When we first visited Bar-K
in mid-2016, we dug the vibe but found the signature drinks in need of polish. We’ve since learned why Indy
readers endorsed the chill spot in 2016’s Best Of
— it tied for Best New Bar. With the presence of beloved local barman Otis Mitchem, the love for the low-key spot is unlikely to tarnish.
I start with a signature Noche de los Muertos ($8), built on a sturdy flavor base of Lee Spirits cocoa gin, orange juice and Chateau Monet raspberry liqueur with a little spice from Lee Spirits GinFuego. It goes down easy but has enough complexity to work as a sipper. Mitchem’s old fashioned, ($8 during happy hour) which I get with Old Scout American whiskey, inspires a brief conversation: I prefer that drink stirred, rather than shaken, preserving subtleties in the whiskey. Mitchem prefers to shake — it dissolves a sugar cube faster, and he says simple syrup makes the drink too sweet. Chalk one up to taste and order another.