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Best of NYC’s Summer Cocktails

These days New York’s finest mixologists seize the fruits of the summer as much as the chefs do…

PDT
113 St. Marks Pl., nr. First Ave.
(212) 614-0386

Short
for “please don’t tell,” the secret’s out about this East Village
cocktail den.  Connoisseurs collect for Jim Meehan’s Hemingway Daiquiri
or the High Roller Menu.  But right now, the hot weather drink to order
is the East India Cocktail, made from fresh-squeezed pineapple and
orange juice with a kick of cognac. Then again, there’s always
Up-To-Date — a spicy rye
cocktail with hints of citrus and chamomile.

Elettaria
33 W. 8th st., nr. MacDougal St.
(212) 677-3833

The
at this funky Village haunt have conceived an imaginative cocktails to
complement the Akhtar Nawab’s cooking.  The Mai Tai (pictured right)
screams summer, but we were just as swayed by the absinthe-spiked
Zombie Punch made with three types of rum and fresh-squeezed lime.

Milk & Honey 
134 Eldridge St., nr. Broome St.
unlisted phone number
Good
luck making a reservation if you don’t already have the new
number at this Lower Eastside speakeasy.  Any of the
bartenders will gladly mix you a drink personalized to your tastes. The
cucumber and gin-based Eastside Cocktail is perfectly refreshing, but the Pina Colada will transport you
straight to a Caribbean-bound cruise ship (minus the lounge singers.)

Pegu Club
77 W. Houston St., 2nd floor
(212) 473-7348

Audrey
Saunders, along with an expert team, crafts a fine list of
fresh-squeezed potables at this second-floor hideaway.  We’re fans of
pineapple-infused Pisco Punch as well as the Aperol Sunset, topped with
Nasturtium, which adds floral notes to this tequila favorite (pictured right.)

The Rusty Knot
425 West St., nr. 11th St.
(212) 645-5668

Owners
Ken Friedman and Taavo Summer have equipped this quirky dive bar with a
jukebox, pool table, fish tank, mai tais and tropical tiki drinks.
Summer in the city can come by way of the Zombie, made with guava and
passion fruit juice.  But our favorite cocktail is their solid
rendition of the Dark & Stormy, which comes in a tiki glass.

Death & Co.
433 East 6th St., nr. Ave. A.
(212)388-0822
Death
& Co. easily rates among Manhattan’s finest cocktail bars.  Owners
Dave & Ravi have amassed an impressive list of classics,
including the Oaxaca Old-fashioned, Bushwick, and Monongahala Mule.
They also serve four versions of
the julep — mint, maple, chamomile and our favorite, the “Not Quite Georgia Julep” made with peach brandy and applejack.

Church Lounge
2 6th ave., nr. White St.
(212) 519-6677

This
isn’t just another hotel bar.  The drink to get at this Tribeca lounge
is the pungent, Strawberry Smash — a combination of fresh
strawberries, Beefeater gin and chopped basil.

Tailor
525 Broome St., nr. Thompson St.
(212) 334-5182

The
bartenders at this avant-garde Soho spot don’t mess around.  The man
behind the madness is Eben Freeman, whose innovative cocktails nicely
complement Sam Mason’s sweet and
savory menu.  Grab a stool and order the kumquat-flavored Caipirinha.
This riff on Brazil’s national drink starts of salty – blame the soy
caramel – but finishes on a subtly sweet note.

B Flat
277 Church St.,
(212)219-2970

There’s
no better place to hone your craft than Angel’s Share in the East
Village.  The former bartenders opened their own swanky bar in
Tribeca.  We’re partial to the Watermelon Man made with vodka and
fresh-squeezed watermelon as well as the Misty – a mix of Chambord,
rum, blueberries, calpico, lemon juice, and mint.  It’s finished with a
splash of champagne.

Craftbar

900 Broadway, nr. 19th St.
(212) 461-4300

It
tastes like summer all year round at this Gramercy spot, which serves a
fantastic Craftbar margarita, made with fresh-squeezed grapefruit and
orange juice.  Ditto the summery Mimosa, made with kumquats.  Of
course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Tom Colicchio.

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