Bottom’s up in the Big Apple! The sweet smell of summer has descended on New York City with the warm days and cool evenings so prevalent here in the Northeast giving one a perfect excuse to galivant through some of the urban playground’s most exciting additions to its already-thriving cocktail scene.
From a souped-up modern Italian restaurant perfect for Instagram, a hotel that boasts a restaurant churning out outstanding Israeli-inspired cocktails and a theatrical libation experience, here are the most unique places to get a drink in New York City this season.
It’s like going on vacation in the middle of the hustle and bustle of New York. Located near the Bensonhurst neighborhood in Brooklyn, World Spa is a must-go, multi-level destination which, as its name suggests, boasts spa treatments from around the world. From Russian Banyas to Turkish spas, indoor jacuzzis and pools, masseuses and facialists, a cold plunge and even a room for breathwork that produces fresh snow, there is truly something for everyone here, no matter which traditions you’re seeking.
With a space this thought-out, that also includes the plentiful food and beverage options here. Throw on the provided bathrobes, sit by the pool at the World Spa Lounge and order prosecco, beer, cocktails and a menu full of fresh food. To add to the luxury, there’s also a members-only club with an extensive wine cellar.
DRINK THIS: The lounge’s cocktail menu is divided by north, south, east and west influences. That includes a Birch Spritz made with birch tree sap (north), a Lychee Martini (east), as well as a Mezcal and Poblano liquor cocktail dubbed the Blood & Smoke (south).
Moxy Brooklyn Williamsburg
Over in Williamsburg, a brand-new iteration of the Moxy Hotel opened up on Bedford Avenue in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. Inside, there are three distinct spaces that serve spectacular cocktails. For hungry revelers, check out Mesiba, an inspired restaurant with gorgeous interiors (look up and you’ll see the ceiling boasts Bauhaus-style wooden boxes of hanging chandeliers wrapped with foliage).
Down on your table are Israeli and Levantine food that’s just as eye-popping which includes metal platters of warm Frena bread, baba ganoush and prawns. The cocktails at Mesiba are just as notable, including a Turkish Old Fashioned (made with Turkish Coffee) and a Milk Punch concocted with Aberfeldy.
In addition to Mesiba, the Moxy also features Jolene Brooklyn (a state-of-the-art club space inspired by the fierceness of Dolly Parton) and Bar Bedford (a top-tier hotel bar with inspired cocktails all its own, including a Sazerac made with Remy Martin 1738 and Rhinehall Pear Brandy).
DRINK THIS: Mesiba’s Israeli influence extends over its cocktail menu with a bevy of hard-to-find libations. End your meal with an Arak Service, a Middle Eastern aperitif which is brought to you alongside grapefruit and honeydew.
Right off of Manhattan’s Union Square, Journey 360 is a souped-up interactive fine-dining dinner theater with dazzling graphics (on both the tables and walls) where trained actors are the hosts who tell a story, all the while a multi-course pre-fix menu compliments the action.
The shows here vary, with one chronicling the journey of a dirigible with projections of the clouds all around you, while the next course takes you under the sea (when seafood is served, naturally) and the table comes to life with projections of fish swimming happily by, while the walls around you are projected with wavy images of an ocean floor.
DRINK THIS: The cocktail menu takes one on a similar trek of flavors with unique takes (their margarita-spin is appropriately dubbed El Adorable Ruby and includes pomegranate-hibiscus juice and an agave lime sour) and delicious inventions (including a mezcal, honey liquor, egg white concoction dubbed the Apocalypto).
It’s the Italian fever dream everyone is talking about. Here, the food is fit for Instagram and the libations are next-level. Overlooking Columbus Circle, Bad Roman comes from the team behind another Big Apple Italiano stalwart, Don Angie.
Since its February opening, the adventurous restaurant (with a sprawling bar) has set the internet on fire thanks to inventive spins on dishes ranging from meatballs made with filet mignon to a deconstructed lemon cheesecake that looks exactly like an actual lemon sitting on a bed of graham cracker crust.
The drinks are just as fiercely creative, as if the team started every meeting with the phrase “Wouldn’t it be fun if…” That includes their Martini. Olive brine would have been too normal. At Bad Roman, it’s concocted with the juice from Peperoncino which shockingly erred on salty rather than spicey.
DRINK THIS: Ferrari shots. The classic Campari-Fernet combo is served here in shot glasses glued on actual matchbox cars that can roll around your table.