Stylish yet affordable, this nook draws in city swillers with 18 house drinks as elegant as the setting. Start your night with something crisp, perhaps the lightly effervescent S.M. Jenkins ($12), which melds gin, Pimm’s No. 1, cucumber, lime, velvet Falernum and ginger ale. If you’re in the mood for something a little bolder, ask for the Death of a Ladies’ Man ($12), a potent blend of rye, maple syrup, Laphroaig ten-year Scotch, lemon and tobacco bitters named for a Leonard Cohen album.
Anyone who’s peeked at our lists of the best bars in NYC knows that the boroughs are rife with excellent sipping spots. But one area in particular is undergoing a cocktail renaissance: Alphabet City—the blocks between Avenues A and C, from Houston Street to 14th Street—has sprouted a slew of intimate, low-key joints where East Village bartenders are slinging top-notch quaffs sans pretension. Sidle up to the bar and chat up the staff, or ensconce yourself in a quieter corner nook; either way, you’ll be sampling some of the city’s best cocktails.
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