingly provided.
While I smirk at the pretensions behind this and other "cocktail forward" bars (I am not making the term up- this is how our server described Rickhouse, also owned by the folks), the drinks are damn fine- and worth the price, though they certainly ain't cheap.
Yes, the photo is of The Liberal (foreground) and The Saint Germaine. I broke the rule against taking pictures. If Bourbon and Branch relaxed all of the rules except the cell phone ban, I'd probably drink here a lot more often than I do. So maybe they should leave them in place. I already like bourbon way too much as it is. Notice my choice of words here? Yes, I said I like bourbon way too much. I did not say I drink bourbon way too much. Nor do I drink way too much of what I like. What I meant to say is I like to drink way too much Bourbon. And there we are.
Regardless, stay away on the weekends, especially after after midnight, when the place, especially the library, always seems to be taken over by trendy type douches who are as obnoxious as the crackhead douches outside, taking the whole thing (and themselves) way too seriously. Early on a Tuesday is good- when we got there it was quiet, and though the place was almost full when we left two hours later, it remained easy for all of us to talk in our nice dark corner booth.