Pack your fedora before hitting these gin joints.
By now, you've had a Commandant's Cocktail at Hotel Delmano and sweet-talked your way past the doorman at Employees Only. But you still haven't quite had enough to drink, eh? Luckily we have two last speakeasy recommendations for you.
We've pretty much tapped the selection of secretive, dimly-lit spots in NYC, but if you insist on hitting one last place that knows the difference between a sazerac and a Singapore sling, make it one of these two. Just don't expect the world: We don't really think either is that great.
This week's NYC Speakeasy picks are for the VIP in you, so gather up your hipster friends, keep your party small and check 'em out. Both have tough doormen but are well worth the wait.
First stop at Smith and Mills in Tribeca. Once a horse stable, it's been revamped with cool features like a bathroom made from a reconstructed elevator. The mirrors behind the bar were made from giant drainpipe molds and custom (flattering) lighting abounds.
Drinks are also custom made--think different sizes of ice cubes and fresh squeezed juices. Be warned: Trouble with the state liquor authority and a crazy neighbor are keeping this spot in the local headlines lately.
Another selective option? Keep reading...
Sure, you may think a stumble to the outer boroughs would make our speakeasy standards to slip. Think again.
Hotel Delmano is the perfect upscale cocktail spot in Brooklyn, offering delicious concoctions like the Commandant's Cocktail (pear cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice and green chartreuse) or the elderflower tequila gimlet.
Hotel Del is just as exclusive as our previously profiled Manhattan joints--replete with doorman who takes cell numbers to call you back when something opens up. Take some time to chat up the honey in line next to you, as this spot's got a unisex bathroom with a cozy communal sink that makes washing hands somehow sexy.
There's nothing like paying for a drink in New York and actually feeling like you're getting a good deal. It happens rarely, trust us. (Often times we find ourselves shelling out $7 for a bottle of beer.)
Things are different at the joints headed up by Sasha Petraske. The master mixologist just gets it right every time, with amazingly fresh juices and concoctions, as well as talented bartenders and uber-cool spaces. Suddenly, $14 for a cocktail seems like a bargain.
Our first Sasha speakeasy today is the original: Milk & Honey, on the Lower East Side. The trick with M&H is finding the right phone number for a reservation. That's the only way you'll get in.
Ask your coolest NYC friend and they'll inevitably have a friend who can produce it, then M&H will call you back to confirm a table.
Spring's the perfect time to start that clandestine love affair, but where to kick it off? Why, a speakeasy of course. These little, lesser-known spots offer the perfect mix of fresh cocktails and cozy corners ensuring no one will find you--unless of course you want him to.
They're also spreading like wildfire throughout NYC and proving excellent antidotes to the loud, large bars of the past.
Feel like you're stepping back in time and go down the stairs to Little Branch on the corner of 7th Avenue and Leroy. The drinks are expertly mixed by suspender-clad bartenders, and the rules of the old school apply: no loud yelling or bad, unruly behavior and you may have to be patient about getting in. But it's all worth it after you slide into a retro booth or better yet, sidle up to the bar with your sweetie.
Another pick? Keep reading...