‘Mela’ is a Hindi word. It translates in English to mean ‘a fair’ or a coming together of people in celebration. For Western North Carolina, Mela also means one of the best Asheville bars. With its central location on Lexington Ave. in the heart of downtown, Mela offers more than just a delicious place for food. It’s a place to drink, celebrate, and come together over fine cuisine and serious cocktails.
When you decide to grab a drink at Mela, you’re in very good hands. Their expert bartenders have a over a decade worth of combined experience behind the bar in Asheville. Recently, they put their heads together to revamp the cocktail list and the result will make you salivate.
The soon-to-be-released drink menu promises a fusion of Indian classics. Bar manager, Roger Tunnell talks about his favorite new option, “The drink I’m most excited about is the ‘Trading Company’. I wanted to fuse the booziness of a classic western cocktail with the spice-rich flavors of India. We're mixing together cognac, rye, chicory liqueur, chai-infused sweet vermouth and saffron bitters to create a boozy, but distinctly Indian flavor.”
A creative new combination of liquor isn’t the only new addition to Mela’s already stacked bar. Tunnell also reveals that the wine list is getting a serious upgrade. For example, the bar just picked up ‘Semaphore 7’. This wine is a Portugese blend of indigenous varietals that’s sustainably farmed.
But … you can’t take the title of one of the best Asheville bars without beer. Classic Indian favorites hold their own at Mela where they're serving Kingfisher lager, Taj Mahal, and Flying Horse. Also set to return this month is the fan-favorite Indian beer,Maharaja pilsner. And don’t worry, you can still find some specialty local craft beers on tap at Mela if you need your local beer city fix.
Pop into Mela this month to explore their revamped cocktail menu and find out why locals call it one of the best Asheville bars.