It’s the moment I have been (im)patiently waiting for… I’m finally of legal drinking age! All of my friends turned 21 before me, so they have been telling me about all the great bars in the Lehigh Valley area that I HAD to have a drink at before heading back up to school.

My mom was equally as excited as I was for my 21st birthday. It meant we had an excuse to have a “girls night out,” and she had another person to join her on two of the drinking challenges she’s a part of – I’ll get to that later.

Let the fun begin. Here’s the top 5 bars I can’t wait to test out:

  1. The Bookstore:  Located near Lehigh University, this bar transports you back to the 1920s as a speakeasy. The atmosphere alone seems like a unique experience, but the prohibition-era cocktails and punch bowls are the finishing touch. The Bookstore serves sophisticated cocktails with cool names like “The Gloom Chaser” and “The New Deal.” I want to try the “Shirley Temple of Doom,” a potent mix of grenadine, orange juice, a pinch of sugar, ginger ale, a double dash of absinthe, the first 3 bottles of liquor that pop into your bartender’s head and “backbone, courage and a dash of chutzpah.” Mom, you’re going to need to drive me home after that one.
  1. Porters' Pub: I can’t wait to join Porters' Mug Club (my mom can’t wait, either). Once you drink all 60 of the beers on the Brew Guide, you’re rewarded a mug that you can take home as a souvenir or you can keep it at Porters' to show off your accomplishment. I can’t say I know much about beer yet, but after I complete this drinking challenge, I’ll definitely feel like a beer connoisseur.
  1. Roosevelt's 21st: I actually went to Roosevelt’s for my first legal drink. I played it safe with Electric Lemonade, but ‘Rosie’s,’ as many affectionately call the restaurant and bar, also whips up prohibition cocktails. Rosie’s is a fun place to head on the weekends, as there’s often a live DJ mixing up some beats. Drink 50 beers and join the 21st Amendment Club, and you’ll receive a free hoodie and 5% off all purchases for life. Be sure to stay updated on events and specials through their Facebook page.
  1. Broadway Social: My friends have been raving about this bar all summer, and I’ve been filled with jealousy seeing their fun evenings here on social media. Broadway Social is absolutely packed on the weekends, probably due to their fantastic bartending and creative concoctions. I’ve been eying the “Summer S’more,” made with 360 Double Chocolate Vodka, Godiva Liqueur, graham cracker rim and scorched marshmallow. I also can’t wait to sip on the “Mr. Miagi,” a drink made with green-tea infused gin, basil seed-nigori sake, lychee juice and lychee gummy.
  1. 1818 Tavern: Another one of my mom’s drinking challenges! Known for having some of the best martinis in the Lehigh Valley, 1818 Tavern stamps a card for every martini you buy. Once you’ve tried all of their martinis, enjoy a martini on the house! I’ve gone here for years for food, and it’s a cozy place that you always feel welcome at.

If you have any other suggestions for bars I should check out, comment below!