You might remember that I had an establishment listed in my Top 10 Drinks List for 2010, yet had never mentioned it on my blog before then. Well, I’m doing it now.
Holland House Bar and Refuge opened in East Nashville last spring, and since I’ve had the opportunity to visit several times. Before I go any further with this post, I must first tell you that I will not compare it to a certain other lounge I’m enamored with, which is very hard to do because there are obvious similarities. Instead, I’m just here to show my adoration for their well-crafted cocktails.
Obviously several other Nashvillians share my opinion because back in the fall, it was voted Best New Bar in the 2010 Nashville Scene Readers Poll (and we know what good taste those Scene readers have….)
The Drake and Eaves at Holland House
Corsair Triple-Smoke, Mint, House Chile-Apple Cordial, Peychaud’s Bitters
Holland House is a warm, inviting space, with sparkling chandeliers, dim lighting, and exposed brick walls. While there is ample dining space and lounge seating by the fireplace, I always choose to belly up to the bar, because I enjoy watching their expert mixologists in action. I also like asking 5 million questions about every drink and ingredient, and thankfully, they are willing to answer.
I’ll admit that I’ve become more and more of a cocktail snob. I can’t help it. Life is short and I want to thoroughly enjoy everything that passes across my lips. That’s why I frequent spots like the Holland House. With house cocktails priced at $10, it might be a bit pricier than your average bar, but it’s worth every penny as far as I’m concerned.
And yes, it might take a while to get a drink, but it’s not because there are four dudes shoving their way in front of you to get a Bud Light. No, that doesn’t happen here, because every person that’s in the bar has a seat. The reason for your wait is that every single drink is painstakingly created with a little drop of this, a dab of that, an intense shake, and a sprinkle of something else. It’s fun to watch and even more fun to consume.
Tuaca Cordial (vanilla infused spirit), St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Bols Genever, Citric Acid, Egg White topped with Fresh Nutmeg and Star Anise
I think at this point I’ve almost sampled the entire cocktail menu + some. If I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be the Warsaw Mule with Bisongrass Vodka, Lime, House Ginger Syrup, and Soda. Wait, no. Maybe it’s the Serpent’s Wall. A spicy concoction of Nemiroff Honey Rye Vodka, House Chile-Apple Cordial, Lemon and Ginger Beer.
Hold on a second, what am I thinking? It should be the drink that’s named after me! Yes, there is an off-menu drink that was prepared for me on my first visit, and was promptly named after me. A potion of Gin, Ginger Beer, Ginger Syrup, Lime, and Amaretto, it’s a ginger lover’s dream. Just ask the bartender for a Sparkplug the next time you go. (yes, that’s my nickname)
I haven’t had the opportunity to take advantage of it yet, but earlier this month Holland House began offering something very special along with their normal happy hour – a complimentary food bar from 5 – 6:30, Monday thru Friday! If I lived on the East side, I know where I’d be having dinner every day!
Holland House Bar and Refuge
935 W. Eastland Ave.
Nashville, TN 37206