Now in its third and largest location in seven years, the accolade-accruing Mace is still NYC’s top cocktail contender. It is also perpetually packed at its bar, standing room tables and in cozy booths throughout the space. Its cocktails are unlike anything else around town, crafted with spices sourced from all over the globe. The Saffron, for example, infuses a sherry blend with that titular ingredient and adds apricot-infused gin and pineapple sage-infused amaro to the mix. Its also been known to make a mean frozen cocktail.
New York has enough bar categories, themes and conceits to fill the Gowanus Canal, but none dredge up as many connotations as the cocktail bar. Impressions are in the eye of the beholder. To one mind, a cocktail bar might evoke notions of trench coats, subway grate steam and flickering neon signs. To the next, it scans like a gathering place for Monopoly men. And to the last, it might recall simple gin and tonics served in plastic cups at the dive because this doesn’t always have to be a whole thing.
In any case, a cocktail needs only to have two ingredients (not including the glass) to constitute entry to the form, and NYC has plenty of places to drink ‘em. These are the best.
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