The Form of Flattery at Pouring Ribbons
225 Ave B between 13th and 14th Sts (917-656-6788, pouringribbons.com). $14.
The booze: The bar’s homemade falernum (an almond-and-clove-flavored syrup) combines two rums (turbocharged Lemon Hart 151 and white Caña Brava) with almond, ginger, demerara sugar and nutmeg, giving it a gingersnap-like kick.
The drink: Intense falernum lends a deep, spiced sweetness to this winter tiki tipple. The drink’s vegetal backbone—compliments of salted beet extract—is brightened by lime and pineapple juices and shot through with molassesy El Dorado 12 Year rum.
Kindred cocktails: Add some zing to a daiquiri with a commercial brand, such as John D. Taylor Velvet Falernum, available at liquor stores like Union Square Wines.
Gaelic Coffee at Middle Branch
154 E 33rd St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-213-1350). $12.
The booze: Old-school digestif Lazzaroni Amaretto—produced in Saronno, Italy, since 1851—combines a brandy base with the flavor of the town’s famous almond cookies.
The drink: The amaretto’s sweetness takes the edge off of this supercharged Irish-coffee variation. A velvety shot of bitter espresso enriches a woody Irish-whiskey-and-Scotch base, topped with a snowy peak of whipped cream.
Kindred cocktails: Make like an Italian grandpa and use it in an amaretto sour, or as a postdinner sipper on the rocks with a lemon wedge.
Cathee’s Cacahuete at Evelyn
171 Ave C between 10th and 11th Sts (no phone yet, evelynnyc.com). $11.
The booze: Castries, made with roasted peanuts from the island of St. Lucia, is a creamy rum-based spirit with hints of vanilla and baking spices.
The drink: The peanut liqueur binds together a seemingly preposterous roll call of ingredients: mescal, crème de cacao, aged rum, Lactart (a natural acid), and a whole egg. In a single sip, the buttery, dessertlike flip morphs from Snickers bar to spicy hot chocolate.
Kindred cocktails: Go on, it’s the season for indulgence: Employ a splash for an even smoother White Russian.
Two Men & the Ocean at the Counting Room
44 Berry St at North 11th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-1860, countingroom.com). $13.
The booze: Nux Alpina—a traditional Austrian liqueur—gets its rich, fragrant character from grape-brandy–steeped walnuts and alpine botanicals (such as pine buds).
The drink: This frosty aperitif’s combo of amari (Pimm’s No. 1, Cocchi Americano, Bonal, Campari) strikes a sweet, herbal chord. But the walnut booze underscores deeper, bitter flavors like quinine and gentian (a flower root) in its liquid partners, adding complexity to the boozy nip.
Kindred cocktails: Use it to mellow out amaro-heavy classics like the Negroni, or to spike a holiday punch.
Table Talk at Clover Club
210 Smith St between Baltic and Butler Sts, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-855-7939, cloverclubny.com). $12.
The booze: Italian hooch Nocello, which hails from Emilia-Romagna, has walnut and hazelnut notes, and a dense, smoky body.
The drink: The nut liqueur boosts the pecan-infused rum in this fleecy cocktail, bringing to mind a classic Thanksgiving pie. Cinnabark syrup provides an earthy sweetness, and a thick layer of cream reps the dollop you’d get on a slice.
Kindred cocktails: Substitute in place of Baileys for a more full-bodied Irish coffee.
Mustachi-ode cocktail at Booker and Dax
207 Second Ave at 13th St (212-254-3500, momofuku.com/new-york/booker-and-dax). $14.
The booze: The wizards at Momofuku’s mixology lab create their own pistachio orgeat (typically made with almonds) by spinning the nuts in a centrifuge, extracting essential oils and fats and removing the gritty solids. The result is a concentrated, creamy liquid.
The drink: Here, the orgeat transcends its usual accent status in cocktails to steal the scene. The pistachio syrup floats atop a base of Wild Turkey bourbon, fluffed up with egg white. Bittersweet Amaro Nardini rounds it out, while an anisey nip of Becherovka keeps the finish dry.
Kindred cocktails: Use a store-bought orgeat (like Fee Brothers) to add an exotic note to your next old-fashioned or margarita.
Beer Shop NYC
Sorry, wine—beer is coming for your spot as the new drink to obsess over. Dedicated shops are popping up all over the five boroughs, all with plenty of suds from all over the world on tap. Beer Shop NYC, located on the Upper West Side, is one of the best, offering a varied selection and knowledgeable, helpful staff. Ten taps run through a series of curated kegs every season, and beers ($8-$12) range from light, sour gose to dark, stormy stout. On a recent stop, the taps featured breweries like Finback, Nine Pin and Kent Falls, but because the beers change so often, there’s no telling what you’ll find (and what will be your new favorite). If you’re having trouble choosing your next pint, taste four different beers in a flight ($15). You can also take some home in a growler—prices for these large jugs vary by beer, and all growlers are $5 off on Mondays. Beer Shop NYC also stocks a varied selection of canned and bottled beers in refrigerators in the back of the shop. Organized by region, you’ll find brews produced everywhere from San Francisco to Montauk. Bring home an assortment for your next Netflix binge, or, for an added fee, open up one of those cans or bottles right then and there. Hungry? Mixed nuts, beer corn (popcorn coated with a syrup of reduced beer, like a boozy Cracker Jack), rice crackers, “wicked mix” (a spicy Chex Mix-like blend) and hard pretzels are good nibbles, but they don’t make a full meal, so plan accordingly. The long, thin layout of the shop is coz
Venue says: “Purveyors of The Finest Craft Beer on the Upper West Side... Over Three Hundred assortments of Beer to Stay & to Go”
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