I might be too old for clubbing, but I’ll never get too old for good cocktails. Sometimes, I’m in the mood for something sweet, but at other times, I prefer something savory and strong. My latest obsession is Mezcal, but otherwise anything with champagne will do. Here are some of the craft cocktail bars, which keep me coming back for more:
You won’t see a lot of daylight in this subterranean, ultra-hip spot on Rivington Street, but the cocktails are strong and made with passion and creativity, and the staff knows what they’re talking about. If you don’t find anything you like on the menu, don’t hesitate to ask the bartender to create something special for you. All days between 6-8pm, it’s Aperitif Hour with Aperitif Cocktails for $10.
Best for: Most nights.
Nitecap, 151 Rivington Street (between Clinton St & Suffolk St), Lower East Side, New York
The newly renovated classic inside Grand Central Station is one of the most elegant bars I’ve ever been to. Think high ceilings, dark furniture and a time long gone. Think friendly, but professional bartenders dressed in black vests and white shirts. Grab a seat in the bar, sit down and watch your cocktail masterpiece come to life.
Most busy during after work hours.
The Campbell, 15 Vanderbilt Avenue (between 42nd St & 43rd St), Grand Central Station, New York
This rooftop bar at Hyatt Centric Times Square has perfect cocktails and a gorgeous view of the city. The drawback? It’s ridiculously expensive, even for NYC, with most cocktails being $26 and up. The reason why I still love Bar 54 is that it’s one of the few places in Midtown, where you get a beautiful view of the city (and usually a table), without the party crowd, the bouncers and the VIP guest lists that usually comes with it at most other rooftop bars in the area. And as I already mentioned, the cocktails are just perfect.
Best for: Cocktails with a view. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my parents here.
Bar 54, Hyatt Centric Times Square, 135 W 45th Street (between 7th Avenue & Avenue of the Americas), Theater District, New York
Chic speakeasy hidden behind a difficult-to-spot door in the back of a gallery. The cocktail menu might not be the longest, but it’s a curated selection, and I still haven’t had anything, I didn’t like (and I’ve almost been through the entire menu). During the week, Fig. 19 can be quiet, but on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s so packed it almost feels like a nightclub.
Go for after work cocktails during the week or join the party crowd on Fridays and Saturdays.
Fig.19, 131 Chrystie Street, Lower East Side, New York