Good Libations: Find the Best Romantic Drinks

Toast for two over cocktails or coffee at the 513’s most romantic watering holes.
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Enjoy a special drink with your special someone.

PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDREW DOENCH

Ghost Baby

This underground spot isn’t exactly…underground anymore (thanks, Esquire). But the subterranean lowlights, intimate corner booths, and speakeasy atmosphere still make this bar one of the swankiest haunts around. Pop in for a spontaneous cocktail at The Rattle Room or book a bistro table for two and cozy up for a night of live music. 1314 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-5333, ghost-baby.com


1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab

No matter the time of day, this OTR mainstay is perfect for a casual pop-in. Meet up on your lunch break for a cold brew (try the seasonal coffee drinks!) or make plans to waste away an evening over a bottle of wine while people-watching out the Vine Street–facing window. 1215 Vine St., Over-the- Rhine, (513) 429- 5745, 1215vine.com


Annata Wine Bar & Cellar

Whether you’ve got the nose of a trained sommelier or are totally satisfied with the low-shelf screwtops at the grocery store (nothing wrong with that!), there’s a surprise to be found for everyone at Annata. Book a table for two for your next date night, order a few light bites to start, and let the experts at this O’Bryonville wine bar take the reins. 2021 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 871-8788, annatawinebarandcellar.com


Bar Saeso

Sure, you could book a romantic vacation to Southern Italy for your next anniversary. Or you could save yourself the transatlantic flight and go to Bar Saeso instead. The tiny Pendleton joint is about as close as you can get to a Euro-cool neighborhood bar on this side of the globe. 1208 Sycamore St., Pendleton, barsaeso.com


Ripple Wine Bar

Part dining room, part wine bar, this duo of restaurants (one in Covington, one in O’Bryonville) takes the guessing game out of ordering. The food and wine menus are compact and carefully curated, leaving more time for you and your partner to focus on the reason you’re really there: Each other. Multiple locations, ripplewinebar.com


The Blind Lemon

A hidden gem in Mt. Adams, this homey bar sports a roaring fireplace and live music six nights a week. The outdoor brick courtyard is accessible year-round, too: in the spring and summer, it features an array of plants, and in the winter it features a massive fire pit. What’s better than cozying up next to your partner around the fire? 936 Hatch St., Mt. Adams, (513) 241-3885, theblindlemon.com


Somerset

In the summertime, there’s probably not a cooler-looking outdoor spot than Somerset. African- and Asian-inspired decor, plants, and old exotic cars come together to form a space unlike anything else in Cincinnati—with plenty of hidden spots behind the leaves in case there’s a need to slip away for a kiss. 139 E. McMicken Ave., Over-the- Rhine, (513) 270- 5982, somersetotr.com


Homemaker’s

At Homemaker’s, classic date-friendly board games like Guess Who and Battleship sit alongside a hefty drink menu that has everything from elderflower liqueurs to zero-proof cocktails. And if the evening calls for something a little sexier and more dimly lit, head through the double doors to its sister bar Fifty-Fifty Gin Club. 39 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 394-7559, homemakersbar.com


Uncle Leo’s

A not-quite-dive bar with a cheeky sense of humor, this is probably the cheapest and most low-key spot for a couple to grab a weekday drink in all of Over-the- Rhine. The real secret at Leo’s is the incredible food, which is not always available but is always a thousand times better than usual bar fare in both quality and sophistication. 1709 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, uncleleosdive.com


Low Spark

This square-shaped neighborhood bar is best known for how every seat in the house faces a giant fish tank in the middle, brimming with aquatic creatures of all types. If that’s not enough to sell this as a perfect date spot, they’ve got $3 Budweiser daily and some of the most creative cocktails in town—like the Sandworm, which mixes bourbon, cinnamon, pineapple, lime, orange, and black walnut bitters. 15 W. 14th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 371-5722, lowsparkbar.com

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