You know how to EAT THIS CITY. With top chefs as tour guides, you’ve learned how to scout out hot spots for breakfast and brunch, where to go for a delicious date night, and how to feast like a local liege in the cities you love. But where do you wash it all down? Do you know how to find the best brewpub? Who makes the meanest of bloody marys and the most sparkling of mimosas? What bars transport you?
You’re about to find out. Welcome to DRINK THIS CITY!
This week we’re jet-setting off to New York City, where we’ll be spirited into Lantern’s Keep, courtesy of Bar Manager Daniel Rutkowski. Located inside the Iroquois Hotel, this lush-yet-intimate bar is tucked speakeasy-style behind the lobby, and fittingly, celebrates the craft and creativity of prohibition-era bar keeps.
Here, bartenders utilize classic techniques and the finest ingredients to provide guests with the best libations the Big Apple has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a time-honored recipe, or ready to taste a new one, you’ll find a warm welcome and a cool drink at Lantern’s Keep.
Who’s thirsty? Let’s check out Daniel’s ten favorite drinking hot spots in New York City!
BRUNCH COCKTAIL OR HAIR OF THE DOG
To be fair it’s pretty easy to have a few too many in this city any night of the week. Luckily there is a multitude of great brunch spots with amazing bar programs. Leyenda in Carroll Gardens delivers on all cylinders from their hearty and replenishing Gazpacho to their incredible compendium of Latin American spirits and otherworldly fresh flavor pairings.
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If I’m even close to the Queensboro Bridge I usually make a point of heading to Dutch Kills for something stirred and boozy. Few bars and restaurants in New York City have the rustic charm of this Petraske/Boccato haven. Upon entering the bar the aroma of fresh citrus and biting ginger is sure to enthrall your senses. My advice is to stop by as soon as possible before all of the residents of the new Long Island City skyscrapers take over. Always be sure to start your evening off with a scrumptious Pineapple Daiquiri as you peruse the offerings.
There is no wonder why Maison Premiere receives massive amounts of recognition. Although it’s still dumbfounding when arriving at opening and still being put on the waitlist for an hour, one quickly understands soon after a couple of wildly creative Absinthe-laced tipples, fine oysters and tiptop service. The herbal Absinthe scent is embedded into the walls of this Williamsburg mainstay. Good luck staying for only one!
Mother of Pearl is my Polynesian go-to for any large format beverages. The airy and open setting is delightful especially when the summer seems to not want to end. In my mind this is the first establishment that mastered the usage of kiwi in cocktails. Also, you must have a Ferrari shot for the road when leaving for the walk up Avenue A with bustling crowds.
Jimmy’s Corner isn’t just my favorite dive bar in the city, it may be the best bar in the world. It is everything you want in a bar steps from Times Square – bright lights, walls covered with New York history, ESPN highlights and cold American beers. The jukebox is almost always playing a rousing Basie or Ellington tune and the atmosphere is invariably convivial.
PUB, TAVERN, OR BREWERY
The Double Windsor is the perfect place for a late afternoon craft brew and tasty burger after throwing the ball around in Prospect Park. The atmosphere is lively and you’re guaranteed a swell time.
For a taste of bustling midtown the Rum House at the Hotel Edison is a perfect blend of old New York and the modern world. Its old school charm is seen in the small 1920s and 30s jazz bands playing nightly and the simplicity of the menu. Yes, I’ll take a Happy Hour Daiquiri at 3pm.
I’ve never felt more like a classy Brit than I did when I first tasted the Duke of Suffolk at Suffolk Arms. It can be 110 degrees outside on the blazing sidewalk of Houston Street and I’ll still be perfectly happy with this hot gin and breakfast tea cocktail with a whipped cream float.
THEMED BAR OR IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
I’m not typically one for themed bars or restaurants but Miracle on 9th St. delivers every year. There is something very special about escaping a cold December night by surrounding oneself with the holidays in a small, perfectly adorned cocktail bar in the East Village. Even Ebenezer Scrooge enjoys himself at this merry pop-up.
COCKTAIL MADE BY A FRIEND
Visiting Jesse Harris at Long Island Bar is up there with experiences like roaming through the Austrian Alps with a fine Austrian Riesling in hand. Jesse has the unique power of making you feel like you’re attending a party in his home by way of a simple greeting and broad smile. It almost doesn’t even matter what you’re drinking at his bar because of his cordiality and calming demeanor. That said, I’ll gleefully cheers anyone and everyone at the bar with a Jesse Harris staple — the Right Now – a gin and Cynar sour with cucumber and salt.
Thank you Daniel, for taking us on a tour of the best of New York City’s bars!
Like what you read? Check out Drink This City: Nashville.
Join us next week for more DRINK THIS CITY! Meanwhile, hit us in the comments — where should we travel next?