New Yorkers spend years cultivating home bars to proudly share with guests and occasionally (or regularly) dive into at the end of a long work day. Even supposed spirits novices know how to whip up a cocktail in a pinch, whether it’s a basic G&T, or a superb sazerac replete with a proprietary absinthe mist. But there will always be some extraordinary creations that exist beyond the grasp of even the most ambitious stay-at-home barkeeps.
Elaborate libations can get you tipsy and provide a little social media content, for sure. And at their very best, they can also inform your palate, spark your creativity, and broaden your boozy horizons. Maybe leave the open flames to the pros, but sampling peculiarly prepared unusual ingredients may inspire you to toy with tinctures, embrace infusions, or at least add a dash of bitters now and then. Get started with NYC’s most novel tipples that taste as good as they look.
Enjoy skyline views while you sip this cinematic cocktail on the top floor of the art deco Beekman Tower, originally a fancy ladies-only club and hotel for national sororities (it was later purportedly one of Frank Sinatra’s favorite lounges). Ophelia’s Ascension marries pepper-infused mezcal and bourbon with sugar and bitters for a spicy-smoky take on an old-fashioned. It’s finished with a plume of cedar smoke, which slowly rises from a gorgeous 1920s-inspired glass canteen when uncorked ($17).