Best of Knoxville 2012: Drink

Best Martini

Sapphire
Runners Up: Baker Peters Fine Dining & Lounge, Bistro at the Bijou, Chesapeake’s

Best Margarita

Soccer Taco
See also: Best Mexican, Best $5 Meal
Runners Up: Cancun’s Mexican Restaurant, Chez Guevara, Senor Taco

Bloody Mary at Bistro at the Bijou

Bloody Mary at Bistro at the Bijou

Best Bloody Mary

Bistro at the Bijou
See Best Brunch in Food, Best Story About Knoxville in Knoxville Life.
Runners Up: The Crown & Goose, Downtown Grill & Brewery, Preservation Pub

Best Sweet Tea

Petro’s
They don’t call sweet tea the “house wine of Tennessee” for nothing, and Petro’s brews Hint of Orange to satisfy the most serious critics. It’s everyday excellent, like those who roll out biscuits every morning or steam rice every evening: They’ve just got a feel for it. The standards are exacting: drip-brewed black tea leaves that do indeed have a hint of orange; sweetened while still hot, cooled, and then ladled over the store’s signature “crunchable” ice. And then they’ll pop that orange slice on the side for you; for some reason Petro’s doesn’t have the same struggles us mere mortals do finding sweet fresh oranges for all seasons. Since they never stopped using granulated sugar, now they’re way out in front of the high-fructose corn syrup concerns. If you can’t get enough, they always offer great deals on refillable mugs, and now sell gallons for $5 and some change. You can also buy brew packs and make it yourself. But really, they’re so good at it, why not just let them do it for you? (R.K.)
Runners Up: Apple Cake Tea Room, Calhoun’s, Chandler’s Deli

Best Happy Hour

Downtown Grill & Brewery
Runners Up: Preservation Pub, Urban Bar, The Well

Best Beer Selection (Restaurant)

Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria
See also: Best Bar in Best of the Best.
Runners Up: Downtown Grill & Brewery, Preservation Pub, Smoky Mountain Brewery

Best Wine List (Restaurant)

Oodles Uncorked
Still a rarity in Knoxville, a bar that emphasizes wine over beer. It’s not necessarily the fanciest wine list in town, but in terms of accessibility—both geographically, right on Market Square, and in terms of cost, especially for those on a reporter’s salary—it’s very hard to beat. Where else can you get a glass of wine—good wine—for $3? It’s its own place, a sunny café that stands almost independently of Oodles’ pasta-centric restaurant. Try a Spanish Martin Codax Albarino or a Coteaux de Languedoc Picpoul de Pinet. Correct pronunciation is not required. (J.N.)
Runners Up: Bistro by the Tracks, Chez Liberty, Cru Bistro & Wine Bar

Best Neighborhood Bar/Pub

Preservation Pub
Runners Up: Bearden Beer Market, Downtown Grill & Brewery, Public House

Best Liquor Store

Best Wine Store

Bob’s Package Store
Bob's is ye olde neighborhood liquor store for a good portion of Knoxville, but for those of use who live nowhere nearby, it's still worth the trip. Not only is Bob's huge—huge!—but it has fair prices, too. And, oh, the wine selection. There are affordable quaffable treasures you just won't find anywhere else in town at Bob's, so you might as while buy a case while you're at it, since it might be a while before you get back out there. (C.G.)
Best Liquor Store Runners Up: Downtown Wine + Spirits, McScrooge’s Package Store, Toddy’s Liquor & Wine
Best Wine Store Runners Up: Ashe’s, Downtown Wine + Spirits, McScrooge’s Package Store

Best Beer Market

Bearden Beer Market
One of the most interesting suburban strip locations in town, the Bearden Beer Market offers an unusual outdoor patio, and a sense of vacation. They have a huge selection, close to 200 different varieties of the brewer’s art from around the world (about 75 in kegs); most customers get it to go, but if you want to drink it there, you’ll have plenty of company at the picnic tables in the breezeway. Cornhole tournament every Tuesday. (J.N.)
Runners Up: The Casual Pint, The Market, Vic’s Package Store

Best Sports Bar

Wild Wing Cafe
Runners Up: Bailey’s Sports Grille, Roosters Sports Bar and Grill, Soccer Taco

Amie Snyder

Amie Snyder

Best Bartender

Amie Snyder, Sapphire
Runners Up: Adrienne Corts (Preservation Pub), Justin Foster (Club XYZ), Gina Truitt (The Well)

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