10 Best Cocktail Bars in New York
With bartenders and mixologists getting more creative than ever with the special ingredients available at their fingertips, bars in New York offer incredibly unique cocktails. Forget a typical cosmopolitan, as in these bars you’ll have the chance to sip cocktails incorporating anything from sake to beetroot to freshly pressed watermelon juice to absinthe. What will your new favorite drink be?
Reminiscent of old Cuba, your visit to Blacktail will be a travel experience without the hassle of flying. Enjoy classic drinks with a contemporary twist, such as the Cayo Coco, made with Caribbean rum, genever, coconut, macadamia, lime, Peychaud’s Bitters, salt, and club soda. Drinks here are all organized by class, so you’ll find highball, punch, sour, old fashioned, and cocktails. While stopping by for a drink, be sure to order off their perfectly curated menu of Cuba-inspired dishes.
Enter the sleek, polished wood interior of Bar Goto, slide up to the bar, and order a tasting of Japanese bar food along with a specialty craft cocktail. Taste a bit of Tokyo with a Nippon Spritz made from sake, rice sochu, and tonic, or enjoy an Ume Fizz, with Japanese plum brandy, Mirabelle, and soda. The simple but carefully crafted cocktails use only the finest ingredients to let the flavors speak for themselves.
Unapologetically cool, Apotheke creates a memorable atmosphere, with interiors designed like an old apothecary, burlesque dancers, and live music—a visit to Apotheke is like entering the film Moulain Rouge by Baz Luhrmann. The cocktail menu consists of a variety of “prescription lists,” including Seasonal Prescriptions, Prohibition Prescriptions, and Belle Epoque Prescriptions, with drinks like tonics for health & beauty or stress relief. An example of a stress relief cocktail is Tainted Love, made from gin with beets, pomegranate, ruby port, Peychaud’s Bitters, lime, and agave syrup.
Often voted as “Best Bar in the World,” Dead Rabbit is a spot you have to visit if you’re a foodie visiting New York City. This very unique Irish pub spans three floors, with each level offering a different atmosphere. Try the Deep Down & Dirty, made from Armagnac, bourbon, macadamia nut, poppy seed, blueberry, grapefruit, lemon, and aromatic bitters.
Enter historic Macao, a trading crossroads of the East and West, to sip on cocktails that entwine both Asian and European flavors. Try the Drunken Dragon’s Milk, made with green tea vodka, coconut, Thai basil, and Macao Five-spice Bitters; or instead, opt for the delicate Bashful Maiden, consisting of gin, elderflower liqueur, Velvet Falernum, lemon juice, and melon. Macao also serves meals and late night snacks.
The three owners of Pouring Ribbons are all award-winners in hospitality, so as you’d expect, the bar itself perfectly welcoming. The cocktails are rated on scales of refreshing to spirituous and comforting to adventurous, helping you to find the drink you desire. Opt for a fresh-tasting Saoco, made from toasted coconut-infused plantation 3 Star Rum, coconut water, Damoiseu 110 Rum, and kalani or the strong Roar of Yara, which uses Vida Mezcal, Contratto Biano, Cabez Tequila, Giffard Passion Fruit, and Rhine Hall Mango.
This may be your first time tasting sake and shochu cocktails, but it likely won’t be your last, as Sake Bar Decibel is sure to impress. With drinks such as Aloe Classic, with lento shochu and aloe juice or Bloody Mariko, with mizu no mai shochu and tomato juice, you’ll love the clean, simple taste of the cocktails. Sake Bar Decibel also serves appetizers and small plates that make for a perfect evening out with friends.
Come for an after-work cocktail with colleagues at the high-end Maison Premiere, which features both a regular cocktail menu and absinthe cocktail menu. The Chrysanthemum absinthe cocktail is definitely a highlight, made with Germain-Robin, Benedictine, Mancino Secco, and bitters. They also offer oysters, appetizers, and large plates.
Part art gallery, part speakeasy, this unique venue might be tricky to find, but its cocktails are worth the effort. The skilled bartenders craft flavorful, artistic cocktails, featuring unusual flavors. Take, for example, The Slow Learner, which includes cognac, rye, averna, sweet vermouth, and hopped grapefruit bitters. Or try the delicate, feminine Blackberry Margarita with jalapeno infused tequila, blackberry puree, triple sec, lime, and angostura bitters.
This healthy spot in Troy features gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian meals as well as a banging cocktail menu that incorporates freshly pressed juices. Based off their watermelon juice, try the refreshing Audrey II, which is an effervescent drink with herbs, tequila, and lime. Another great option to try is their twist on the classic negroni, featuring gin, Campari, vermouth, olives, and oil.