3 of New York City’s Best Gourmet Cocktail Bars

Written by: Fruzsina Molnar
Mayahuel interior

The interior of Mayahuel, a gourmet cocktail bar specializing in mezcal.

If you’re looking for a night out on the town this weekend but are sick of the regular sports bars, dive bars, or loud dance halls, try something a little bit classier and more subdued. Go with one of New York City’s best traditions: a gourmet cocktail bar, or speakeasy. Around since the Prohibition Era of the 1920s (or at least pretending to be), these little bars will serve you distinctive, expensive cocktails (don’t go unless you’re willing to shell out) with a side of old-fashioned charm and candlelit ambience. Many of them have hidden entryways that lend not only an air of romantic secrecy, but also makes you feel kinda special for knowing “where to get in.” Here are my favorite picks:
1) Little Branch.Located at the corner of South Seventh Ave. and Leroy St., this charming spot is run by the owners of Milk & Honey. Ask for the bartender’s choice–just pick your liquor and tell the bartender your mood and he or she will whip you up something extraordinary. Come on a Thursday or Sunday evening and you might catch a live jazz set, too. And don’t try to skip the line, because it won’t work.

2) Mayahuel. Not your grandparents’ traditional speakeasy, this joint on East 6th St. and Second Ave. is known (perhaps unsurprisingly, given the name) for its cocktails made with mezcal. A veritable book of menus will be presented to you upon taking a seat, so, again, don’t be shy about asking the bartender for his or her choice. If you’re not a huge tequila fan, there are plenty of cocktails made with other liquors, too.

3) Angel’s Share. Not far from Mayahuel at 8 Stuyvesant St. in the East Village, Angel’s Share is a real treat for those who want some mystery and intrigue with their drinks. When I mentioned secret entryways, this is the bar to which I was referring. You’ll have to enter through the Japanese restaurant on the second floor, through a secret doorway that’s the transition between the brightly-lit sushi joint and the candlelit, old-fashioned bar lying behind it. Take a seat and bask in the velvet armchairs, admire the gorgeous decorations, and sip at one of hundreds of speciality cocktails, including one that uses bacon-infused bourbon!

So next time you’re in the Big Apple and looking to treat yourself or a loved one to some masterfully-concocted potions, try one of these enchanting little cocktail bars. You might have to search for it, as none of them have any visible signage, but it’s worth it!

No Booze on the (Miami) Beach!

Miami's Guilty Pleasures !

Sip on your favorite tropical cocktail while tanning and sun bathing in the sands, has been the hottest selling feature of Miami’s ocean front resorts and restaurants, especially the South Beach section of these hospitality joints. But nobody ever bothered to check if it was even legal to bring boozes to the beach. Until recently when City Attorney Jose Smith reviewed the city’s rules and made this law see the light of the day.

After registering hundreds of complaints on littering and drinking this spring break, city attorney officers started looking at the beach liquor sale, and enforced the city’s drinking law, banning consumption and sales of alcohol in public places.

Hotels are allowed to sell alcohol within the hotel premises, but the beachfront patios that line the sand must be alcohol free, as per the rule. David Kelsey, president of the South Beach Hotel & Restaurant Association of Miami however told, reassuring the travelers, that city commissioner is already working on a proposal to issue permits for beach liquor sales, after which it will be business as usual.

Until these hotels at South Beach Miami including upscale Ritz-Carlton, Diano etc get the permit to serve liquor at the beach; it’s a tough job for police officials to keep a tab on travelers coming to Miami in a partying mood.