Craft by Design – Part One: The Bar
“So is this a distillery with a cocktail bar or…a cocktail bar with its own distillery?”. That’s a question we get a lot here at Gate 11. And, admittedly, its a fair one. What is not in question however is that the commitment to craft creativity does not stop at the distillery boundary.
Gate 11 was perhaps the first Tennessee craft distillery to take full advantage of a 2018 change in state regulations that allowed actual cocktails to be served at distilleries. That is why, Gate 11 was designed from its initial inception as both distillery and bar. It’s why we positioned our cocktail bar to service both an intimate and period-charming indoor space as well as an expansive outdoor space under covered canopy and looking out directly at the Choo Choo engine and Gardens.
Inspired by the incredible craft spirits that our distillers keep producing and perhaps a bit by the still lingering echoes of travelers of past decades here in the Chattanooga Choo Choo, our bar staff have taken the notion of crafting cocktails to new creative heights making our cocktail bars are one of the most interesting things to do in Chattanooga.
Seasonal fruits and locally sourced botanicals are daily converted into an amazing assortment of simple syrups. The bar is lined with a bevy of colorful house-made mixers – orgeat, triple sec, aperol, grenadine and kahlua. Edible flowers from local organic farms adorn glass rims. Our award-winning gin is infused with cucumber to create a totally different gin experience. Gate 11 Vodka is infused with Ghost Pepper for the bold palate. Where commercial mixers like tonic and mineral waters are required, only the finest are used.
These mixologists can deliver the classics of course. Our vodka, gin rums and whiskey elevate the standards to an impressive level. The recent addition of our ONCE Agave Blanco spirit completes the Gate 11 spirits line-up and now gives us tequila-cocktail capabilities.
But that is just the start. Gate 11 now has an impressive list of Signature cocktails, house-created specialties that have stood the test of time and become new standards at our bar. The bar also features an ever changing kaleidoscope of delicious new cocktail concoctions. Seasonal specials, slushes in warm weather and hot soul warmers in the winter months.
The Gate 11 cocktail bars were purposely designed to be a sanctuary, a place a little out of time and space to gather with friends and loved ones, to connect over indulgent moments and perhaps to take away a spirit of creativity to apply to other challenges.