Happy New Year! I’m so excited about 2020! 2019 was a dire year for me, I lost my best friend to cancer, and I lost the best cat ever to (most likely) also cancer. I was heartbroken and left feeling lonely, it wasn’t pretty. Today I went to get my hair done, and my friend and hairdresser, Theresa, pointed out that I haven’t seen her in probably ten months. Looking back I realize that this whole past year I have been putting myself on the back burner, I worked too many hours, I haven’t been at the gym once, I slept either too much or not enough, depending on the circumstances, I gained weight, it’s just not good all around. So, yes, I’m excited about 2020, because without a shadow of a doubt, I will put myself first again. As Dr. Phil likes to note so eloquently: If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I’m going to make it good, and I surely hope so are you.
One thing I did right last year (besides being a decent mom), I stayed consistent with my blog and my journey to find the best food possible, so I can report back to you guys where to find an irresistible meal. But I also found a few spots that serve some amazing cocktails, and I really feel you need to try some of these spots, possibly even all!
The Aviary is an upscale restaurant in the Oriental Hotel right on Columbus Circle. It’s located on the 35th floor and has a breathtaking view of the circle, the avenues and Central Park. The restaurant itself is owned by Chef Grant Achatz, who hails from Chicago, where he owns Alinea, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. I don’t need to tell you how badly I want to dine at Alinea, but the Aviary will have to do for now. The food is outstanding, as you can imagine, but today I’m letting you know about the cocktails which are imaginative and incredible, made by outstanding bartenders, spear headed by Micah Melton.
One Deadly Bite is a cocktail that is served in a flask-like bottle called a port. The port is filled with aquavit, apple brandy, cinnamon and Early Grey tea amongst some other items. Let the cocktail sit in the ingredients to achieve flavor, then pour it in your glass. The flavor keeps changing and intensifying as you keep letting it rest. It’s fun and delicious, and oh so innovative.
Cos “Meow” Ing is somewhat like a Cosmopolitan, including vodka, cranberry, key lime and thyme. It is topped off with a little sweet bite that looks like a deviled egg. It’s tart and delicious, and very different than anything you can order in the city!
For more info on the Aviary click here
Charlie’s Bar and Kitchen
The Bronx is coming up, folks! Be the one that gets there first, so you can rub it in later. Charlie’s Bar and Kitchen is a soulful spot in the South Bronx, which is really not so scary anymore. Live bands, bottomless brunches and some pretty darn good food are to be experienced here, but my focus was on the bar, being that the cocktail menu looked interesting. I wasn’t disappointed.
Champagne Charlies was super delicious! Gin, honey, passionfruit, lemon juice and Prosecco are being served in a Coupe Cocktail glass, and I loved every drop of it.
Manson is a little scary sounding, but you will fall in love. It incorporates tequila, lime juice, chili agave and cucumber. It is served in a highball glass with a rim on salt and chili powder. Yum.
For more info on Charlie’s click here
I hear there are several versions of what N R actually stands for, and the version I got was No Regrets. I’m good with that explanation. This Asian cocktail and ramen bar is the new sister restaurant of ROKC up in Harlem, which is also amazing. This one is located on the Upper Eastside, and it is fabulous. The interior is reminiscent of old China, the bartender’s hair is teased up about a foot high, it’s dimly lit and spectacular.
Flower is a darling little cocktail, served in a glass bird with greens and a golden straw protruding out of its backside. The ingredients are lavender Japanese Barley vodka with Elderflower and cranberry juice. It’s mild and lovely.
Pistachio came inside a huge vase-like glass, filled to the rim with ice. It consisted of gin, house pistachio cream, Campari and clementine juice. I may or may not have gulped the whole thing down within minutes. It was that good.
For more on N_R click here
The Dead Rabbit
Well, if you like good cocktails, then there’s a good chance you have already heard of this place. Located in the Financial District, this multilevel bar has earned numerous awards and accolades. There seriously must be something to it, because I don’t really like whiskey, and here I had my first whiskey drink that I actually enjoyed!
Humble Pie is smooth, a little bit sweet, and as you take your time sipping it, waiting for the giant ice cube to melt all the flavors together, you enjoy it even more with every sip. The ingredients are Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Remy 1738, Applejack, nutmeg and cinnamon. Just awesome.
Con Artist made my tequila-loving heart melt. The mixture of Carved Pisco, Mezcal, Apricot, Passionfruit, Pineapple, Lime, Habañero and Angostura bitters were spot on.
For more info on the Dead Rabbit click here
Hey, it’s Momofuku. That means it’s guaranteed to be good. David Chang, who owns and operates the Momofuku restaurants all over the globe, knows what he’s doing, and absolutely everything I ever tried under his umbrella was outstanding. So. Yes. My expectations were high, and I was vindicated, Bar Wayo rocks. I had a couple of bites food of course, which were amazing, and the cocktails were righteous.
Zombie Elvis is served in a cup resembling a fish, and you drink out of his mouth! The ingredients are interesting: a peanut butter washed rum blend, velvet falernum, dome mix, herb saint and lime. I have no clue what some of these things are, but I know I love it.
Melon Creamy Soda is fun and pretty and tasty all the same. Vodka, Midori and Rocky’s Milk punch make for a great combo, accompanied by little lime stars.
South Street Sling was my favorite that night! A winning combo of sip smith gin, montelobos meszcal, pineapple, macadamia, pomegranate, cherry, lime and bitters made my night….
For more info on Bar Wayo click here
Mother Of Pearl
This is a place I visited in the warmer months, so I was actually able to sit outside “street café style”. Everything here is vegan, but as a carnivore, that wasn’t necessarily what drew me there. I had heard about their imaginative and delicious cocktails, so of course I had to try them.
Taste The Rainbow was honestly unbelievable. It came inside a large snifter, topped with a slice of lime that had skittles on top, which were set on fire. Kiwi, Watermelon, Pineapple, Banana cognac, lemon, lime, Pisco rum….. Need I say more? Ok. It was delicious….
Sugarcane Magik was my favorite! Ron Zacapa Rum, coconut cream, pineapple, lime and almond were magically combined for my tasting pleasure, and it was soooooooo good.
Shark Eye was very dramatic. Bourbon, Rye, Tiki bitters, passion fruit, lemon, maraschino were a deadly combination, with maraschino juice dripping off the mouth of the porcelain shark, in which the cocktail was served. Unreal!!
For more info on Mother of Pearl click here
I hope you get to enjoy some (or all) of these cocktails in 2020!
Cheers and Happy New Year!