We’re in the midst of the inaugural NYC Cocktail Week (like Restaurant Week), and while we’re sure there are plenty of great spots on the lineup, we have a few trusted standbys of our own. When ordering drinks, one can easily find cheap sticky sugars and not-so-fresh concoctions that are far from the original components that make cocktails so great—medicinal gin and tonics heavy on the high fructose corn syrup and artificial quinine, for one such ugly truth. But not on our bar tab.
With the likes of rhubarb pureés, organic vodka and a sangria with upstate rosé, we hope we’ve found some safe havens for you real-deal drinkers this summer. If so, we wouldn’t mind hearing a toast across the room.
This wooden sky-lit space serves as a resting place for a similarly simple, light drink with a fitting name: The Luna. Organic Cucumber Vodka lines a glass of lemon, simple syrup and St. Germain elderflower liqueur that’d be a good match for the whole-roasted branzino or appetizers of octopus or Yellowfin crudo, we think.
Those pink stalks of spring, rhubarb, get pureéd and bubbly-drunk in a Rhubarb Bellini with organic prosecco here, or added to house-smoked rum, lemon and prosecco for the Rhubarb Crisp. Prickly pear, Champagne, lemon verbena and biodynamic elderflower syrup make up a seasonal Spring 75. See also: blood orange, blueberry, and Thai basil-based cocktails. That’s because this spot is dedicated to sustainable practices, which carry through to the menu and wine list.
This home of vegetarian bistro wares and biodynamic wines serves sustainable cocktails, too—ones made with premium Rain vodka from 100% organic white corn. Choose from Married In A Fever (red wine-poached pear nectar, smoked pear-infused vodka), Angry Lesbian (tarragon-infused vodka with framboise and orange nectar) or the Up All Night: espresso bean, cocoa and vanilla-infused vodka rimmed with chocolate fudge.
Farmer’s Organic Gin is the base for a Grapefruit Cooler here with elderflower and lime. We’d also suggest the Dirty Tomato Martini with Organic Tomato Vodka, basil and olive for something like a liquored-up gazpacho.
This Greenwich Village locale enlists its locally sourced cocktail program with the likes of Hudson Baby Bourbon and Finger Lakes wine. Order The Cornelia (named for the restaurant’s street address) for a mix of Finger Lakes Distilling’s Seneca Drums gin, aperol, sparkling wine and fresh orange. The Village Fizz is a martini glass of Texas-based Titos Vodka (made from agave), pureéd apricot jam and lemon juice. Then there’s the Rosé Sangria with Finger Lakes-based Lakewood Vineyard rosé, fresh fruit (orange, lemon, lime, green apple) and a shot of tequila (optional).
A Sunburnt Melons cocktail sounds fun, and it is: Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila (made from 100% agave), fresh watermelon and ginger pureés, lime juice and agave nectar. We’d take it with the bar’s half-shelled oysters or ceviche of octopus, scallops and peppers.
Alongside some local wines and microbrews sits the Montauk Fizz: pureéd ginger root, fresh lime, gin and seltzer. We’d advise sending this one up in the air—perhaps over a plate of country-style paté—for a toast of some of the best bottoms-up this side of New Orleans.
Photo via Joel Olives, Flickr