10 NYC Bars with Creative Cocktails

10 NYC Bars with Creative Cocktails

Fancy Pants milk punch at Forrest Point (©Sean Campbell)

If you’re picky about your cocktails, New York is the place to imbibe. With plenty of bars offering unique, well-made beverages, you’ll soon forget about every too-strong or not-strong-enough drink you’ve ever had. Here are some of our favorite spots for a creative concoction:

Chef 28: In addition to delectable Chinese fare, Chef 28 offers cocktails like the lychee martini—complete with two large pieces of lychee floating in the heavenly concoction.

Death & Co.: This speakeasy-style cocktail bar may be a little hard to find, but its drinks are worth the search. Death & Co.’s signature cocktail, Bikini Kill, is made up completely of alcohol—specifically pineapple-infused gin, vermouth, rum, Combier Pamplemousse and St. Germaine—but tastes phenomenal and sneaks up on you quickly.

Forrest Point: Bushwick’s Forrest Point is fairly new addition to the Brooklyn restaurant scene and offers a unique alcoholic beverage: milk punch. Made over the course of three days, milk punch is created by boiling milk and gradually adding spices, fruits and booze. Both the Red Hook and the Fancy Pants varieties are sweet and light. The Red Hook is a little warmer, as it includes chai, rye and brandy, while the Fancy Pants is fruitier with pineapple, sherry, rum and black tea.

Ivan Drago at Sweetwater Social (Courtesy Sweetwater Social)

The Press Lounge: At The Press Lounge, many of the cocktails’ names—like Daily Eagle and Newsday—give a nod to newspapers. The lounge’s cocktail list changes seasonally, but always includes a variety of options featuring different spirits.

Rainbow Room’s SixtyFive: The 80-year-old restaurant Rainbow Room’s new cocktail lounge SixtyFive serves a menu of classic and contemporary cocktails, including the 1915 Gin & Tonic, with Dorothy Parker Gin, lemon, Angostura biters and Johnnie Ryan Tonic.

Rèunion Surf Bar: Just below street level in midtown Manhattan, Réunion Surf Bar is a tropical oasis serving beach-themed cocktails like the Mermaid (a frozen mojito) and the Acid Drop (a vodka-based cocktail that includes grapefruit juice with sugar on the rim).

Sanctuary T: While the name of the restaurant suggests Sanctuary T is known for their non-alcoholic tea, you can also opt for a tea-infused cocktail, like chai-spiced bourbon with bitters and ginger ale.

A tea-infused cocktail from Sanctuary T

Sweetwater Social: Below-street-level bar Sweetwater Social features unique cocktail varieties like Bouquet #2, a mix of scotch, sherry, maple and cinnamon. Unlike at more traditional cocktail bars, the bartenders at this laid-back spot won’t scoff at you for ordering a basic two-ingredient drink. Instead, they might suggest something a little more complex based on your liquor preference.

The Wayfarer: Located within the Quin Hotel, The Wayfarer features live jazz in its cozy lounge above the main dining area. Along with an impressive menu of bar snacks, the lounge serves excellent drinks, like the popular gin-based cocktail Sexy Beest. with strong cinnamon and cardamom flavors.

Zinc Bar: This jazz spot offers plenty of specialty drinks like The A Train, a mix of gin (or vodka, if you prefer), cucumber, lime juice, Pimm’s and white cranberry juice. If you don’t find something that appeals to you, Zinc Bar’s bartenders will also go off-menu and whip you up something interesting.

Please note: some of the drinks mentioned may no longer be available. Call ahead for the most accurate menu information.

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