As much as we like outdoor bars in hot weather, sometimes it’s just too gross to be outside. If you’re looking for a bar where you can cool off in the summertime, check out one of these indoor drinkeries—you’ll find frozen drinks, cold beer and all the air-conditioning you could ever want.
RECOMMENDED: Best summer drinks in NYC
Avoid the sun by ducking into this low-lit Smith Street dive, which offers a relaxed atmosphere, cheap tipples and cool air in the hot summer months. Settle into one of the back booths and take advantage of the bar’s superlative happy hour: Well drinks and draft beers (Sixpoint, Anchor Steam and more) are just $3 daily, 5–8pm—and Genny Cream Ale is $3 all the time. Best of all, there’s a jukebox stocked with eclectic hits to keep the after-work crowd entertained long after the sun goes down.
The erstwhile Painkiller’s faux-Polynesian decor is cool on its own, but the real chill factor comes from the oversize frozen drinks. Unlike the slushy concoctions served at kitschy tiki bars, PKNY’s cocktails are made with high-quality ingredients (top-shelf rum, fresh juices, house-made grenadine). Try the piña colada ($14), a combination of añejo rum, fresh-squeezed pineapple juice and cream of coconut, served in a hollowed-out pineapple. The underground den also offers a number of mai tais ($12–$14) and other tropical classics; sipping one, you may feel as if you’ve been transported to a Hawaiian island.
It’s not just the dark furnishings—like upside-down crosses—that keep this Greenpoint heavy-metal bar cool when the sun’s beating down. The nearly windowless venue stays dusky with dim lights and table candles. Chill out with a Brooklyn Lager ($6) draft, or a 16-ounce can of PBR ($4), and hang with the band-tee-clad crowd at one of the metal shows held frequently in the equally entombed back room.
This Hell’s Kitchen pub employs a frozen bar rest, called the Ice Rail, to keep brews like Blue Moon and Sixpoint Sweet Action ($5–$6) at a solid 47 degrees (or cooler) on sweltering days. The spacious joint stays breezy in the heat, frequently opening the floor-to-ceiling front windows in warmer temps. Show up early for happy hour, when all drinks are half off (until 7pm); the post-5pm suit-and-tie crowd stays entertained with sports on the big-screen TVs lining the walls.
Sweet Polly is like that perfect girl in high school: undeniably beautiful and effortlessly cool, armed with brains to back it all up. At this Prospect Heights bar from Hungry Ghost owner Murat Uyaroglu, the tables are consistently packed with well-heeled Brooklynites; the space is stunning, with gilded tin ceilings and a lush garden wall, and the cocktail execution is fingertip-kissing good. And like with the school-days Polly of your past, there are plenty of times you’ll feel ignored, but just when you’re about to smack-talk her, she gives you an extra sample of beef jerky. ORDER THIS: Bartender–co-owner Bruno Dias’s cocktails highlight unusual ingredients, like green bell peppers, BBQ bitters and yogurt, that are sure to satiate curious palates. The Golden Eye ($13) is a standout: Stumptown cold brew is stirred with Icelandic vodka, herbal Italian amaro and chocolate bitters to create a rich, velvety, caffeine-blasted drink. The bar’s head turner, however, is the rosy Rocket Lunar ($13), which is set in a snifter topped with egg-white foam and a grilled dehydrated pineapple. Inside the cup, BBQ bitters curb the sweetness of the drink’s kalamansi syrup and aged cachaça, along with an added touch of cinnamon from tiki bitters. GOOD FOR: A grown-up date for that prospective S.O. who’s slightly out of your league. Everything is on point for romance: The ambience is sumptuous, the cocktails are unconventional, and the circular, candlelit tables are tailor-made for two. Plus, t
Venue says: “Introducing: -The Komfortably Knumb A play on Smash with Kumquats and Aquavit.Refreshing citrus flavors with touches of caraway and anise.”