As sizzling temps settle in and packs of reveling spirits drift to Walnut Street, finding a place to enjoy a cocktail or two sans the crowds can be a challenge. For cooling (not to mention peaceful) respites, check out these five speakeasies that promise craft cocktails and exclusivity.
The Ranstead Room
With red walls adorned with provocative paintings and miniature lamps emitting just the right amount of light for an intimate setting, The Ranstead Room offers a romantic space perfect for both lovers and loners. You'll have little to no difficulty grabbing the bartenders’ attention here, which means you'll be able to quickly tend to your citrusy cravings with their Rah-tah-tah-tah, a blend of pineapple, Jamaican rum, curaçao, calvados, and orgeat. 2013 Ranstead St.
Don't let the casual feel of the upstairs fool you—give the password and find that the book stand near the entrance is actually a secret entrance. Once you enter, peruse their menu of entrées and raw bar offerings before taking a look at their extensive drink list. From classics like Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds to inventive sips like Three Kingdoms (Whistlepig 10 Year Rye, apple brandy, and Whistlepig Barrel Aged Maple Syrup), there's a drink for every discerning cocktail aficionado. 223 S. Sydenham St., 267-603-2468
This quaint rendition of the Victorian era is excellent for conversing and socializing: The circular and intimate arrangement of the antique couches and chairs is ideal for groups looking to engage in good conversation and imbibe equally fantastic drinks. When you're ready to start sipping, don't let the creative drink names throw you off. For a particularly strong sip, try the Tobacco Road, a biting infusion of scotch, Barenjäger honey liquor, Laphroaig 10, dry vermouth, and angostura bitters. Your liver may need some consoling following consumption. 2006 Chestnut St., 215-665-0456
With an entrance that’s far from obscure, Twisted Tail isn’t necessarily a speakeasy as much as it is a one-of-a-kind watering hole. With bourbon, flights, and roasted pigs as its main attractions, this bar and restaurant doesn't only serve fancy cocktails. Check out the upstairs area where patrons can toast and sip to live music throughout the week. 509 S. Second St., 215-558-2471
The entrance is just one of the appealing features of this notable speakeasy. But don't try to saunter in on your own; the security guard will hospitably escort you down into this quiet, narrow bar boasting chestnut colored decor. If you're fond of experimentation, let the mixologists create a drink just for you with spices and ingredients you wouldn't expect. With tagrashi spice, chilli peppers, or egg whites, the team here will make sure your drinks are nothing like the ones you're used to at your usual, run-of-the-mill bar. 112 S. 18th St., 267-467-3277