At these Chattanooga bars, drink the cocktails then bring home the merch

Staff photos by Matt Hamilton / Bar manager Jacob Nichols makes and holds a Midori Yuzu Sour at Attack of the Tatsu. Merchandise is available for purchase at the restaurant.
Staff photos by Matt Hamilton / Bar manager Jacob Nichols makes and holds a Midori Yuzu Sour at Attack of the Tatsu. Merchandise is available for purchase at the restaurant.

It seems that more and more bars and restaurants these days are putting their logo or a catchy saying on various merchandise that they offer for sale at their establishments, enticing their guests to consider bringing home a more tangible memento — in the form of a hoodie or a baseball cap — of their dining or drinking experience there.

If your love of shopping is only eclipsed by your love of a good cocktail, head to these Scenic City spots where you can indulge both those interests.

Attack of the Tatsu works with Nashville agency Fresh Creative Studios to design its Japanese-themed merch, which includes shirts featuring designs ranging from a beckoning cat in samurai armor to an egg surfing a tsunami wave rising from a bowl of ramen.

The izakaya and ramen shop recently refreshed its merchandise selection with a new set of designs when stock of the original shirts got low after a few months in business, owner Daniel Starkey says.

Attack of the Tatsu's Japanese focus extends to the bar, which uses only Japanese products, says bar manager Jacob Nichols. The Midori Yuzu Sour features Midori, a bright green Japanese melon liqueur, combined with yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, and Roku, a Japanese gin that's less juniper-forward than a London dry gin. A bit of lemon juice rounds out the drink.

"Japanese melon's going to hit you in the nose," Nichols says of the drink's flavor. "It's really the star of the show, and the yuzu will give a nice blend of lemon-lime citrus to it."

Midori Yuzu Sour

What you need:

1 ½ ounces Midori

1 ounce gin

1 ounce lemon juice

¼ ounce yuzu liqueur

What you do:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Strain into glass with ice.

(READ MORE: Restaurant Scene: Attack of the Tatsu brings Tokyo vibes to town)

No Hard Feelings Bar brings its salty attitude to its selection of merchandise, with the designs of its shirts and hoodies emulating album covers of punk and metal bands like Black Flag and Morbid Angel, as well as the bar's signature sketchy doodles — including cats flipping the middle finger, a magic 8 ball that reads "no," a spilled drink and a dying plant — that also adorn the bar's bathroom wallpaper and website.

The Thai tea-based Shadow Dancer cocktail has a similar spicy edge to it, with a blend of vermouth and Cynar that brings out the bitter notes of the tea. "The tea has cinnamon and star anise and cardamom, so it's really spicy and super flavorful," manager Taylore Lobo says. "I love that it's really punchy, and those Thai flavors are just really beautiful together, especially that creamy coconut milk."

They recommend the drink to people who want something refreshing and not too sweet, which is kind of the whole vibe at No Hard Feelings.

(READ MORE: No Hard Feelings offers specialty cocktails on Broad Street)

  photo  Staff photos by Matt Hamilton / Taylore Lobo adds nutmeg as they prepare a Shadow Dancer cocktail at No Hard Feelings. T-shirts are available for purchase at the restaurant.

Shadow Dancer

What you need:

2 ounces Thai tea

¾ ounce cinnamon syrup

¾ ounce Cynar

¾ ounce vermouth blend (equal parts Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Punt e Mes)

1 ounce coconut milk

What you do:

Combine the first four ingredients in a shaker and shake. Pour into glass with ice (do not strain). Float coconut milk on top.

(READ MORE: How to make the 'Trashmopolitan' cocktail from No Hard Feelings in Chattanooga)

Specializing in smoked meats and freshly pressed tortillas, Little Coyote has an interior with a hip southwestern vibe that's reflected in both its merch and its cocktails, including its turquoise T-shirts, cactus beanies and mezcal-heavy cocktail menu.

Named for the city in southern Mexico, the Oaxacan Old Fashioned is an interesting riff on the classic old-fashioned and features Xila, a mezcal-based liqueur infused with herbs and spices.

"Then we express that fresh citrus oil over the top of it, so it's really bright and uplifting, but it's in that sort of deep, rich, smoky chili place, which is really cool," bar manager Garth Poe says. "Obviously, old-fashioned lovers would love this, but I think that this is also a drink that you could enjoy if you're trying to dip your toe into the world of mezcal because it is subtly smoky, but it's got a bunch of approachable flavors surrounding it that soften the blow a little bit."

  photo  Staff photos by Olivia Ross / Tyler Gil, chef de cuisine at Little Coyote, pictured with an Oaxacan Old Fashioned and Little Coyote merchandise

Oaxacan Old Fashioned

What you need:

- 1 dash mole bitters

- 2 dashes orange bitters

- 1 bar spoon turbinado simple syrup (2 parts turbinado sugar, 1 part water)

- ½ ounce Xila

- ½ ounce Fidencio Mezcal

- 1 ounce Dulce Vida Reposado tequila 100 proof

What you do:

Combine all ingredients into rocks glass. Mount with ice. Stir and garnish with lemon twist.

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