Now, I am not a drinker. I’ll have A drink -yes, ONE drink socially. Two if it’s a ‘good’ night (and literally it will be- I’ll be put right to sleep). BUT, my goodness, there is quite the drinking culture in NY. I had the causal sip twice a day...double dip at dinner sometimes and weekends….sometimes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hey, I think I finally built up my tolerance! But the drinks were always accompanied with good food and even better company - no need to drink more than our limits.
I’ll call this time a little R & D as part of the food culture with all these craft cocktails to bring to the table during our seasonal events. I had some of the best drinks there...sometimes I wish the cups were smaller so I could try more because they were so creatively done and absolutely delicious. These bartenders were true artists.
My favorite drink by far in NY (that I got to try at least) was found at this very low-key, 1920’s-esque speakeasy called Raines Law Room - named after "The Raines Law" passed in 1896 to "curb" New York's alcohol consumption. We rang the door bell, and thankfully somebody answered. We were lucky enough to get in that rainy night, get our coats checked and privately escorted to the main bar in the back - where all the magic happened with their very talented bartenders. Once our orders were in, we were graciously brought to our own private booth with a call button. I thought I should embrace this historic atmosphere with a historic drink originating from NY by ordering a classic Old-Fashion. If there is one drink I do enjoy...it’s an Old-Fashion...and you know what they say...you can judge a bar by how good its old-fashion is ..And. It. Was. The. Best. Old. Fashion. Of. My. Life. It was so incredibly smooth like Jacob Palmer. Nonchalant like Don Draper. I probably could have ordered another one, but who knows what time it was, and we had quite a bit to travel.
Highly Recommend checking it out, and visiting their new second location too: Raines Law Room
I had my first non-virgin Mint Julep at a family and local's favorite Italian Restaurant called ARIA Wine Bar in West Village.This drink really did blow me away. It was minty fresh, but with quite the bite to it (actually a BIG bite). Everybody was so hospitable there, I felt like I was part of the family. Communal tables allowed strangers to become friends over some of the best tapas-style Italian food and crafty drinks. This restaurant was always fun since it seemed traditional to have a round of Prosecco shots to end the night...if you’re nice I suppose:). They also serve the most refreshing Moscow Mules! Oh, and the wine was delicious.
After work, head to Serafina with your co-workers in the Meat Packing District for some espresso martinis made by the one and only...Luke Sky Walker. Just kidding - we wish - but that was our bartender's name, so we'll take it. It has the perfect balance of espresso and your classic martini...especially if you can't decide between a cocktail and coffee. It's walking distance from Gansevoort (Check out our previous post on markets in NY) and all your fashion houses. This place is the perfect place to unwind after running around NY with drinks to perk you right back up for your next adventure...with work left in the office!
Check it out : Serafina MPD
Another place to mention if you want to grab a drink with friends or co-workers (after a long day of pranking in the office, of course) is the Brass Monkey over at the Meat Packing District. Loved how much space is in this place to accommodate a good group of friends. Great for your casual affairs - and word is that they have a fantastic rooftop open when that warmer spring/summer weather starts to roll on in.
If you're feeling adventurous and lucky on a Friday night, you can test out the crowd at the ...The Tippler in Chelsea. I ran into this place by mistake as I passed their intriguing sign in the back alley of the Chelsea Market. "What a strange spot for such a fanciful sign..." I thought. The place didn't look like much until I found out it was a secret...hidden...bar/lounge surrounded by beautiful architecture. This is definitely a historic place you don' t want to miss on your travels - I'll just leave this sign right here for you, so hopefully it'll intrigue you....and maybe they'll see you there.
And while I did not capture my libations in Williamsburg - aka Hipster Central - I'll say it is home to craft cocktails at every cozy, trendy bar. I am just kidding (kind of.) But really. Their happy hour included fresh-twists on the classic drinks at great price with a very fashionable crowd. Score!
New York was filled with a lot of firsts - including my first - and probably last - shot of tequila(...make that a double...) at Sixty SoHo, endless rooftops with views I was fortunate to reach, beautiful historic architecture and new memories with amazing people from all over the world. Thanks to all who shared their favorites drinks (- but I'll leave this drinking culture right where I left it.:))
Stay tuned for "Cityscape Picnics" next time on NYC Edition.