Ten New York Bars
We are just back from 10 spectacular days in New York where we tried equally many great bars. Below are our impressions and photographs of all these bars.
649 E 9th St
At Mace all cocktails revolve around different spices. And they are brave with the spice flavours! Our Wasabi cocktail tasted a lot of the wasabi, although still refreshing and sparkling. The Sorrel cocktail came out completely green, almost looking like a vegetable shot. It tasted unusual, but really nice with a texture quite unique to cocktails. The bar and its interior is nice looking with exposed brick walls and an all metallic bar counter. What we especially like about Mace is the fact that it’s not a dark bar with dimmed lights, but rather a place with windows that open up to the rather cool and arty street outside. Also, Mace curate their own music playlist, and it’s a good one!
55 Irving Pl
Not the easiest one to find, but rewarding if you do – Dear Irving is such a nice bar with mouthwatering and interesting house cocktails. As an example, the Lady Charmaine cocktail included both rose wine, cream and sparkling water in a very good combination. As it was a really hot day in New York when we visited Dear Irving the Lady Charmaine was a perfect cocktail to sip on. We also tried their take on a classic Gibson, perfected with the loveliest pickled onion, and stirred long enough to achieve just the right dilution. We sat at the bar counter and were able to see up close the attention to details put into each drink by the bartenders. Finally we have to mention Dear Irving’s spiced bar nuts, so good!!
443 E 6th St
A bar, and a bitters shop at the same time. With focus on Italian amaros and different bitters all drinks at Amaro y Amargo are created using only high quality spirits but not using any fruit juices at all. This means strong drinks, rich on flavour, all on the bitter side (and they don’t do mocktails at all). Of course we had to try their somewhat famous 8 Amaro Sazerac, made with a prepared batch of eight different amaros, including Aperol and Cynar. This drink was outstanding in so many ways, despite being served in simple glassware without any fancy drink decorations. The Music Maker was another cocktail we tried here, made with Amaro Abano, Cognac and rye plus some lavender and orange bitters. Also nice and bitter with several layers och flavour and aroma. Seating is very limited at this bar, so arriving early like we did is recommended.
79-81 MacDougal St
Apparently Dante has been around for more than 100 years, although ownership has changed over the years. Between 4-7 PM each day there is the “Negroni Sessions” where some twelve different Negroni variations are offered for only 9 USD each. We tried the Unlikely Negroni and the Negroni Bianco and they were both great, especially the unlikely one, made with banana, pineapple and sesame. But Dante also serves other cocktails, and their whiskey sour tasted really good and looked so nice with the bar’s logotype stenciled on the thick egg white foam. By the way, Dante is not just a bar but also a good restaurant serving Italian food. Their vegetarian lasagna is delicious!
433 E 6th St
This must be one of the world’s most iconic bars, and being led into its dark interior had us so excited! We got seated at a table overlooking the bar which was cool as we could se all cocktails being created. The drink menu is long and intriguing and we were tempted by everything on it. In the end we tried six cocktails in total; Yellowjacket, Secret Weapon, High Noon, Strange Encounters, Powder Magazine and Zombie Punch (served in Death & Co’s own heavy tiki mug). All cocktails were superb, but the one that stood out a little extra was the Strange Encounters, containing carrot which worked so well in this cocktail. It gave the drink a somewhat sweet and earthy note that was truly enjoyable. And do try the food as well! The crab dip and the cauliflower were particularly good! We are big fans of Death & Co’s black cocktail book and we have posted several cocktails from it on our blog and on Instagram. Being able to finally visit the bar in person was really something!
113 St Marks Pl
Famous for being so secret, with a hidden entrance within another establishment, finding PDT was still easy enough. Getting in on the hand was harder, this is not a very big bar. But after a 100 minutes wait we were inside, seated at the counter. Having just bought the PDT cocktail book we knew we could keep our expectations high, and we were also treated to some really good cocktails. Many of the cocktails at PDT have fun names, we tried Green Teaki, Chita Spot, Double Crown and Red Herring. All very well balanced, and made just in front of our eyes the whole PDT experience was truly enjoyable (except the long wait to get in of course). We are now eager to make some PDT house cocktails ourselves using the book!
225 Avenue B
Now this is actually a big bar with a lot of seats. We went early during the afternoon and could choose freely where we wanted to sit. Their cocktail menu is relatively long, and choosing what to drink got tricky as we basically liked everything we saw. Anyway we started with My Dear Unfortunate Successor and This Charming Man. Both were spectacular with peculiar ingredients such as lemon ash, lavender absinthe and milk-washed mezcal. Using innovative ingredients seemed to be a theme at Pouring Ribbons, hence our eager to try as many cocktails as possible. The Real Horrorshow was another cool cocktail, made with clarified milk! It was actually really funny sipping on a cocktail clearly tasting the milk but not actually seeing it. Pouring Ribbons also served some selected american cheeses, which accompanied the cocktails well.
There are actually two bars within this hotel, and quite amazingly both bars are featured on the worlds 50 best bars list. We first tried the Elephant Bar and we were nicely seated within the spectacular library of Nomad Hotel. As expected cocktails here were stunning! The ones we tried; Miles Ahead, RipTide, Golden Ticket and Little Dragon all looked so delicious and of course also tasted so good. Sipping these cocktails in such a sleek environment was the perfect ending to a busy day in New York. Another night we tried the actual Nomad Bar. At this time of the evening the bar was completely full of guests, but we anyway managed to squeeze in at the counter to try a Dr Walnut and a Tivoli cocktail. Made with a lot of attention to details we were served two amazing cocktails, inspiring us to recreate the style of these drinks at home. As the bar was so busy we decided to call it a night after only these two cocktails, but we are eager to come back another time to try more!
30 Water St
This is officially the world’s best bar (www.worlds50bestbars.com) and we are eager to agree. The cocktail menu is huge, and it’s a good idea to have a look at it beforehand online not to be overwhelmed on sight. There is definitely a cocktail for everyone here, and the staff are genuinely happy to help out and make recommendations. We started our evening with oysters (1 USD each during early happy hour) and had a Loan Shark and a Tom Dick & Harry to drink. After that we continued with several more delicious cocktails and also food during our rather long evening at Dead Rabbit. It’s the kind of place you don’t want to leave, even though you eventually have to as cocktails are both big and strong. You can buy their menu (6 USD) and it makes a great souvenir and acts as inspiration to our own cocktail creating.
95 Avenue A
This bar specializes in different punches, served in vintage bowls, cups and mugs. This is a funny and rather social way of enjoying the same cocktail even for a big party. But Cienfuegos also serves “regular” cocktails. They make a house cocktail called House Zombie, and because it’s so strong and potent each guest is only allowed to order one per evening. The Zombie of the house was a good and sweet tiki drink served in cool glassware. Food also needs mentioning, Cienfuegos make great tacos, and guacamole. Most dishes are served bite sized, and ordering a few different things to go with the cocktails and punches is a great way to ensure a good evening!
Death & Co
Please Don't Tell
Please Don’t Tell
Amor y Amargo
Amor y Amargo