Bar Review: Satisfying Speakeasy-Inspired Cocktails at Tupper & Reed - Photos + Menu (Berkeley)

Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon

Tupper & Reed building in 1925.
Source: Berkeley Plaques

I continue to find more reasons to love the East Bay. Tupper & Reed is a vintage-style cocktail bar (brought to you by the same team behind Bourbon & Branch in SF) that opened up in downtown Berkeley last week, replacing Beckett's Irish Pub. Patrick and I went for a visit to check it out on Saturday at 5:30pm and had a great experience. 

Tupper & Reed is named after the building's first tenant Tupper & Reed sheet music and instrument store from the 1920’s to 1940’s. The decor and experience of the bar is themed around the music and instruments of that era. In the next few months, they plan to have live music and entertainment. 

We are happy to welcome Tupper & Reed to the neighborhood. They offer elaborate and satisfying cocktails that are different than most bars in the area. It's the kind of bar that we can see ourselves stopping over before catching dinner in downtown Berkeley. Here are some photos and a few of the drinks that I'd recommend. 

Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon
Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon

The Drinks

The drink menu for the first floor is divided into three main parts: citrus driven, spirit driven, and punch (requires minimum of three people). Each drink we ordered was incredibly smooth and handled with great attention to detail. For those of you who like your drinks bold and strong, you should go with the spirit driven cocktails. 

Our bartender was very friendly and knowledgeable, fun to watch. The menu does give a warning that each drink may take a while to make, but the turnaround was very quick during the time we went. 

Here's a look at the four drinks I'd highly recommend. 

Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon

Crescendo ($10)

Made with Punt e Mes, Fernet Menthe, Lemon, Raspberry Syrup, Grapefruit Soda, Old Fashioned Bitters. This was my favorite cocktail because it was like an adult version of a lemon-raspberry soda. It's sweet and tart, very easy to drink. Each sip had a lovely menthol taste that enhanced the refreshing component. 

Spice Trader ($9)

Made with Gin or Vodka, Lime, Grapefruit, Ginger Syrup, Allspice. This was Patrick's favorite cocktail. Bold gin herbal flavors layered with a tart and bitter grapefruit taste. They make their own allspice dram, so a couple of dashes gave it an exotic twist. 

Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon

Devils Run ($7)

Made with White Rum, Lemon, Pineapple Gomme, Basil Eau de Vie, Absinthe. A bright and refreshing cocktail that reminds me of a Pisco Punch. The pineapple gomme's bright acidity helped to bring out the aromatics of the basil and absinthe.

Revolver ($9)

Made with Bulleit Bourbon, Tia Maria, Orange Bitters, Coffee Liqueur. You can't go wrong with one of the most popular and original Bourbon & Branch cocktails. You get the bold and strong taste of whiskey balanced with the coffee, finished by the lovely fragrance and brightness of a fire-lit orange peel. A drink that will satisfy any bourbon lover. 

Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon
Tupper & Reed - Berkeley | Bites & Bourbon

Tupper & Reed uses high-quality ingredients in their cocktails, making use of house made liquors and syrups and incorporating fresh herbs and fruits. 

the crowd

The crowd's age range falls somewhere between their late-20s to 40s. I find that going on a Saturday at 5:30pm is perfect because it wasn't crowded, the audience noise levels were low, the music was at the right volume, and the vibe was casual and comfortable.

TUPPER & REED Menu - FIRST FLOOR

There are two sections at Tupper & Reed. The first floor is casual and open for walk-ins and the second floor is reservation-only. The menu offered on the first floor is limited in comparison to the second floor menu, which according to Inside Scoop offers 70 drinks on the menu, along with a list of 300 spirits, including 21 rye whiskeys, 44 bourbons, and 65 Scotch whiskeys. There are also 10 spirits flights for sampling. 

Here's the full menu posted by Eater SF

You may click on the images below to enlarge the first floor menu. 

The next time we go Tupper & Reed, we will likely make reservations to check out their upstairs menu.


VISITING tupper & Reed

Location

2271 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704

Website

www.tupperandreed.com

Phone

(510) 900-2588

Hours

  • Monday - Saturday: 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

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