We’ve spoken to some of the best cocktail bars in New York to find out why you should drop in for a festive tipple or two this holiday season. Here's our list of the best festive cocktail bars to visit in New York over the holidays...
225 Avenue B
If you’re looking to enjoy high-end cocktails in a welcoming and friendly environment, Pouring Ribbons is the perfect venue for enjoying a luxury cocktail in warm company.
“Pouring Ribbons is an award-winning cocktail bar in the east village of New York City,” says partner Jason Cott. “Joaquin Simo and Jason, who founded Alchemy Consulting, opened the space with the belief that “high-end cocktails do not have to be accompanied by pretension attitude from the staff. At Pouring Ribbons, we put the guest on a pedestal, not the cocktail.”
Jason also told us why a visit to Pouring Ribbons is a must this festive season: “Pouring Ribbons offers two seasonal cocktail menus per year. Currently, we have a theme of Trashy TV which includes drinks inspired by the guilty pleasures we all enjoy. The Wendy Williams is a lovely hot drink for the holidays featuring Lairds Apple Brandy, Maple Syrup, Ginger and Black Market Tea.”
The NoMad Bar
1170 Broadway & 28th Street
The NoMad Bar is a stone’s throw away from the Empire State Building, and certainly the place to go if you’re looking to take a load off. If you love a cosy, warm pub or tavern setting, you’ll feel right at home.
In terms of their cocktails, the website describes their drinks menu as celebrating “classically-focused cocktails, while delving into two new arenas: festive, large-format drinks and a selection of reserve cocktails crafted with rare spirits. An extensive selection of both approachable and sought-after wines and beers are available as well.”
We asked The NoMad Bar why you should plan a visit to their bar this Christmas: “The NoMad Bar is the perfect place to drop in for a drink and snacks or for dinner during the holiday season. The seasonal decorations make for a festive atmosphere, and the rotating cocktail menu includes wintertime takes on classic favourites - like the Ciampino, our twist on a spiked hot chocolate made with Fernet Branca and topped with an Angostura cream. On Sunday nights through the rest of the year and on New Year’s Eve, a special fondue menu, inspired by Chef Daniel Humm's Swiss roots, is available as well.”
121 West 10th St
“Slowly Shirley is an elegant subterranean cocktail sanctuary by Jon Neidich of ACME and Tijuana Picnic and Jim Kearns formerly of The NoMad Hotel and Pegu Club,” a member of the team told us. “Their newest collaboration is located below the duo’s restaurant and bar, The Happiest Hour. With Art Deco décor, classic and contemporary cocktails, and a soundtrack from the Jazz Age, Slowly Shirley transports guests to Hollywood’s Golden Age, when glamour and sophistication held sway.”
Slowly Shirley recommends popping in to try their limited-edition holiday cocktails this Christmas.
Choose between Champagne and Strawberries, which includes a twist of strawberry purée and lime, and Rosemary’s Spring, which is created with wild turkey rye, Yellow Chartreuse, agave, a whole sprig of rosemary and more.
23 Lexington Ave
If you’ve heard of Freehand Hotels, a visit to their most popular hotel bar, Broken Shaker, is a must. The bar boasts a vintage, Caribbean feel, guaranteed to make you feel like you’ve boarded a plane back to 1980s Miami.
“Broken Shaker opened as a pop-up bar in the courtyard of the Freehand Miami in 2012,” a member of the team told us. “Run by Gabriel Orta & Elad Zvi (who now have their own creative company, Bar Lab), the bar was a departure from the Miami’s glitzy nightlife scene, with lush greenery, vintage furniture, and a laid-back vibe. It quickly became a permanent fixture at the hotel, and went on to be nominated for 2 James Beard awards, and named one of the ’World’s Best Bars’ for the last four years - opening in Chicago, Los Angeles, and now New York.
“Broken Shaker New York is their largest outpost yet boasting 360-degree views of the city with a wraparound terrace, and extensive indoor and outdoor space. Designed by Roman and Williams, the bar is rooted in a bohemian, Afro-Jazz, Caribbean vibe. The New York menu features an eclectic assortment of cocktails unique to the city, alongside classics that the bar has become known for.”
They also told us why they would recommend spending New Year’s Eve at Broken Shaker: “This New Year’s Eve, Broken Shaker has confirmed a special live performance with reggae legend Sister Nancy at 10pm, with a set by DJ Gravy to follow.”
If you’re wondering what to drink, Broken Shaker suggests their hot cocktail, Butterface, which consists of Angostura Rum, Plantation Pina and their homemade butter batter.
The Dead Rabbit
30 Water Street
If you’re planning on visiting One World Observatory, cosy Irish bar The Dead Rabbit is just a 20-minute walk away, and the perfect setting for enjoying a warm and cosy cocktail after a day of activities.
“This informal ground-floor pub is our take on the great Irish tradition: no-nonsense, no airs and graces. Just your honest, everyday extraordinary,” says The Dead Rabbit’s website.
If you’re in the mood for a warming whisky, rich Guinness (which they claim is the best in New York), smooth Irish coffee or any other traditional Irish brew’s, then look no further. However if you are in the mood for a cocktail, The Dead Rabbit’s cocktail menu encompasses “a mighty array of spirits, liqueurs, bitters and culinary influences”, and includes an array of original cocktails. Why not try a Kindred Spirit, which is a mixture of Irish Whiskey, Calvados, caramel, fig, coffee liqueur, pineapple and coconut cream; or a Monkey Business, which contains American Aquavit, apricot, sweet potato, cinnamon, honey, carrot, lemon and cream.
If you are planning to pop in over the holidays, be sure to pop in on a Sunday to enjoy some live (and very ‘lively’) music from Irish Seisún from 6pm. If that’s not to your fancy, they also have a DJ set three nights a week.
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