5 to Try: Post readers’ picks for best cocktails in Johnson County 🍸

Bottoms up, Johnson County! Here our Post readers' picks for five cocktails to try in and around Johnson County, including the hip, artisanal concoctions mixed up at Drastic Measures in Shawnee, above. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

Raise a glass, readers, to our neighborhood pubs, bars and restaurants that offer some of the finest cocktails in the Johnson County area.

We, uh, mixed it up this week, and you delivered.

From classy speakeasy vibes to cleverly designed drinks with all the finesse, these cocktail bars and restaurants have much to offer.

Our readers also gave us specific recommendations on what to order — and so did the bartenders who bring art and science together to craft the perfectly mixed spiked beverage for you.

Cheers!

Drastic Measures (Shawnee)

From left: Wuyi Cobbler, Thots & Prayers, Manhattan Transfer. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

While relatively new to downtown Shawnee, this cocktail bar has become a top pick for many of our readers.

Tucked into a century-old stone building in the heart of downtown, Drastic Measures opened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For excellent cocktails and a great experience, one needs to look no further than Drastic Measures in downtown Shawnee,” said Post reader Rorik Peterson. “With a creative menu, excellent mixologists, and a wonderful atmosphere, provided space is available, it is an excellent choice.”

Try their Manhattan Transfer for a bittersweet bite topped with a fresh raspberry. Or sample Thots & Prayers for a bit of spice, the Wuyi Cobbler if you’re craving something fruity, or the Madre Maiz for a new take on the Old Fashioned.

Due to its small space, Drastic Measures does have capacity limits, so guests don’t get overcrowded. No reservations, it’s first come, first served.

Located at 5817 Nieman Road, Shawnee, Drastic Measures is open 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Verbena (Prairie Village)

The Barrel Rider, a handcrafted cocktail at Verbena in Prairie Village. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

Located by The Inn at Meadowbrook in Prairie Village’s Meadowbrook Park, this up-scale American restaurant rose to the top as one of our readers’ go-tos for a fine cocktail.

Each drink on the selective cocktail menu at Verbena is cleverly made with expert hands, but some stand out for our readers.

“The Barrel Rider is outstanding!” said Post reader Dave Harrold. That cocktail combines bourbon and two liqueurs, with a lemony finish.

Their bartenders recommend the most popular drink on the menu: the Spring Water, which is not as innocent as it sounds. A bright and refreshing drink with premium vodka and lime juice, this cocktail finishes with a hint of rosé and peach bitter.

Located at 4901 Meadowbrook Parkway, Prairie Village, Verbena is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and open for dinner 5-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour is 3-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Iron Horse Bar & Grill (Leawood)

The Honey Badger Smash was on offer as the cocktail of the week at Iron Horse Bar & Grill. Photo credit Nikki Lansford.

Our readers love this American-style restaurant in Leawood, not just for its food.

The signature cocktails at Iron Horse Bar & Grill are also a big draw and affordable.

Come here for the classic cocktail experience, with Iron Horse’s versions of classics like the Old Fashioned, margaritas, Moscow mules and other concoctions that endear this local bar and grill to Post readers, like Ann Schuster.

Her favorite drink is the Honey Badger Smash. Unfortunately, that drink is no longer available because it was a featured “drink of the week,” but the menu still boasts a curated selection of crafted cocktails, so it’s definitely worth a visit. (And if you’re dying to try it, the bar put the recipe for the Honey Badger Smash on its Facebook page).

Give this place a shot on Friday for a dance party with Design DJ’s starting at 8 p.m.!

Located at 5317 W. 151st St., Leawood, Iron Horse Bar & Grill is open for the lunch menu 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and open for the dinner menu 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Brunch is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and a limited late-night menu is available 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

J. Alexander’s (Overland Park)

A bartender prepares a Cosmopolitan cocktail at J. Alexander’s in Overland Park. Photo credit Nikki Lansford.

Looking for a contemporary and upscale atmosphere to imbibe a handcrafted cocktail?

Look no further than J. Alexander’s Restaurant in Overland Park. Our readers come here for the fine dining but also the cocktail menu.

“Cosmopolitan at J Alexander’s!” said Post reader Ruth Hopkins. “Hands down the best in JoCo!!”

Located at 11471 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, J. Alexander’s is open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Pierpont’s at Union Station (Kansas City)

The Jezebel Martini is a signature cocktail at Pierpont’s at Union Station. Photo credit Leah Wankum.

In the mood for a classy, moody experience to enjoy a fancy cocktail? Some of our readers recommend hopping across State Line to Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

Pierpont’s at Union Station offers a beautiful and broad-ranging selection of cocktails in a classic-feeling art deco space that overlooks the train tracks.

Post reader Barb Z. of Prairie Village recommends ordering the Jezebel Martini.

“Didn’t notice the cost of it…..doesn’t matter,” she said. “THE BEST EVER.”

If martinis aren’t your thing, the bartenders recommend the Old Fashioned Revolution, a bold cocktail with bourbon and dry curaçao; the Westport Room Whiskey Sour with limoncello and port wine foam; or The Streetcar, a cocktail with CAMUS VS cognac, allspice and lemon.

Located at 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri, Pierpont’s at Union Station is open 3-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 3-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.