Regardless of where you stand on the great Aperol Spritz debate of 2019, there are innumerable summery sippers worth swizzling as the weather warms. To highlight them, we’ve called out seven new NYC bars—from East Village gems to elegant uptown escapes—and selected one drink each from their menus. With the likes of No Bar, Devon, Honeybee’s and so many more venues popping up daily in the city, it’s impossible to capture the vast, nuanced spirit of NYC’s multi-borough cocktail scene. But we know a good mixed drink when it’s in hand, and these stand out for their bright freshness.
Paper Daisy’s Watch Me Matcha
Created by Paper Daisy‘s beverage director Tommy Flynn, the Watch Me Matcha is a rare verdant, robust and refreshing invention. It may be anchored by CH favorite Four Pillars Gin, but the cocktail features a garden of delicious, supportive components too.
Watch Me Matcha
1 oz Four Pillars Gin
.75 oz Mizu Lemongrass Shochu
.5 oz Italicus
.5 oz lemon juice
.5 oz simple syrup
Half bar spoon matcha
3 cucumber slices
2 dashes orange bitters
Add egg white and perishable ingredients, add 2.25 oz batch of gin, Mizu, and Italicus. Dry shake, then wet shake. Fine strain in coupe glass.
Last Light’s Glow Stick
From Last Light, the rooftop bar at Sister City (the Ace Hotel’s new downtown destination), the Glow Stick tastes berry-bright. Their housemade syrup couples well with fresh lime juice for a concoction that’s ideal to drink in the summer sun.
1.5 oz Novo Fogo Silver Organic Cachaca
.75 oz Bodegas Grant “La Garrocha” Amontillado Sherry
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz housemade berry syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice and shake mildly. Strain over fresh ice. Garnish with three mixed blue/black berries.
Cedric’s at The Shed’s Fanfare Martini
The latest in Danny Meyer’s roster of must-visit venues, Cedric‘s at The Shed sprawls out in a portion of NYC’s new future-forward arts center. As expected from Union Square Hospitality Group, the cocktails are top notch, including this martini variation developed by Nick Bennett. Two vodkas come together for its remarkably thoughtful flavor profile.
1 oz Ketel One Botanical Cucumber and Mint Vodka
.5 oz Absolut Elyx
.75 oz Lillet Blanc
.75 oz Cinzano Dry Vermouth
1 bar spoon celery leaf vinegar
3 fanfare cucumber slices
Stirred, strained and served up in a martini glass with fresh cut garnish inserted.
Mister Paradise’s Dr. Angel Face
There’s an inherent drama to much of the menu at Mister Paradise—and it’s a welcome one. The East Village spot—co-founded by NoMad alum Will Wyatt—sets an upscale but hyper-creative menu in the midst of design and decor that allow guests to let loose. The Dr Angel Face embodies this—it’s as thoughtful as it is playful and warrants repeat orders.
Dr Angel Face
.25 oz Blanc Verjus
.5 oz Jarana Fino Sherry
1 oz tomato water dashi (fortified with sea salt, white sugar and rice vinegar)
1.5 oz Mizu Saga Barley Shochu
Stirred and served in a green chartreuse rinsed coupette. Garnished with a single Kinome leaf.
The Gold Room’s Mutsuhito
With enough grandeur to match the setting of the Lotte New York Palace’s The Gold Room, the Mutshito elevates the lotus flower essence of Japan’s Roku Gin with yuzu. Jasmine tea rounds out the botanicals and a touch of sweetness makes it a delicate celebration.
2 oz Roku Japanese Gin
1 oz yuzu juice
.5 oz Jasmine tea
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz aquafaba
Dry shake, then shake over ice. Strain into coupe. Float blossom garnish.
In the heart of Alphabet City, Joyface refers to opening their doors as “having people over.” This casual mentality complements the kitschy decor, but one would be remiss to confuse this for any other bar. As there is no signature cocktail menu, visitors are encouraged to arrive with a word or two and let the bartender work magic around it. We offered “bright and fresh” to Max Almario, and he produced an extraordinary riff on a Bamboo—including lavender-infused blanc vermouth. It doesn’t have a name, as it was invented on the spot and Almario says, “We don’t name things here.”
1.5 oz blanc vermouth house-infused with lavender
1.5 oz fino sherry
Two dashes angostura bitters
Two dashes peach bitters
Stirred and strained into a rocks glass. Garnished with an orange slice.
Paradise Club’s Studio 75
Why, you may ask, would anyone put Krug Champagne into a cocktail? The simple answer is that it’s the best ingredient possible to complete a very extravagant drink. At Paradise Club, the $80 Studio 75 harks back to the spectacle of hotelier Ian Schrager’s Studio 54 days. The drink also incorporates gin, clarified lemon juice, floral components and edible gold.
1.5 oz gin
.25 oz hibiscus
.25 oz Mandarine Napoleon
.75 oz clarified lemon juice
.25 oz simple syrup
2 oz Krug
Shaken and served in a long Champagne flute. Garnished with a spritz of edible gold.
Hero image courtesy of the Lotte New York Palace