NYC’s Sexiest Cocktails & Bars for Valentine’s Day

Take advantage of Valentine's Day menus and treat your sweetheart (or yourself) to a sexy cocktail in a sexy bar.

Say what you will about Valentine’s Day, the Catholic holiday bastardized by Hallmark, the chocolate industry and the color red, but every February we fall for the same heart-shaped routine. Whether you’re single or off the market, I think we can all agree a little extra love in the air isn’t a bad thing come mid-winter. Of course, restaurants and cocktail bars recognize this too–I say take advantage of the holiday menus and put some lovin’ in your cup. Here’s seven sexy cocktails served in seven sexy bars in NYC to get you in the mood (you can thank me later):

Le Fraise Sauvage at Employees Only:
1 1/4 oz. Plymouth Gin
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. strawberry puree
2 oz. Mumm Joyesse Demi-Sec Champagne
Directions: Pour all ingredients except Champagne into a mixing glass. Add ice, cover and shake vigorously for 7-8 seconds. Pour champagne into a chilled cocktail-martini glass and pour the cocktail over it. Garnish with half a strawberry.

Employees Only (510 Hudson St.), a veteran on the cocktail scene, should be considered an ace in your deck of NYC date spots. Of course, with a solid reputation for smart drinks, impeccable service and a seductive vibe complete with a fireplace, the small bar fills up fast–put your charm on the doorman to better your chances of getting in. Once inside, let this fizzy, summer-y cocktail (pictured above) put its charm on you.

Andean Dusk at Raines Law Room:
4 to 5 muddled red grapes
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. La Diablada Pisco
Directions: Shake with ice and strain into a flute and top with rose Champagne (Raines uses Moet & Chandon Rose.)

The private tables at Raines Law Room (48 W. 17th St.) were built for PDA–velvet sofas cocooned in black gauze, each outfitted with buzzers to call for the server so you’re never disturbed when you don’t want to be. With capacity for about 50 people, you’ll want to arrive early if you’re planning on cozying up here for Valentine’s Day. Meaghan Dorman’s Andean Dusk, with its sunset hue and floral notes, is on the current menu, but there will be other romantic specials that night too.

East India Trading Company at Death & Co:
2 oz. Appleton Reserve Rum
3/4 oz. East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz. Ramazotti Amaro
2 dashes Bittermens Mole Bitters

Chances are, getting into Death & Co. (433 E. 6th St.) on Valentine’s Day is going to be arduous, so do yourself a favor and go early in the evening or pick another night. Winner of Tales of the Cocktail’s Best American Bar award in 2010, this dark-as-a-coffin-lit-by-chandeliers speakeasy wrote the book on sexy design, with some of the city’s best drinks to boot.  Brian Miller’s sherry-spiked concoction, a balance of rich flavors, continues to impress.

Code Noir at 1534:
1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
1 1/2 oz. Pineau des Charantes
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes of Fee Bros. Peach Bitters
Lemon oil
Directions:  In a chilled mixing glass, dash peach bitters and Angostura bitters. Add the Pineau des Charentes and Rye Whiskey. Add cracked ice and Kold Draft ice.  Stir 20-25 times. Add some fresh ice, strain and pour into a frozen coupe glass.  Garnish with lemon peel.

Nolita newcomer 1534 (20 Prince St.) is catering to singles this Valentine’s Day–check out their Summer Fling party from 8 to 11 p.m. on Feb. 14, designed to chase away the winter blues with spe tiki punches like “Love Potion #9.” On any other night, the subterranean enclave feels cozy and inviting, much like this sophisticated cocktail featuring an aperitif made from Cognac eau-de-vie and unfermented grape juice.

The Hong Kong Cocktail at Macao Trading Co.:
2 oz. Gran Centenario Plata Tequila
3/4 oz. Ruby Port
1 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. Pandan Leaf syrup

While a seat at the main bar at Macao Trading Co. (311 Church St.) offers plenty of ambience, for a more illicit scene, head downstairs to the opium den-inspired lounge. Best be sure you like the person you’re drinking with before you settle into the brothel theme, as the seating is a bit cramped. Loosen up with this tequila tipple featuring syrup made from the aromatic, vanilla-like Pandan Leaf.

Hot Zombie at Painkiller:
3/4 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 oz. demerara syrup
1/2 oz. passion fruit puree
1 1/2 oz. 151 rum
Directions: Top with hot water and a pat of salted, spiced butter. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Painkiller (49 Essex St.), with its den-of-bad-decisions vibe, leopard print banquettes and pictures of half-naked island girls, already had a lot going for it before recently increasing its tiki menu exponentially. A selection of hot tiki drinks are especially tantalizing, and the Hot Zombie, with a slug of 151 rum, will fast-forward you through any awkward moments.

Xanté Crush at DBar:
1 1/2 oz. Xanté
1 1/2 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
3 strawberries
Directions: Muddle strawberries and all other ingredients in a shaker with ice, strain and serve in a cocktail glass with sugar coated rim. Garnish with fresh berry.

I have to admit, DBar (263 W. 19th St.) has been off my radar despite some mixologist friends working there–I just don’t find myself in Chelsea very often. But should you be rolling Westside, this sleek cocktail bar is not to be missed. Annexed to Donatella Arpaia’s pizzeria, the lounge offers an intimate atmosphere and crafty drinks–both of which are hard to find in this scenester ‘hood. Xanté, a pear-infused French Cognac with hints of vanilla, is sultry enough on its own, but this Valentine’s Day special by bartender Duane Fernandez is D-lish.

File Under: Hot Dates

Fourth of July gets gussied up with The Minsky sisters tap dancing at the Liberty Belle Spectacular.

  • File under sipping & swinging: Just a few mere hours left to purchase advance tickets for the Liberty Belle Spectacular, a real treat of a Fourth of July showcase channeling the roaring ’20s–complete with a view of the fireworks. Hosted by Dances of Vice, The Champagne Riot, The Salon, and Wit’s End, the rooftop swing party will feature Brooklyn vaudeville duo Gelber & Manning and the Star Spangled Orchestra, rockabilly ballads, boogies and blues by SIT & Die Co, bugle boy extraordinaire Bob Leive, performances by tap sensations The Minsky Sisters, mesmerizing burlesque by Jezebel Express and Perle Noire with special guests The Rhinestone Follies, cocktails by mixologist Fredo Ceraso from Loungerati, and the dapper MC Dandy Wellington! Hurry, tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. July 4, Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 W. 63rd St.
  • You have not one, but two upcoming opportunities to taste Maker’s 46, the first new product from Maker’s Mark in more than 50 years, for free: a tasting party from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday at Rye House featuring Maker’s 46 cocktails as well as food, and a more education-oriented session from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday at Louis 649’s Tuesday Night Tastings. To make the 46, original Maker’s Mark ages for several more months in casks lined with seared French oak staves, giving the signature Kentucky bourbon a more prominent toasted spice profile. Rye House, 3 W. 17th St.; Louis 649, 649 E. 9th St.
  • Also on Tuesday, Justin Noel and Martim Ake Smith-Mattsson bring a taste of Jamaica to the Bowery with a night of specially-priced Appleton Estate Rum cocktails from 7 to 10 p.m. Madame Geneva, 4 Bleecker St.
  • Harlem’s 5 & Diamond is joining with Domaine Select Wine Estates to host a summer cocktail tasting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Expect farm-to-table nibbles from chef David Santos and Jonathan Pogash behind the stick. Five and Diamond, 2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (Corner of 112th St. and 8th Ave.)


New Yorkers can taste Maker's 46, the first new spirit from Maker's Mark in 50 years, this Monday and Tuesday.

Dizzy Days Ahead: Trendcasting 2010

You bitter be ready for The Bitter Truth in 2010.

After closing the chapter on a decade that saw cocktail culture rise from one that knocks back Cosmos on crowded dancefloors to one that sips Corpse Revivers in speakeasies,  the alcohol world is a-buzz with predictions for what’s next. Since NYC is ahead of the curve (i.e., we’re already over bacon infusions), cocktails made here could very well have an impact on what the nation will be drinking in the “twenty-teens.” The National Restaurant Association recognizes that organic cocktails will be a key element for menus next year, and you should also check out cocktail writer Paul Clarke’s trends to watch on Serious Eats. Here’s the view from my crystal ball:

  1. Creme Yvette: Rumors are swirling that this highly anticipated liqueur from the makers of St-Germain elderflower liqueur will finally be released in the first quarter of this year. Featuring notes of berries, spices, honey, vanilla, and a hint of violet petals, Creme Yvette disappeared in 1969, but Robert Cooper’s family has the rights to the recipe and has been fine-tuning the relaunch. Considering how well Creme de Violette went over with mixologists seeking the missing link to a proper Aviation, expect to see the reddish-purple Yvette make a splash.
  2. Terroir in spirits: One great trend to come out of microdistilling is that I’m tasting more terroir, or sense of place, in spirits. I think more and more spirit brands, such as Finger Lakes Distilling and Harvest Spirit’s Core Vodka, are looking to be an homage to their terroir.
  3. Japanese tools and techniques: The art of Japanese bartending, inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony’s attention to detail, is sweeping cocktail culture–at least for those with the luxury of making slow drinks. From handcarved ice balls to the hard shake, these skills are quickly becoming an expected part of the mixologist’s showmanship. Tools can be found on Cocktail Kingdom.
  4. Mezcal for the masses: Mezcal was a hit here in NYC among cocktail lovers who embraced Mayahuel last year, so don’t be surprised to see the smoky agave spirit go even more mainstream this year. Hot new brands include Sombra, Benesin, and Métl.
  5. Tiki everything: The end of 2009 saw the highly-publicized opening of tiki mecca Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, and suddenly, cocktail culture got way less serious.
  6. Sipping rums: On a related note, everyone from The New York Times to the Village Voice seems to recognize the appeal of sipping premium rum for the Winter of ’09-’10. This lines up perfectly for the classic daiquiri to be the drink of the Summer of 2010.
  7. Bitters on blast: Later this month, German-made The Bitter Truth Bitters–until now hard to get unless ordered online via Cocktail Kingdom–will be distributed on store shelves stateside thanks to DSWE Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits. Aromatic flavors such as the Xocolatl Mole and Celery will first be launched in 16 states.
  8. Cognac and Armagnac: Despite being hit hard by the recession, the global Cognac market is expected to resurge over the next few years. On Jan. 17-20, mixologists from around the world will gather in Cognac, France, for the third annual International Cognac Summit to create drink recipes using Cognac. It will be interesting to see what they come up with this year.
  9. Sherry and wine cocktails: Dry or sweet, mixologists got familiar with sherry and other fortified wines last year, so expect to see even more of that this year. Also, Bon Appetit is predicting that vermouth will be all the rage in 2010.
  10. Moonshine: Small-batch corn whiskey modeled after the homemade version synonymous with the South is finding its way into cocktails. Brand-name moonshine such as CatDaddy Carolina Moonshine–sweet, high-proof, and aromatic–could be an ingredient in your next punch.

New Year’s Eve in NYC is for Cocktail Lovers

“New Year’s Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”–Mark Twain

How was your 2009? Mine was half crap, half amazing. I’m ok with that–discomfort breeds growth, and let’s just say I had a lot of growth over the past decade. I’ll be ringing in New Year’s Eve 2010 with a Moroccan-inspired dinner and cocktail party at home with friends, followed by a few rounds at some of these cocktailian fêtes for a tip of the arm or two (or three):

  • What’s a new decade without a pre-party? Swing in 2010 a night early with “The Salon” at The Players Club featuring guest bartenders Eryn Reece (Rye House, Louis 649) and Loungerati’s Fredo Ceraso as well as free Dewar’s cocktails to the first 125 paying guests. Entertainment includes George Gee’s Jump, Jivin’ Wailers (10-piece band); Gelber and Manning vaudeville; burlesque tap dancing by Helen Pontani; burlesque by Pandora; and DJ Rikomatic. Tickets are $25 cash at the door. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Death & Co. is not only celebrating the New Year but also its three-year anniversary. Tickets are $125 per person (not including tax and tip) and include cocktails, champagne toast, bites, and dessert. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. RSVP: (Tickets are almost gone!)
  • Lexington Bar & Books is hosting an exclusive New Year’s bash with a midnight champagne toast, hors d’oeuvres, and party favors for all. Plus you get to light up cigars inside, if that’s your thing. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 at the door. RSVP: (212) 717-3902. Proper attire requested. 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Louis 649 is hosting a “No Bullsh*t” New Year’s Eve with no cover, no doorman, no tickets, no pre-fixe–just bring your smiling faces. 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • The Summit Bar is throwing two parties in one–a “Disco 2010” party from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. with DJ Kimiko, followed by a bar industry party from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. with DJ D Sol. Head mixologist Greg Seider will be whipping up a spiced cranberry champagne drink and a New Year’s punch. No cover, drinks are pay-as-you-go, and you can bring non-industry friends. RSVP:

Also, if you’re looking for food with your drink on New Year’s, here’s some restaurant suggestions. Cheers!

Dizzy Recap: 2nd Annual Repeal Day Ball in D.C.


NYC crashed the DC Repeal Day Ball in style. From left, Crystal de Canton, Lindsey Johnson, Jill DeGroff, Jason Littrell, Lisa Hare, Eryn Reece, Jen Craig, Dale DeGroff, Simon Ford, Sue Leckie, and myself and Elba Giron are front and center. Photo by Leo Borovskiy of Lush Life Productions.

“One cannot have too large a party. “--Jane Austen

Lately, I have had an amazing stroke of good fortune when it comes to attending events and traveling new places.  [Well, there I go, I’ve probably jinxed myself now.] I’ll ask the universe to make something happen, and what do you know, at the last possible minute, an invite magically arrives. [Maybe next I should ask for a raise!] Such was the case this past weekend, when it was suddenly posed on Friday afternoon that I help the Lush Life Productions crew with their video and photo coverage of the D.C. Repeal Day Ball held Saturday night. I was planning on spending the weekend volunteering with kids in Harlem and otherwise bundling up on my couch. [It’s ok, there’s lots of NY Cares volunteers willing to play dodgeball with 9-year-olds.]

I scrambled to find the right dress for the swank black-tie affair, hopped into the LushLifeMobile with Lindsey Johnson, Leo Borovskiy, and Jason Littrell, and away we were, braving the first blizzard of the season to get to our nation’s capital in time so that we could document it for the Museum of the American Cocktail. Being part of the press crew meant that we got to attend the event from the pre-opening stage, watching as the PS7’s crew impressively pulled together all of the necessary details for the gala, all the way to the after-party at brand new bar The Passenger. Let’s just say I got a little *dizzy* towards the end, although it was nothing too serious or worth calling my parents about.

PS7’s bar manager, Gina Chersevani, chef/owner Peter Smith, along with the D.C. Craft Bartender’s Guild, showed all of us New Yorkers who made the trip that the District truly knows how to let loose 1933-style. From the magnificent punches, egg nogs, and classic cocktails served by all-star bartenders, to the red-and-black sequined ladies in pearls and feathers and the gents in suits, bowties, and a few sporting real (and some costume) mustaches, to the swingin’ jazz band, Red Hot Rhythm Chiefs, D.C.’s 76th anniversary of the end of Prohibition was a knockout soiree.

The “toastmaster” of the ball, mixologist and blogger Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bar manager at Clyde Common in Portland, Ore., has made it his ongoing mission to have Repeal Day recognized as a national holiday for years now, so he was the choice host. He kept us all entertained with drinking quotes from renowned cocktailians who couldn’t make it, such as Dave Wondrich and Gaz Regan, as well as historical quotes and more tawdry quips from the crowd. Derek Brown, Dan Searing, and Owen Thompson of the D.C. Craft Bartender’s Guild dressed up as the Founding Fathers, which added some revolutionary spirit to the occasion (as in, “Spirit of ’76”).

There was a leading cast of mixology all-stars both behind the stick and in attendance, which was a treat for me since I didn’t make it to this past summer’s Tales of the Cocktail:

King Cocktail, Dale DeGroff, served the “Cocktel Jerez” (Jameson Irish Whiskey, Lustau PX Sherry, Lustau Dry Oloroso Sherry, Angostura Bitters, flamed orange peel) from the heart of the kitchen, which I found especially charming. His queen, Jill DeGroff, signed copies of her whimsical, soulfully-illustrated tome of bartender and musician caricatures and colorful stories, “The Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar,” which was just released in time for the gift-giving season. Ed Hamilton, founder of Ministry of Rum, mixed ti’ punches made with 100-proof rum straight from Martinique, sugarcane syrup (which you must try if you haven’t yet, and can purchase here), and a small squeeze of lime, mixed with a swizzle stick. The Tippling Bros’ Tad Carducci made a cheerfully-garnished “Gussied-Up Bread Line” (Averna Amaro, G’Vine Floraison Gin, fresh lemon, ginger beer, cranberries). Todd Thrasher (how cool is that name), mixologist at PX in Alexandria, Va., crafted a “Veritas” (Benedictine, Laird’s Applejack, homemade apple bitters, walnut water, fermented apple, cider air) which I had two of and was as amazing-tasting as it sounds. Adam Bernbach of D.C.’s Proof delivered a unique and impressive hot drink, the “Pisco in Winter” (butter-infused Macchu Pisco, citrus-spice syrup, and hot water, garnished with an Angostura-cinnamon marhsmallow, yum). Rachel Sergi of Againn meticulously strained the “Thank U-Tah,” (Tres Generaciones Anejo Tequila, Luxardo Maraschino, Leopold Bros. Three Pins Alpine Herbal Liqueur, fresh lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, egg, cinnamon tincture, and Fee Bros. Aztec Chocolate Bitters–whew) into a frothy flip. Philadelphia’s Christian Gaal, bartender at Apothecary and Noble American Cookery,  shook up some drinks as well, and there were other punches and nogs and delightful-looking things that I wanted to try, but as you can imagine, water eventually became a necessity.

By the time we sauced revelers arrived at The Passenger, which mixologists and brothers Derek and Tom Brown opened late last month, it was bustling with an already-packed crowd and the scene was in full swing. I had a punch that included dangerously good ingredients I can no longer remember, champagne spiked with rum, and a most refreshing dark beer, the Butternuts Moo Thunder Stout, which had notes of espresso and malty goodness. Oh, and the company was great–met Marshall Fawley of Scofflaw’s Den and made lots of new D.C. friends. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that D.C. bars close at 2 a.m. because I’m not sure some of us (myself included) needed to continue riding the express train to Overindulgence.

I must apologize for not writing down the food menu that was offered, but every hors d’oeuvre and appetizer I tried melted in my mouth, and I hope to check out PS7’s dinner menu next time I’m in D.C. After doing a little post-event research, I discovered that PS7’s is across from the historic first meeting place of the Anti-Saloon League, which launched the crusade for Prohibition. For more photos, check out The Washingtonian, keep an eye out for We Shoot Cocktails photos coming soon here, and if you’re friends with us on Facebook: there will soon be a few extras in my album, be sure to scope the lovely Lush Life Production’s album (and video here), and for shots of more NYC-D.C. love and Sunday’s bartender brunch, check out Jason’s snap-happy album–he stuck around D.C. longer than the rest of us.

Most of all thanks to Lush Life, Dale and Jill DeGroff, and all of the amazing D.C. bottlerockers. Repeal Day is the bartender’s holiday, and I was honored to celebrate it with some of the best in the country. Hope to see you again next year!

Sip & Tell: Brandon Lieb of Ron Atlantico

Brandon Lieb loves Atlantico Rum.

Given the recent opening of the city’s first rum-centric bar, Roneria Caracas in Williamsburg, rum may very well be the next premium spirit to win over NYC’s cocktail crowd. So it was good timing that Brandon Lieb, the Miami-based co-founder of Ron Atlantico, recently made an extended visit here to share his sipping rum and get to know the NYC cocktail scene.

“I’m not here to sell anything,” said Brandon, who launched Atlantico in Miami over a year ago. “I want to let people make up their minds about it.”

Brandon, who formerly worked for Bacardi, founded Atlantico with Aleco Azqueta, whose family owns the Casa de Campo resort in the Dominican Republic. There, they found a third-generation master blender to produce Atlantico from small-batch, aged rums that are blended and then aged in bourbon casks. Composed of rums between 15 and 25 years old, the additional aging process uses the solera method (typically used for sherry), which allows the flavors to mellow and marry. A true dark rum, Atlantico has gentle vanilla and toffee flavors without the overpowering sweetness of a spiced rum. It’s lusciously complex with a smooth finish, and is best sipped neat, on the rocks, or mixed in a daiquiri.

When he first arrived in New York a few months ago, Brandon introduced Atlantico to the Dominican neighborhoods in the Bronx and Washington Heights before hitting Manhattan hotspots such as Rose Bar, Le Cirque, and Philippe. He said the Latin communities of New York and Miami have embraced Atlantico, preferring to sip it neat, although in Miami the daiquiri is approaching the cult status of the mojito.

Today, Brandon is headed back to Miami, just in time to skip the winter chill in NYC. Meanwhile, he’ll be watching from afar to see how Atlantico and other sipping rums fare during the dark spirits season here, where rye, scotch, and bourbon are popular methods for keeping warm. He hopes imbibers will notice Atlantico’s cigar-inspired label as bars increase their stock of premium rums.

“We’re not trying to be the biggest rum, but we’re trying to be one that people appreciate,” said Brandon.

Atlantico Rum. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Brandon leading a tasting at Louis 649. Photo by Lush Life Productions.

Exclusive! Rye House to Open Tuesday


The "Appleseed Cobbler" at Ryehouse. Photo by Jim Kearns.

Drinking options around Union Square are about to significantly improve as all-American gastropub Rye House soft-opens this weekend before fully opening on Tuesday. Located at 11 W. 17th St., between 5th and 6th Aves., just down the street from cocktail lounge Raines Law Room, Rye House emphasizes American food and spirits.

 I attended a super-soft opening last night and sampled an Appleseed Cobbler cocktail (Maker’s Mark bourbon, Applejack, cinnamon bark syrup, apples) and Chef Greg Johnson’s phenomenal buffalo sweetbreads paired with a Nectar IPA. Prepared in the style of buffalo wings and served with blue cheese and celery, the spicy, crunchy breading complemented the tender, creamy offal perfectly and made for a playful bar plate.

Owners Mike Janetta and Rob Lombardi (Sala Bowery and Sala 19) and Julio Herencia teamed up with Lynnette Marrerro (Zacapa Rum, Eletteria, Freemans, drinksat6) and Jim Kearns (Freemans, Mayahuel, Pegu Club) to develop the cocktail program. Lynette and Jim previously worked together to create the cocktail menu at now-closed Woodson & Ford. There’s also a selection of domestic craft beers on tap and domestic wines. The long white granite bar with antique shelves is packed with a selection brown spirits, especially micro-distilled/artisanal whiskies and bourbons.

“We wanted to use small-batch American spirits,” said Lynnette. “Every drink had to have an ounce or more of an American spirit. The drinks are American twists on classics. Some, like the Creole Daiquiri, show the best of American fusion. We wanted to have a seasonal julep since it is the quintessential American whisky drink.”

Plates by Chef Greg and Ann McKinney, chef de cuisine, include drunken mussels with wheat beer and tarragon, crayfish po’ boys, beef wellington sandwiches with filet mignon and foie gras on brioche, baby chicken with buttermilk spoonbread, and stout BBQ ribs. Rye House has a front bar area with plenty of seats at the bar as well as two long, farmhouse-style communal tables, and additional communal seating and booths in the back. The decor is a mix of rustic Americana with clean, modern lines, and dim, romantic lighting. I look forward to returning again soon!

The hotly-anticipated cocktail menu here:

The Mansfield: Bluecoat gin or Tito’s vodka, Dolin blanc, yellow Chartreuse, grapefruit bitters ($12)
17th St. Sazerac: Rittenhouse rye, Hine cognac, demerara, Peychaud & Angostura bitters, Marteau absinthe ($12)
Fleur de Lis: Aviation gin, St-Germain, lemon, orange bitters, champagne ($12)
Orange Blossom Special: Overholt Rye, lemon, simple, orange flower water, egg white, soda ($12)
Golden Delicious: Applejack 7½ year, lemon, honey syrup ($12)
Clara Bow: Bulleit Bourbon, St.-Germain, house made grenadine, lemon, mint ($12)
Rye House Punch: Chai-infused Rittenhouse Rye, Batavia Arrack, lemon, grapefruit, angostura bitters, soda ($12)
American  Highball: Buffalo Trace, Averna, soda, orange slice ($12)
Appleseed Cobbler: Maker’s Mark bourbon, Applejack, cinnamon bark syrup, apples ($12)
Rye House Julep: Peach-infused Death’s Door white whiskey, Applejack, mint ($13)
Creole Daiquiri: Old New Orleans 3 year rum, chorizo-infused Sombre Mezcal, lime, pomegranate molasses, cane syrup ($13)

Rye House, 11 W. 17th St. (212) 255-7260. The bar is open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, dinner is served until 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and until 12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Lunch service will begin on Nov. 19 and brunch will start on Nov. 28.

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Jim Kearns and Jane Elkins at Rye House opening night.

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The antique bar at Rye House.

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Additional seating in the back room.

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Brown spirits rule at Rye House.

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Buffalo sweetbreads, a small plate at Rye House.

Introducing: The Manhattan Cocktail Classic


“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.”–Humphrey Bogart



Positive repercussions from Tales are already spilling over as New York cocktail enthusiasts rejoice over today’s launch of The Manhattan Cocktail Classic. Spearheaded by Lesley Townsend (formerly of Astor Center), the event is officially planned for May to coincide with World Cocktail Week, but a preview event will be held Oct. 3-4 as well. Historical seminars, tastings, and parties are planned, and expected participants include the city’s top cocktail and culinary talent. The announcement was quickly snatched up by the Diner’s Journal in The New York Times, so it’s clear this event will garner the attention it deserves. The idea of New York hosting its own cocktail fete apart from the ill-fitted New York Bar Show is really exciting!