by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | May 15, 2018

Cheryl-Anne SturkenEdgar's Proof and Provision's house blendHotel bars are the essential go-to spots for deal-making, networking, a solo night cap or to just people watch. And they're not only for guests, either, as locals flock to this new breed of watering hole that is big on design, bold on food and ramping up the cocktail scene with signature creations that celebrate locally crafted spirits. To wet your whistle on your next business trip, here are six new hotel bars that have social media all atwitter!

• An establishment named Moonshine conjures up images of a rough-and-tumble kind of gathering place. Think again. In Birmingham, Ala., it's actually a classy rooftop bar on the 17th floor of the city's newest boutique property, the 111-room Elyton Hotel. Part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, the hotel opened in September 2017 in the former 1909 Empire Building, following a $45 million overhaul. Moonshine dishes up crafted cocktails and small plates with a distinctive nod to its Southern roots. Sample the crab claw bites, baked Gulf oysters with spinach, and house-made bread pudding.

Mordecai at the 173-room Hotel Zachary, which opened this past March in Chicago's Lakeview district, is the place for whiskey aficionados. It claims to feature one of the country's largest selections of collectible vintage spirits, with a focus on rare whiskey, and its bar menu includes several limited-edition pours. The hotel, which is named for Zachary Taylor Davis, the legendary Chicagoan and architect who in 1914 designed Wrigley Field, sits across the street from the hallowed ballpark, making Mordecai the perfect drinking spot for baseball fans of any team.

• The Crimson Whiskey Bar, inside the 245-room Pod DC Hotel in our nation's capital, has a public-house vibe and celebrates whiskey's rich history in the American South. Perch on one of the leather couches while engaging in authentic Southern grazing on the likes of Virginia ham boards; deviled eggs topped with pork rinds; and fried spicy potato wedges with crispy okra, served with peppercorn ranch for dunking. The hotel opened last May in the Chinatown district, across from the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station.

Capella on 9, the rooftop bar at the 132-room AC Hotel by Marriott Asheville Downtown, landed on this year's U.S. News & World Report list of 50 Top Rooftop Bars Around the World. This swanky new hotspot, in the second AC Hotel by Marriott to open in the Carolinas, offers head-turning mountain views and showcases local musical talent. Nosh from a menu that celebrates the local farm-to-table phenomenon and sip handcrafted cocktails like "Some Kind of Mule on Tap," which features the bar's own house-made mule mix, with your choice of vodka, gin or bourbon

• The 32-seat George Washington bar in the 394-room Freehand Hotel, which opened this past January in New York City's Flatiron District, is set within a 90-year-old library room of the former George Washington Hotel. This cozy, sophisticated den features mahogany millwork, vintage furniture and a restored original fireplace, along with a cocktail menu that is wildly creative. Bar manager Ben Rojo says many of the drinks were inspired by notable figures in American Revolutionary history and American pop culture, but it's hard to find an antecedent for the "Smoke and Melons," which includes vodka, cantaloupe, manzanilla sherry and prosciutto. The bar menu is just as creative. ranging from standard fare like deviled eggs and a salted pretzel to a grilled cheese made with fontina, black truffle and caviar on buttered toast.

Edgar's Proof and Provision in the 246-room DeSoto Savannah, which opened in Georgia last September, features all things bourbon, including a variety of artisanal cocktails and a huge selection of private-label iterations. The bar even serves up its own house blend, Edgar's Truth. On hand are culinary temptations such as locally sourced charcuterie, chicken biscuits served with tomato and jalapeño jam, and of course bourbon-glazed wings. The place even has its own loyalty club for bourbon lovers, called Proofreaders. There are no membership requirements -- just show up at a meeting on the last Thursday of each month to sample new batches; but if you insist on paying to join, a $50 annual fee covers a personalized membership card, a 75-whiskey checklist to track your progress and monthly private tastings with fellow Proofreaders.

Learn more about hosting your next event at these venues and easily submit an RFP:

Elyton Hotel

Hotel Zachary

Marriott Ashville Downtown

Freehand Hotel

DeSoto Savannah