In 2014, the detail-oriented folks behind Raines Law Room opened this Gramercy neo-speakeasy in O. Henry’s old stomping grounds and have been honoring the great writer (and drinker) with playfully evocative decor, well-executed cafe-style bites and a seasonal menu of top-notch tipples ever since. While all of Dear Irving’s cocktails turn heads, the dessert-esque Espresso Martini, inspired by legendary London bartender Dick Bradsell, is a true must. Smooth vodka is shaken hard with nutty, crisp Irving Farm cold-brew coffee and a hint of vanilla essence, then presented in a chilled coupe topped with a luxurious crema cap fit to rival anything nearby Stumptown could offer.
As the saying goes, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yet when it comes to the best cocktails, even the most perfected of classics—the martini—can’t escape the whirlwind of adaptation, innovation and riffs that makes New York’s culinary scene so vibrant. Mad-scientist mixologists and cocktail geeks, with their liqueurs, bitters, tinctures and infusions, have left their creative mark on every cocktail imaginable, including this precious concoction of gin-and-vermouth (or vodka), transforming it into countless flavorful variations, each more unique than the last. Explore the wonderful world of alternative martinis with a visit to these bars in NYC.
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