The Manhattan Cocktail Scene , NYC

The Manhattan Cocktail Scene , NYC

Where cool sips and great times can be found.

Who doesn't like Happy Hour or a nice, refreshing cocktail at brunch? In NYC, when we're not "running on Dunkin" and their fabulous coffee drinks, our fuel of choice definitely seems to be a delicious cocktail. But, always in moderation, as with anything in life.

A magnificent elixir, the cocktail has been around for quite some time now and shows absolutely no sign of going away. It doesn't much matter what your preference is; be it a classic Martini, Daiquiri, Bloody Mary, or some imaginative concoction that was just invented by a "mad scientist" bartender.

Cocktails help us relax after a hard day at work and they also set the mood for everything from a romantic date to a night out with friends. And, heck, they just taste so good.

Luckily enough, we live in New York, a city that has no shortage of welcoming bars and restaurants that are more than happy to show off their carefully crafted cocktail menus. Some chefs and mixologists will even collaborate and go out of their way to let their customers know which cocktails and wines pair best with various dishes.

Now, rest assured; you can find a great cocktail just about anywhere on the island of Manhattan. But, let's be real, the downtown neighborhoods of Soho and the Lower East Side take a back seat to no one when it comes to quenching your thirst with a dazzling potion.

It's time to go exploring!

The Bonnie Vee - Lower East Side

Even in winter, most of us crave a soothing drink. Also known to its regulars as libation nation, the Bonnie Vee boasts an enticing menu of magical drinks, both hot, to ward off the chill, and cold.

Indulge your palate with a savory hot buttered rum or that English favorite, a hot toddy.

Their regular cocktail list is extensive, to say the least. One of the stand-outs is the Moon Watcher, a blend of Monkey 47 gin, lime and grapefruit juice, Rose', orgeat and a Prosecco float, which will certainly get your attention.

A shot of bourbon, Benedictine, Malbec, lemon and pineapple juice, ginger, honey and absinthe are the diverse ingredients that make up the forever popular Flawless Victory.


bonnie vee


Tasty and not at all sweet is the thirst-quenching Flight to Capri. Bourbon, Campari, lemon juice and cinnamon syrup come together perfectly. Your taste buds really will feel as though they're on vacation in the Mediterranean.

The menu also contains a few espresso martinis that are worthy of note including the Passionate One, which is made with espresso, Mr. Black and passion fruit liqueur. The Original is anything but basic. The blend of espresso, (well-made, by the way ), Mr. Black, Vodka and vanilla syrup is timeless in its appeal.

On Mondays through Fridays, from 5 until 8 PM, it's time for Happy Hour. Select cocktails such as the playfully named Jessica Rabbit come in at a very reasonable eleven bucks. Narragansett beer can be had for only $5 and you will get two dollars off all wines.

Happy Hour food deals include a thick grilled cheese sandwich for $9, a filling warm pretzel (six bucks) and the main event; the kitchen's outstanding crispy potatoes. A mere eight dollars gets you a plate of Yukon Gold spuds dressed with Rosemary and herbed mayo. Yum-Yum !!

The Bonnie Vee is all about camaraderie. It's a place where locals come together to renew friendships and forge new ones, as well. You'll soak in the friendly vibe almost as soon as you walk through the door.

Interestingly enough the bar is named after a fairly celebrated World War II bomber the Bonnie Vee and is dedicated to the brave exploits of the plane's crew, headed by second lieutenant Daniel Albert Abraham. A trained navigator, Abraham was assigned to the Bonnie Vee which flew out of the air force base at Tibenham, England.

Over a period of ninety days, Abraham and his team flew numerous hair-raising missions over nazi Germany. At the tender age of 21, Lieutenant Abraham was killed in action after the Bonnie Vee crashed near Richelsdorf. He was awarded the flying cross purple heart.

You can read the full story on the bar's website.

The spirit of togetherness that infused the brave men of the Bonnie Vee lives on here each and every night.

Location and Hours :

17 Stanton Street

New York, N.Y. 10002

(917) 639-3352


Hours :

Wednesday to Thursday 4 PM to 12 AM

Friday 4 PM to 2 AM

Saturday 2 PM to 2 AM

Garfunkel's Speakeasy - Lower East Side

This elegant speakeasy is quite the conversation piece. First off, the establishment owes its name to the renowned 1920' era private bankers turned criminal fugitives Garfunkel and Tauster.

Located above a hamburger joint aptly called The Burglary, customers enter through an old-time bank vault door. Garfunkel's is, there's no other way to say it; Gatsby-esque in its splendor. Your date will be uber-impressed. You might even feel that you wandered onto a movie set.

However, all the wonderful ambiance in the world doesn't matter if the drinks aren't up to snuff. Know this now... Lucinda Sterling's cocktail menu exceeds expectations.

After one sip of Safe Bet, you'll realize that you're in for a very special treat, indeed. Shaken and served in a Collins glass with soda, the ingredients are rye, raspberry liqueur, amaro, ginger and fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

A must-sip is Fancy-Free, a drink that will have you practically floating on air with a naughty blend of bourbon, Maraschino liqueur, Angostura and orange bitters. It's served on the rocks with an orange twist.

All the Loot consists of rye, Byrrh quinquina, curacao, apple and orange bitters over ice with a twist of lemon.




Cameron's Kick features premium Irish whiskey, blended Scotch, orgeat and lemon juice. This drink will get you going! We have no idea who Cameron is, but the odds are that he's one fun guy!

One of the most refreshing and uplifting drinks you'll ever come across is the Palma Fizz. Vodka, ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and rose water come together with a splash of club soda to make for an unforgettable moment.

By the way, for those of you who prefer a little musical accompaniment for your night out on the town; Garfunkel's hosts a very talented jazz trio every Wednesday from 8 until 11 PM.

Why not start your evening off at The Burglary, then venture upstairs for cocktails?

Brought to you by Tim Gashi and Val Gjekaj, The Burglary offers a nifty menu of mouth-watering hand-crafted burgers that will blow your mind.

Foremost among them are the Garfunkel and Tauster. A Pat LaFreida dry-aged beef patty is topped with Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, crimini mushrooms and Rosemary truffle aioli.

You will also adore the Godfather. Served on a brioche Parmesan bun, this incredible burger sandwich is made with fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, arugula

and Calabrian chile. Wow! that is all we can say.

Location and Hours :

67 Clinton Street

New York, N.Y. 10002

(212) 529-6900


Hours :

Wednesday to Sunday 6 PM to late night ( you get the picture )

Veranda - Soho

A true dining destination, Veranda's greenhouse-like dining room is a masterpiece of architecture and design.

Perched beneath an incredible retractable pergola, this trendsetting space can transform between an indoor or outdoor setting within mere minutes.

The vibe at Veranda works with whatever the weather may be. When it's pleasant outside, you can dine under the stars. Should the temps be on the colder side, you'll be warm and cozy, yet still, have a spectacular view of the surrounding neighborhood.

Yes, they've got cocktails galore here. but, you will also enjoy a full line-up of craft beers, wine and, of course, delectable food.

There's no better place in which to start exploring all that Veranda has to offer than their Midweek Martinis Specials.

Available from Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 till 7:30 PM, Martinis such as Per My Last Email ( gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and an orange twist) can be purchased for ten dollars, a practically scandalous price for this upscale nabe.

Reasonably priced bar snacks range from olives with tempura, crispy salt cod croquettes and Julienne French fries to a plate of hummus with tomatoes, chickpeas, crudite, falafels and grilled naan bread. The Vadouvan spiced popcorn is seasoned with turmeric, ginger and black pepper. Guaranteed; you have NEVER had popcorn like this before.

The cocktail list contains hot and chilled drinks. It just depends on your mood.


veranda soho


Spicy quite aptly describes the Charred Shishito Margarita, which mixes Reposado tequila, shishito peppers and lime juice with wasabi syrup and togarashi salt.

The Wanderlust will get you moving and grooving with ingredients like mezcal, green chartreuse, Thai basil, coconut, absinthe and a few notes of lime juice.

Served HOT is the Mulled Madeira, made with rainwater Madeira, toasted Winter spices, amaro, sour cherry, Jamaican rum and a hint of bitters.

Also on the warmer side is the Roselle Hot Toddy. The ingredients of whiskey-spiked hibiscus, ginger root honey and lemon are very intriguing.

If you want to celebrate something or someone special then do it right here. Raise a toast to that promotion or the love of your life with a glass or even a bottle of champagne. The barkeep is more than willing to get out the good stuff for you. Did anyone say "Moet and Chandon"?

Brunch is kind of a big deal at Veranda. You won't be able to resist the delights that abound in their bakery basket which contains a date and walnut muffin, a scrumptious banana-chocolate chunk scone, croissants and pain au chocolat.

Brunchy things include a signature egg sandwich that has scrambled eggs, aged cheddar and avocado perched atop flavorful toasted focaccia bread.

A bevy of spiced apples, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and oh-so-smooth whipped mascarpone crown a stack of Sonia's extra-good buttermilk pancakes.

Go old-school New York deli breakfast with the smoked salmon and house-cured lox plate. It comes with a nice amount of lox, whipped cream cheese, chives, capers, a thick slice of tomato and, gets this, a wood-fired bagel.

As you might expect, Veranda's brunch menu has some addicting cocktails for you to choose from. One of the best just might be the spiked peach mimosa with gin, peach puree, simple syrup and Prosecco.

Location and Hours :

23 Grand Street

New York, N.Y. 10013

(212) 201-9117


Hours :

Tuesday to Thursday 5:30 PM to 9 PM

Friday and Saturday 5:30 PM to 10 PM

Brunch :

Saturday and Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM

Cantina and Pisco Bar - Lower East Side

Cantina and Pisco bar is a high-energy dining experience from chef Diego Munoz. Located inside the Public Hotel, this hip and contemporary space celebrate two Peruvian traditions ceviche and pisco.

The ceviche bar at Cantina offers diners an authentic taste of what is Peru's national dish. If you've never had ceviche before; you've got to try it. A real delicacy, ceviche is Peru's beloved "cousin" of Crudo, poke and sashimi.

Chef Diego prepares dishes such as ceviche clasico right in front of you. You'll relish every bite of this simple but intoxicating dish composed of snapper, octopus, red onion and cilantro.

When it comes to ceviche, at Cantina and Pisco Bar the possibilities are endlessly delicious. Proof positive is the Ceviche Elegante. Looking as good as it sounds, this dish is made with sweet shrimp, a variety of fish, avocado, capers and tiger's milk. Another ceviche dish blends hearts of palm and avocado with Long Island Kelp, veggies and tiger's milk.

The team at Cantina and Pisco Bar utilizes only the freshest local ingredients in both their food menu and drink list.


cantina and pisco bar


Speaking of adult beverages, get to know pisco, an aromatic grape brandy that shines in cocktails like the popular pisco sour. The bar's version uses pisco made from the Quebrada grape. Known as the "macho" grape, it's very strong.

The lights are low and small candles together with mini vases of flowers form the centerpiece of every table. Lush greenery decorates the space. You will certainly want to post images on your Instagram account and share them with friends and family.

Make plans to indulge in chef Diego's Peruvian cocktail hour, Mondays to Fridays between the hours of 5 and 7 PM.

East Coast oysters are on the menu for only three dollars apiece. There are small bites available including Peruvian style cauliflower and broccoli florets seasoned with Ras El Hanout, EVOO, house-made hummus and sweet pepper, for just ten dollars.

A glass of German biodynamic wine can be had for $10 while lagers are available for five bucks.

Ten dollars will net you an outrageous pisco sour, made with 1615 puro Quebrada, lime juice, angostura and an egg white.

The cocktail menu, (or cockles, as they say in Peru ), has a vast array of

artisan pisco-based beverages. On the light side is Morada 75, a mix of accolade, chicha Morada, lemon juice and sparkling rose'.

The Capitan is composed of Mosto Verde Quebrada, vermouth Rosso and Campari cherry. Made with three simple but effective ingredients, (Quebrada, lemon juice and spiced pineapple agave), Ponche 1890 should make your cocktail bucket list.

Location and Hours :

The Public Hotel NYC

215 Chrystie Street

New York, N.Y. 10002

(212) 735-6000


Hours :

Monday to Sunday 5 PM to 11 PM

Butterfly - Soho

The vibe is always stylish and playful at Butterfly, an intimate bar and lounge that is located on the second floor of the Sixty Soho Hotel.

Decorated in the style of an elaborate and creatively eccentric living room, Butterfly is the perfect space to meet up with friends after the workday is done or to grab a drink after dinner, a concert, or a Broadway show.

A hotspot in every sense of the word, Butterfly takes its name from a beautiful work of art by Damien Hirst which is adorned with dozens of iridescent butterflies. It is a captivating sight, indeed.

Everything at Butterfly is first-class, which is what you would expect from an establishment that is run by the dynamic duo of John McDonald (Mercer Street Hospitality) and Nur Khan (Rose Bar and Electric Room).

The cocktails here come in at $20 apiece, which, believe it or not, is somewhat of a bargain considering the premium liquor and ingredients that are utilized. And let's also take into consideration the skills of the master mixologists behind the bar.

Fresh peach juice lends a refreshingly fruity note to the Great Tanmark cocktail, whose other ingredients are bourbon, lemon juice, Aperol and mint.

The Giant Patch is composed of vodka, cucumber juice, lemon, ginger and absinthe.


butterfly soho


There's an appropriately amusing quality to the Joker, a drink that is made to tickle one's fancy. This beverage's delectable ingredients include a pour of rum, lime and passion fruit juice, lychee and pineapple juice. It's a tropical vacation in a glass.

Another can't miss drink is the Brimstone, an elixir made with tequila, mango juice, a splash of lime, pear liqueur and habanero.

You certainly won't go hungry at Butterfly. They have an enticing menu of small plates specifically designed to whet your appetite.

The amazing duck croquettes are accompanied by juicy peaches. There is also a wonderful crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich on the menu. The chicken breast is dressed with bibb lettuce, pickled green tomato and spicy peach jam.

Location and Hours :

60 Thompson Street

New York, N.Y. 10012

(212) 219-3200


Hours :

Sunday and Monday Closed

Tuesday to Saturday 6 PM to 12 AM

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