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!

Celebrate Mother’s Day With Fresh Fruit

Make Mother's Day special with fresh fruit

This Mother’s Day can be a healthy treat for mom with several fruity meal ideas that you can prepare for breakfast lunch or dinner.  You might want to make a list of her favorite fruits then seek the best and most fresh produce available to make her day a special one.

If you would like to surprise your mother in the morning there are a few ways to do this. Some ideas for tasty breakfasts could include blueberries with honey or Agave infused vanilla yogurt with graham crackers, and topped with crumbled dark chocolate.  If she loves strawberries, which are coming in season, consider making strawberry shortcake, pancakes or waffles.  Blueberries and raspberries also make great choices for your favorite gourmet muffin recipe, which can be topped with sweetened cream cheese for added decadence.

For lunch you can indulge your mom with a gourmet salad mixed with luscious greens, avocadoes, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, red bell peppers, mushrooms, honey glazed walnuts, salmon and goat cheese.  Top it off with honey mustard or poppy seed dressing.  Add a bagel and lox with cream cheese, which can also be complimented with sliced kiwis and ruby red grapes.

If dinner is what you prefer you can still bring on the fruit.  Keep in mind the type of dish you are preparing.  For fish and seafood try citrus fruits.  There are many varieties of oranges available right now that are both sweet and tangy.  Meyer lemons are also a great choice and are sweeter than regular lemons.  Poultry dishes can be preceded by a delicious Waldorf salad or fruit salad mixed with melons, bananas, blueberries and grapes.  With other meats you could incorporate figs, pears, apples and fresh cranberries.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding healthy fruit to your Mother’s Day activities.  Not only is this a fresh surprise, but can also make any meal gourmet.