Best lei in town: Painkiller Tiki Bar

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Pia colada at Painkiller

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Scorpion bowl at Painkiller

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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    Mai tai at Painkiller

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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    The Painkiller at Painkiller

Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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Pia colada at Painkiller

Raspy, bleary-eyed and sore of step: Such is our state the morning after a good sweaty romp inside Painkiller Tiki Bar's bamboo fortress. While bespoke bitters and barrel-aged cocktails elbow their way into the consciousness of mainstream tipplers, Painkiller's badass formula (graffiti and topless chicks on the walls, great music, lethal tropical drinks) is as refreshing as a long, bracing swallow of a pia colada. The crack staff—led by chief debauchee Giuseppe Gonzalez—proved to be as adept at achieving mind-boggling balance in the more than 100 gorgeous, parasol-stabbed drinks featured on the menu as they are at pouring out lip-loosening shots of rum and pickled pineapple juice. This is provocative stuff: the kind of stimulating potions that inspire drunken sexting and back-of-the-cab trysts. Happily, there's nowhere we'd rather have our principles challenged than in the lurid glow of this tiki dive's red and blue lights. Let's raise our coconuts to Painkiller: You've made lechers of us all. 49 Essex St between Grand and Hester Sts (212-777-8454, painkillernyc.com)

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