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Sipping on authentic, handcrafted libations is the same as sinking your teeth into a beautiful piece of sushi, or pulling the meat off the bone of a slow-cooked rib.  But drinks alone do not make a bar. In today’s cocktail world, you’ll often find  unassuming entrances, dark lighting, an elaborate bar composed of quality ingredients, bartenders with sharp, near balletic, movements, and a devoted following….

Behind the idea of a modern day “speakeasy” lies the desire to capture the essence of an era, an era that birthed illicit, underground clubs that operated by their own rules, and generated loyal fanatics in the process.  And today, these establishments and their mixtures fascinate us. Like jazz, many consider the cocktail an American creation.

Names like Gary Regan, Dale DeGroff, Julie Reiner, Jim Meehan and Audrey Saunders flood the scene.  These mixologist/chemist/showmen are well-trained in the old standards like Fizzes, Flips, Slings, Punches, Sours, Cobblers, Shrubs, Toddies, etc, and that grounds them in a rich past, but they have built on the basics and have built towers…and often in tiny, hard-to-find spaces behind concealed storefronts and sketchy doorways.  And these destinations are well worth the journey.  The following is a list of eight, great NYC cocktail shrines and modern speakeasies:

THE LIST

(click on each header for more info)

1.  PDT (PLEASE DON’T TELL)
113 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY
212-614-0386

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2.  MILK & HONEY
134 Eldridge St., New York, NY
(secret phone number)

milk-and-honey

 

3.  DEATH & CO
433 E. 6th St., New York, NY
212-388-0882
Cocktail list

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4.  CLOVER CLUB
210 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY
(718) 855-7939
Cocktail list

cloverclub

 

5. FLATIRON LOUNGE

37 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011

212-727-7741      Cocktail list

flatiron-lounge


6.  ANGEL’S SHARE
8 Stuyvesant St. at 9th St, 2nd fl, New York, NY
212-777-5415

angelshare

 

7.  PEGU CLUB
77 W Houston St, New York, NY
(212) 473-7348

peguclub

 

8.  LITTLE BRANCH
20 Seventh Ave. South, New York, NY
212-929-4360

little-branch

***A cool site to read more:  The Lush Life, Guide to Manhattan’s Best Cocktail Bars

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9 Responses to “NYC Cocktail Joints and Speakeasies”

  1. David H. says:

    I love the Flatiron Lounge! It is such a pimping place – great for dates, meeting people, and for couples alike. Really great list here I’ve heard about Angel’s Share but haven’t been. Also I’m hearing about some great ones in Brooklyn, so give those a check next time round?

  2. David H. says:

    Oh I see a Brooklyn one on there now – whoops.

  3. Nadia says:

    try 67 Orange Street on 8th Ave and 113th St http://www.67orangestreet.com AMAZING speakeasy! best cocktail above 59th ST!!!

  4. Zach Hooker says:

    I know I’m over a year late to this article, but just wanted to say that it’s a shame Louis 649 in the East Village isn’t on this list. I’ve only been popping in for about 6-7 months now, so it may not quite have made the list at the time this article was written, but hands down my favorite cocktails in NYC have been made there. Additionally, the atmosphere at Louis 649 is warm, bright, and welcoming — neighborhood bar-like — not subterranean, dark, and a bit elitist, like a more than a few of the picks here. Start with the Corpse Reviver #2 or an a la Louisiane. You’ll be back!

  5. Evan R. says:

    Great List! I’m super late but made my own list as well…would love to see what you guys think. You can add your favorites and see who’s out at the spots on Foursquare!

    http://bit.ly/bEUd7N

  6. Jake says:

    Wow – thanks for putting this list up man – New York’s cocktail scene is just out of this world.

    Cheers,

    Jake

  7. Vonda says:

    NYC Cocktail Joints and Speakeasies – http://t.co/ImlVMLza http://t.co/ImlVMLza

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