Bars , Cocktail bars Nolita
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Time Out, Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Time Out, Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Copyright Caroline Voagen Nelson, Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nels
This subterranean booze den may be diminutive, but its Napoleonic ambitions surface in a smart French Colonial–themed drinks list. Far-flung flavors—agave from the Americas, hibiscus from Polynesia—play supporting roles in a dozen balanced tipples. The Africa-inspired Bang the Drum is like a Christmasy old-fashioned, featuring cognac and amaro spiced with a house-made clove-and-allspice syrup. Meanwhile, gin infused with Vietnamese peppers adds a subtle vegetal kick to the refreshing Saigon Folly. Both are a good match for the heat and slight smokiness of tender, bite-size lamb meatballs seasoned with harissa. The foxhole feel of the place—accentuated by throw rugs and orblike Edison bulbs—completes the escapist appeal.
Venue name: 1534
Address: 20 Prince St
New York

Cross street: between Elizabeth and Mott Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun 5pm–2am; Thu–Sat 5pm–3am
Transport: Subway: 6 to Spring St
Price: Average cocktail: $12. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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