Best of Houston® 2021

Best Of Houston® 2021: Best Cocktail Bar

Julep's Missionary's Downfall (left) and Nightshade Apero (right) are the perfect cures for a hot Houston afternoon.
Julep's Missionary's Downfall (left) and Nightshade Apero (right) are the perfect cures for a hot Houston afternoon. Photo by Meghan Davenport
Best Cocktail Bar: Julep

Master mixologist Alba Huerta has kept her crown jewel cocktail bar Julep cranking out both classic cocktails and a wide variety of innovative drinks for years now. Whether your palate tends to favor timeless drinks like the bar’s titular mint julep or craves more creative concoctions (like the Nightshade Apero currently on offer, the most creative use of the humble red bell pepper we’ve seen in years), Julep has you covered.

But while the bar’s cozy, dimly-lit booths are still as comfy as ever, what truly set Julep apart from the rest of the local cocktail scene during the past year-plus was its new cocktails-to-go truck. Throughout the pandemic, the Julep truck has trekked across the greater Houston area serving up classic Julep beverages at parks, food truck meetups and other events, much to the delight of COVID-averse Houstonians still looking to get their drink on. Anyone can reserve the truck to swing by anywhere within the city with just a tad of advance notice, and the bar’s trusty road staff will drive up, pump the brakes and whip you up a delicious drink (like the to-die-for piña colada in a hollowed-out pineapple) within just a few minutes.

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