Best Of 2018

Best Social Sippery: Aster

Best Social Sippery
click to enlarge HAILEY BOLLINGER
Hailey Bollinger

Aster happened by mistake. When the owners of Sleepy Bee Café were renovating their new restaurant space on Fourth Street downtown, they discovered something unexpected — a third floor with expansive ceilings and beautiful wooden beams. After uncovering this special space, the team decided to turn it into a social sippery, a casual cocktail space above the café where friends can gather and relax while enjoying chef-inspired drinks. Beverage director Giacomo Ciminello — known as much for his distinctive handlebar mustache as the boozy milkshakes he has made a staple at Sundry and Vice cocktail bar in Over-the-Rhine — worked with chef Frannie Kroner and sous Emma Cotter to create a menu that brought “the farm to the cocktail world.” Standouts include the Fig Dandy, a fig syrup, bourbon and dandelion tea concoction, and the Voodoo Lily, a carrot-orange coconut milk and rum cocktail with a kick of curry. Tapping into the latest trend in mixology, there’s also a smattering of non-alcoholic and low ABV cocktails that go beyond soda and virgin mixed drinks to accommodate everyone in your party. Coming soon? Socials — carafes of drinks for sharing with friends old and new. Aster, 8 E. Fourth St., Downtown, asteronfourth.com.