Reviewing Tate’s Craft Cocktails

The first edition of a bar review column covering the local bars of Winston Salem, 21-plus!


Elisabeth Kuguru, Staff Writer

Welcome to my first-ever edition of Bar Review. For the record this has nothing to do with the law school and everything to do with alcohol, so 21-plus only, please. Every Thursday, I will visit different bars in Winston-Salem and then give you all my honest opinions as a student who has recently turned 21 and is new to the bar scene.

I will judge these bars based on drinks and ambiance, with a final rating at the end.

This week I visited Tate’s Craft Cocktails. It is a small bar on Fourth Street, a classic in the area. I heard about their great cocktails, which seem to be a staple for a lot of bartenders in Winston-Salem.

I arrived at the fairy-lit bar at around 8:45 p.m. When I sat at the bar, I was promptly greeted by a very friendly bartender and, of course, I ordered their most popular drink.


I ordered the Tate’s Gimlet which was $12. Although this drink was rather expensive, I found it very well balanced. The Gimlet was icy and garnished with a cucumber slice. It had the perfect balance of both sweet and sour and was overall extremely refreshing.

The next drink I ordered was off their Tiki Menu: the Painkiller. It was basically a piña colada with orange juice. The drink was yellow and frothy, garnished with an orange slice and a mini umbrella. To be frank, I hated this drink.

It was way too sweet for my liking and very rum-forward. If I went back, I would definitely stick to the classic drinks because that is clearly more up their alley. Upon telling the bartender all of this, she made me a new drink off the menu.

She made the same Tate’s Gimlet with no ice and a spritz of absinthe and mint — absolutely amazing additions. The mint rounded out the flavor of the drink perfectly, and I would definitely ask for this drink if I returned.

Lastly, I drank a pickleback shot, which is essentially just a shot followed by pickle juice (which is hydrating and helps with next-day hangovers). This time the bartender had me try hot sauce followed by the shot and then the pickle juice. I would definitely recommend it if you are feeling ambitious.


Overall, the bar gave me speakeasy-meets-tiki vibes. One of the bartenders I spoke to described it as the nicest dive bar or the ‘diviest’ nice bar. That assessment is spot-on, as soft rock played and a disco ball spun above the draft beers. I felt safe and the bathrooms were also clean and stocked with hairbands, mints and tampons. The bartender’s kindness and attentiveness just added to the bar’s general coziness.

Final Rating:

I would rate this bar experience as an 8/10. The customer base was friendly and you can tell that the bartenders all enjoy working there. The drinks were generally very solid, although I would steer clear of the Tiki menu if you are not into sweet drinks. The ambiance was very relaxing. The cocktails are on the pricier side, but I would say any of their classic drinks are well worth the money.

If you want a quaint night to meet some friendly people and drink some quality beverages I would definitely recommend Tate’s Craft Cocktails.

Don’t forget to tip well!