When in New York
By Niree Noel
In the 1850s, Jerry Thomas set the precedent for New York City being the crux of cocktail innovation with notable bartending stints at the Metropolitan Hotel along with a series of successful saloons he opened up and down Manhattan. Thomas also published the first American cocktail book in 1862, the oft-consulted Bar-Tender’s Guide, a compendium of classics that so many modern drinks have evolved from.
Throughout the centuries, major mixology trends have stemmed from New York and spread to the rest of the country, and the world. Consider the popularity of vodka soaring in the 1930s after its inclusion on the menus of such establishment as the St. Regis and the Russian Tea Room. Or, the craft cocktail revolution that Sasha Petraske started with his clandestine speakeasy Milk & Honey in the early 2000s. With one of the world’s highest concentration of bars per block and new establishments opening at a rapid pace, New York is still at the forefront of drinking culture. Here, we list a few of the best spots to sidle up to the bar and order whatever’s on the menu (because no matter what you order, you truly can’t go wrong).