Find your inner “kid in the candy store” at these four local bars, which add confections to their cocktails to show how very sweet happy hour — or any hour — can be.
The Carrie Fisher: Coconut rum, blueberry vodka, blue curaçao, pineapple and lime juice and rock candy
Who says you can’t meet your date at the arcade anymore? 16-Bit takes you on a journey to childhood offering more than 50 vintage arcade games and signature nostalgia-inducing drinks to follow. “Our bartender used The Force to come up with this recipe,” says Operations Manager Bob Berley. The cocktail pays homage to the late, great Fisher, who rose to fame as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, and looks like something you might drink at the Mos Eisley Cantina. 1331 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, 16-bitbar.com.
The Toucan Twister: A blend of seven fruit-flavored vodkas, fresh-squeezed orange juice, lemonade and Sprite with a rainbow Tutti Frutti lollipop garnish
The Birdcage is a new downtown LGBTQ nightclub and lounge that opened in late October. The colorful environment has also rubbed off on the cocktails, which are named after tropical birds. This signature drink is fun and fizzy and topped with a lollipop from local candy shop Peter Minges & Sons. The menu also features the Hummingbird, with bourbon, lemon and orange juice and a sugar candy lime wedge, and the large-format Fish Bowl, with a sugar candy grapefruit garnish. 927 Race St., Downtown, birdcagecincinnati.com.
The Pretty, Pretty Princess: Sparkling wine, amaretto and cotton candy with a candy necklace
This bar offers a unique experience not just in its more than 1,000 board game options, but also in the drinks it serves. Based off of the 1989 dress-up-style board game, this drink lives up to its royal name and lets the imbiber dress up as well: the candy necklace garnish is edible and wearable. The menu also features a Pixy Stix martini, with vodka, sour grape, sour island, lemon-lime soda and a rim covered in Pixy Stix powder. 1115 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, therookotr.com.
OTR Candy Bar
The Sour Patch Kids Martini: Gin, sweet and sour mix, DeKuyper Grape Pucker, pineapple juice and Sour Patch Kids garnish
If the overall theme of Findlay Market-adjacent artisan and vintage confectioner OTR Candy Bar does not send you back to the days of childhood, this drink definitely will. “The cocktail is the perfect homage for adults who are enjoying it for their inner child who has a desire to satisfy their sweet tooth,” says manager Kaylee Harrison. “ We love that the products in our store remind our customers of their childhood in a way they never have before, in the form of a cocktail.” 1735 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, otrcandybar.com.