Happy #WorldCocktailDay! I had such a fabulous time at the Alabama Gulf Coast that I thought I’d share a few of my favorite places to get an ice cold adult beverage (or two.)
Margaritas are my all-time favorite mixed drink so of course I had to try a couple while at the beach. I also tried a few other libations while on vacation. Here’s a roundup of five great places to enjoy a cocktail while visiting Gulf Shores or Orange Beach (tough research but someone had to do it):
Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina – Fisher’s was a new dining experience for me and it ranks as my absolute “must do” dining experience on the Alabama Gulf Coast. The food and drinks are exemplary. I ate lunch at Fishers’ downstairs in the outdoor dining area that overlooks boat slips. My beach bucket list for my next trip down includes trying Fisher’s upstairs, which has a more elegant sit-down atmosphere. I enjoyed a Double Nipple cocktail, which is a Cruzan light rum, piña colada slash strawberry daquiri, as well as a Salt Water Margarita, made with fresh lemon and lime juice, Camarena Tequila and Grand Marnier. Insider Tip: Fishers head chef Bill Briand’s favorite sandwich is the Cochon de Lait, a smoked pork shoulder sandwich served on New Orleans French bread and is his tribute to the annual New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Flora Bama Yacht Club – The Flora Bama Yacht Club is one of my favorite Alabama Gulf Coast restaurants and is located across from the famous Florabama Bar. This open air eatery overlooks Old Bay and there is nothing pretentious about it, despite “yacht” being in the name. Think flip flops and tank tops all the way! During my recent girls’ getaway to the Alabama Gulf Coast, I learned all about the annual Mullet Toss (and my friend and fellow Nashville blogger Susan Williams, the queen of verbal improv, coined the drink name Mullet-ov Cocktail on the fly. The Flora Bama bartender invented one on the spot!) I also had a regional favorite cocktail, the Bushwhacker, which is the region’s famous creamy cocktail featuring subtle chocolate and coffee flavors. Insider Tip: Try the Greek Shrimp Nachos or anything made with Lionfish…Chef Chris Sherrill is spearheading a regional food movement to feature this invasive fish that is quite tasty. During my recent girlfriends’ getaway to the Alabama Gulf Coast I tried Chef Sherrill’s Lionfish sashimi.
The Gulf – As you can see in the photos above, The Gulf has a great drink special menu that changes daily, along with beer and wine specials. This place has a kick-back, eclectic vibe and is right on the bay. I loved my margarita on the rocks but I was tempted to order the Perdido Mojito (there’s always my next trip down to conduct more research.) The Gulf is located in Orange Beach on Perdido Beach Boulevard and you can’t miss it as it’s just before the Perdido Pass bridge. The restaurant is entirely constructed from old shipping containers and there is a beachy area with seating or you can grab a seat at the outdoor bar or order food and eat at one of the picnic tables that overlook the water.
Lulu’s – Lulu’s is another must do in Gulf Shores. Owned by Lucy Buffett, who happens to be everyone’s favorite Boat Drinks advocate, Jimmy Buffett, Lulu’s is a great place to grab a burger and a margarita. Lulu’s has a great menu and their margaritas range from the traditional to the more exotic Big Blue Shark margarita. I love the specialty drink name which pay homage to the Buffett family coastal charm, such as the Crazy Sista Bloody Mary and the Bama Breeze, which is also the name of Jimmy Buffett’s tribute song released in 2006 in honor of the legendary Flora-Bama bar, which was almost destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. Insider Tip: Stop by mid-afternoon to avoid the lunch and dinner crowd as this place moves thousands of customers through daily!
The Beach House Kitchen and Cocktails – The Beach House Kitchen and Cocktails is located near the beach on West Beach Boulevard in Gulf Shores but not on the beach so it’s not as crowded. It was recommended to myself and my travel companions as a quieter local spot to grab lunch or dinner. They have a great daily happy hour specials on drinks from 2 to 6 p.m. Insider Tip: The Beach House Kitchen and Cocktails feature $6 cocktails of the day, which have varied from buzzed strawberry limeade to a traditional Tom Collins. Their made-from-scratch cocktails are always made with fresh squeezed juices, house made syrups & mixes.