We recently visited New York City while attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference, and took it upon ourselves to research one of our 2012 trends: “Rethinking the Drink.” The cocktail scene in New York City is nothing short of impressive. From speakeasies to posh lounges, you will never leave feeling thirsty. The creations that mixologist are shaking up are imaginative, classic and completely outside the box. Cocktails made with bitters, a myriad of herbs, and fancy infused syrups are redefining the way we drink.
1. Death & Co
433 East 6th St.
Large wooden panels and a secret door mask the bar, so for a passer by it is easily missed. Upon walking up to Death + Co., you should be greeted by a man outside donning an outfit that gives a nod to the old style. When you walk in death becomes beauty with a glamorous staff and chic décor. Food and cocktails are all very good, truffle mac and cheese – out of this world. Wait times on the weekend can be brutal, so try for a week night.
2. PDT – Please Don’t Tell
113 St. Marks Pl (between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
What isn’t intriguing about entering a bar through a hot dog stand through a pay phone booth? PDT is a small speakeasy located in East Village that draws a line out the door and around the corner. Reservations are accepted and highly recommended as walk-ins are usually not welcomed. If you are lucky enough to snag a seat, indulge in a seasonal cocktail or try a known favorite: Staggerac, a potent Sazerac made with 140-proof bourbon and absinthe.
3. Pegu Club
77 West Houston St., 2nd Floor
Good luck finding vodka on the menu, but no worries Pegu staffers know how to mix a cocktail. As you walk up a set of steep steps, you enter into a dimly lit lounge with Indonesian inspired decor. Choose to sit at the bar or low sitting couches and enjoy an Earl Grey Martini. Earl Grey-Infused Gin, Lemon Juice, Raw Egg White – a must try.
4. Employees Only
510 Hudson Street
Narrow and crowded, but extremely fun. Employees Only has an extensive cocktail list and an impressive food menu to boot. The mixologists are all very knowledgeable and can definitely make a mean cocktail. The Amelia, made with Russian Standard Vodka, St. Germain, Elderflower liquor, shaken with pureed blackberries and fresh lemon juice, is delicious.
5. Silver Lining
75 Murrary St.
A hidden gem in the TriBeCa neighborhood, Silver Lining is know for their strong and well crafted drinks, engaging atmosphere, and live jazz music. It’s quite small, so at times personal space may be invaded, but the cocktails and music make up for that.