There’s something timelessly elegant about hotel bars, and the Carlyle’s jazz club, with its art deco touches, 24-karat gold-leaf-adorned ceiling and insane list of top-shelf whiskeys, is a shining example of this age-old phenomenon. On nights featuring live music, Bemelmans regulars, Upper East Side locals and tourists alike nod along to the soothing sounds of Chris Gillespie’s jazz piano while sipping chilled Manhattans (served with a sidecar for table-side refreshing) and enjoying the whimsical original artwork from Ludwig Bemelman festooning the walls. A visit to Bemelmans might cost you a pretty penny, but the ambiance, reminiscent of a New York all but forgotten in the age of Spotify playlists and digital jukeboxes, is priceless.
The Manhattan cocktail, a simple mid-19th century blend of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, finds its roots right here on our fair island, a refined yet potent concoction certain to alleviate all stresses of the city with each smooth sip. And whether you prefer bourbon or rye, Canadian Club or Tennessee hooch, the best Manhattans often mirror the cocktail bars they’re served in—classy but not too pretentious, dark enough to stir up some trouble and with just enough sweetness to keep repeat imbibers in good spirits from dusk ‘till dawn. Thirsty yet? These bars in NYC serve up the finest Manhattans from some of the city's best bartenders.
RECOMMENDED: Find more cocktails in NYC