Best bars for seasonal drinks

Get your hands on a spring cocktail from a master mixologist.

0

Comments

Add +
  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    1534bar

    1534

  • andazon5th

    The Bar Downstairs at Andaz 5th Avenue

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    compose04

    Compose

  • Photograph: Roxana Marroquin

    dutchkills01

    Dutch Kills

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    elcobre07

    El Cobre

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

1534bar

1534

1534
The diminutive 1534 packs a punch. Actually, it packs several on the spring menu ($35--$130). Based on the geography of the French colonies, the drinks list is divided into various regions—French Polynesia and the Pacific, Indochina, Africa and the Americas—and you can explore each via three cocktails, served either as an individual size ($12) or in a larger group format ($35--$130). While the flavors sometimes veer into extreme exoticism, it all works thanks to skilled mixologists. Balance is achieved in complex tipples like the Tirailleurs Punch, in which Zu bison-grass vodka gets a bitter splash of Aperol, acidity from fresh lemon juice, and cinnamon and clove notes from ras el hanout--spice-infused apple cider. Clean, sophisticated design completes the experience: Cream-hued walls bear a faint design of grass stalks, puddles of light pool on tiled floors, and dark wood booths are easy places to sequester for intimate conversations. 20 Prince St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (212-966-5073, jacquesnyc.com/1534)

The Bar Downstairs at Andaz 5th Avenue
This basement bote compensates for its annoying door policy—seating for one of the carved wooden seats at the bar is on a first-come, first-served basis—with a luxe, alluring environment. A long, polished wooden table is flanked by rich hanging tapestries and shelves of leather tomes cast in candlelight. Cocktails, made with fresh juices and house-made syrups, bear the bespoke mark of their creator, Alchemy Consulting. Their new spring cocktail list features shining stars like the beguiling Smoke Ring ($15). A slightly vegetal Siete Leguas blanco tequila gets a dose of char from smoky Tobala mescal. It's stirred together with agave syrup and Benedictine, which lends the drink a bright orange essence. 485 Fifth Ave at 41st St (212-601-1234, andaz5thavenue.com)

Compose
The shtick here is improvisational mixology—and while that prospect is risky at $15 per cocktail, it's meant to create a dialogue between you and the vested barkeeps, who can tailor their creations based on your tastes and the freshest ingredients. What lands in your glass also depends on the findings of Kate Galassi, the joint's house forager, who sources produce weekly from area farms: Her current obsessions are watercress from Max Creek Hatchery in East Meredith, New York, and rhubarb from a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Although Compose occasionally gives in to its stuffy tendencies, the twists on old classics make it worth indulging the geekery. Request a staff favorite like a tequila mint julep ($15) and rest easy. 77 Worth St between Broadway and Church St (212-226-1444, composenyc.com)

Dutch Kills
Outfitted with dripping chandeliers, a sleek bar and a crooning ragtime singer, Dutch Kills may seem like an ideal place to hole up in cold weather. But the bar is as beguiling in the warmer months, thanks to its offbeat seasonal menus. The spring lineup features cool, esoteric options like the Quill cocktail, a Negroni variation built on an ice rock with a spray of absinthe and a grapefruit twist ($11), and the Mexican Firing Squad, which consists of blanco tequila and fresh lime juice shaken with house-made grenadine and bitters ($11). A final reason to trek to LIC this spring: the bar's new "Battle Axe" Gleason happy-hour menu. Named after the hood's scandalous mayor of the late 1800s, this list offers ten refreshing classics, such as a daiquiri or a rum buck, for $8 each (Mon--Thu, Sun 5--7pm). 27-24 Jackson Ave at Dutch Kills St, Long Island City, Queens (718-383-2724, dutchkillsbar.com)

El Cobre
It may look like a house of worship in old Havana, but El Cobre is a bar where you could easily imagine Ernest Hemingway downing shots. And in the care of bartender Jane Danger, it's easy to submit to the joint's sexy, sultry mood. Her powers of boozy seduction are on full display on the rum-focused spring cocktail list. She eschews heavy drinks with ingredients like cream and egg in favor of light and strong concoctions such as the Concord Corleone. The drink combines Flor de Caa four-year extra-dry rum with the savory malt essence of Bols Genever and the herbal punch of Strega, and then blends in a little lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh concord grapes ($14). 95 Ave A at 6th St (212-614-6818, elcobreny.com)

  1. 1
  2. 2

Users say

0 comments