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singlebarrel speakeasy


I’m not much of a drinker, but I’ve always wanted to go to a Prohibition era-style speakeasy. This past weekend, I finally went! A few friends and I met up at singlebarrel, a speakeasy in San Jose, for a completely charming experience and possibly the best cocktail I’ve ever had (the Bramble). Below are my favorite parts from my first speakeasy experience.

1. Located in a completely unmarked building, the speakeasy can be easy to miss. Patrons can find the entrance by looking for the single barrel (get it? 😉 mounted above the door.
2. I never know what to order at bars, and usually I get something pretty standard like a cranberry vodka just because I don’t know what else I’d like. Luckily, singlebarrel makes it easy for people like me–right when you walk in, a bartender greets you and asks you questions about what flavors and liquors you like. Based on your answers, the bartender will choose your first drink for you. I told our bartender that I liked fruity, slightly tart flavors and a light alcohol taste. He was right on the money when he made me a Bramble, a gin-based cocktail mixed with blackberry liqueur–it tasted like a grown-up version of a snow cone.
3. Although the decor is minimal, the ambiance is great. They also use vintage-looking cocktail napkins made of real fabric which is a really cute touch.
4. They are all about slowing things down and so it shouldn’t have been surprising (although it was) when our bartender pulled a big wooden hammer off the wall to smash the ice for our drinks. All the juices were hand-squeezed, too.
5. The bartenders wear newsboy caps and tell you stories from back in the day as they make your drinks.
Just as I expected, I’m a big fan of speakeasies! Have you been to one before? Are you as big a fan as I am?

Last modified: January 10, 2019