The city that never sleeps, the big apple, or whatever you want to call it. NYC is notorious for being one of the best cities in the United States for night-life. As a Los Angelino, the expectation was that I was going to dislike living in NYC; the rivalry is very real considering they are absolute polar opposites – there truly is no opposing this. However, I fell in love with NYC. As a girl who loves to try new things, trying every cocktail bar in NYC possible was on my list of things to do while living there. Here is your ultimate NYC cocktail bar guide and the best drinks to get at a bar (well each cocktail bar). If you are ever in NYC you need to go to these cocktail bars; they truly are the best cocktail bars in NYC.
Don’t get me started on this NYC cocktail bar. It is not so low-key, my favorite cocktail bar in NYC. I’ve had some pretty memorable moments at this NYC cocktail bar that always resort in a good laugh. The Parisian barman Nico de Soto is no rookie in the cocktail empire. MACE shakes up the cocktail scene using single spices in his cocktails. The cocktails on the MACE menu are unlike any other you’d find in NYC. Like most of the best cocktail bars in NYC, it’s located in East Village between Ave B and C. MACE is sleek, sophisticated and the perfect size. The bar itself showcases the several spices used in each cocktail mixture. This NYC cocktail club has 12 cocktails that are inspired by global markets around the world. De Soto is a serious traveler and knows his shit so the spices are no joke.
MACE’s cocktail menu is simplistic and eloquent with a startling surprise. The cocktail menu showcases it’s level of class with beautiful drawings of the spice and what type of glass it comes in but the true delight is learning about the cocktail itself. The flavor profile, preparation and origin of the spice are found on the menu. Spices like mace, mustard seed, lavender, curry leaves, thai chili, nutmeg and my personal favorite, pandan are available. The Pandan cocktail is by far the best drink to get at a bar which is why it makes the best drinks to get at a bar list. I shit you not, it is an absolute delight. Careful cause they go down far too easy.
Pegu Club is a famous SoHo cocktail bar in NYC known for its speakeasy vibe and East Asian-inspired look. It is the perfect cocktail club in NYC for a first date that you are truly trying to impress. The velvet couches are hard to snag so heading there early is always a safe bet. Pegu Club is known for having the best martini in NYC and has been featured in countless lifestyle magazines. Pegu club is known for taking classic bar drinks and spicing them up a big.
Although incredibly irrelevant, the ice cubes used in the famous NYC cocktails are to die for – they are huge and keep your drink colder longer and don’t dilute quickly. That way you can actually enjoy your cocktail without fear of it watering down – the actual worst thing about some bars. If you haven’t already visited this NYC speakeasy, you need to. The cocktail you should be ordering is the Gin-Gin mule or the Emma Mackenzie. These are among the best drinks to order at a bar in NYC – I promise.
Please Don’t Tell, famously known as PDT, is a hot-dog speakeasy for adults. Seriously, it is located inside a hot-dog joint. Located in the East Village, PDT has quickly become one of the most popular speakeasy bars in NYC. Initially when you walk in you think “what the fuck, where is the cocktail bar?” If you find a sign that says CRIF Dogs, you are in the right spot. There is an old-school phone booth that is your ticket in. You are asked to dial 1 on an old school telephone and are quickly accommodated by a hostess. This NYC cocktail bar is the best and really does have the best drinks to get at a bar.
This is a NYC cocktail bar hidden gem! Low-lights captivate you and the eclectic and unexpected Irish charm works. Everything about PDT is a hit. The cocktails are sure to impress you. PDT takes classic cocktails and shakes them up. Pegu Club’s mixologist, Jim Meehan, is the creator behind a lot of the cocktails. There are bacon-infused drinks and absinthe – a hot commodity in the cocktail scene.
The South Bound Suarez, 100 Years and The Documentary are all excellent NYC cocktails. They truly are some of the best drinks to order at a bar in NYC. I’m a sucker for rum if you haven’t noticed and an excellent mescal. The 100 Years cocktail is great for those who like sparkling subtle and delicate cocktails. If you are looking for a rum cocktail, The Documentary is your go-to. As for the South Bound Suarez, if you are a tequila lover, you will fall in love with this NYC cocktail.
Death + Co is one of the coolest cocktail bars in NYC hands down! It was an early player in the high-end cocktail bar scene in NYC. Death + Co recently released a cocktail book that gives you the low-down on how to make their drinks; it’s a sleek, black book that has everything you could ever dream of making inside. Their cocktail menu is sorted in four categories: in the raw, water of life, transformation and luxury. The two categories are then divided between shaken or stirred cocktails. They also have wine and beer options. It’s safe to say their bar selection is fuego.
I have to mention, their menu is also aesthetically pleasing – if you’ve read any of my articles you know aesthetics play a huge part in catching my attention. While the entry way is impressive, the ambiance inside this NYC cocktail bar does not disappoint. The low lights and dimly lit tables force the epic bar selection to stand out. The drink you should be ordering at Death + Co is the Palm Dreams. It truly is one of the best drinks to get at a bar in NYC. If you are a rum fan, you will love this cocktail. It’s sweet and reminds me of my favorite cocktail from MACE, the Pandan.
Other NYC Cocktail Clubs
Some of the other cocktail bars in NYC you have to try with some of the best drinks to get at a bar are Lovers of Today, ECC, The Dead Rabbit, Bar Goto, The Up & Up, Employees Only, The Nomad Bar and Maison Premiere (great oysters too).