Cocktail bars are a dime a dozen here in New York City, so weeding your way through to find that winning combo of cocktail creativity, tastiness, and the ambiance of the space can be a challenge. I picked out some of my all-time favorite cocktail spots that I find myself returning to again and again.
Check out some of my favorite cocktails on Instagram with my hashtag #caros_drinks.
Little Branch – This West Village joint is by no means new and hot, but is consistently great, and in this city that speaks volumes. Note that Little Branch is cash only, and a line forms around the block when it gets late, so I recommend going on the earlier side for an aperitvo before dinner.
Mulberry Project – I have two words for you: outdoor seating. Grabbing a custom cocktail and perching in the outdoor courtyard at Mulberry Project is absolute bliss when the weather warms up.
Nitecap – Some of the more inventive ingredient combinations to be found in the city are on the menu at Nitecap. The menu goes on for pages, so I recommend knowing what spirit you want to stick with going into it, or asking your server for a recommendation and taking a risk. My favorite cocktail contained pickled pineapple juice and completely rocked my socks.
Dear Irving – Any cocktail spot where you ring a doorbell to receive table service is a home run in my book. Dear Irving is also a great spot to nibble on a cheese plate either before your meal or late at night when hunger pangs hit.
Mother’s Ruin – Daily, creative daiquiri flavors are my go-to at this well-appointed dive on the lower east side. It has a low-key vibe that stills feels energized, and I’ve ended up there more than once for a nightcap at the end of my evening.
Bathtub Gin – A smaller speakeasy that isn’t as much of a pain to get into as PDT or Death and Co are, this little Chelsea spot is hidden away behind Stone Street Coffee. There is a full dinner menu offered here, so don’t shy away from going during prime mealtime.