228 W. 47th St, nr. Broadway
The guys behind Tribeca mixology haven Ward III have revived Rum House, midtown’s newest old watering hole. The wood-paneled space is complete with nightly piano playing by a stomping, suspendered gentleman (bowler hat included), and has been elevated to a classic cocktail lounge swathed in leather banquets and lit by glowing candles. The cocktails, classic and strong, intrigue with subtle details like the burnt orange zest in the smoky Scotch-based Barrymore.
50 Carmine St., nr. Bedford St.
In Zak Pelaccio’s short-term replacement for Cabrito, the punchy colors of his former Mexican spot have been traded for muted hues, a blank slate appropriate to the rotating cast of local guest bartenders who stop by a few nights a week. On the mixologists’ nights off, there’s a house cocktail list, including the standout ‘Cue (originated across the river), a smoky, citrusy blend of rum, sour yuzu, smoked pineapple, Tabasco, and Pernod.
286 Graham Ave., nr. Grand St., Williamsburg
There are there are no spiders at this cozy neighborhood wine bar. There is, however, booze. Approachable, affordable, and primarily European wines by the glass are cast in the starring roles. Try a light, berry-studded Beaujolais or a fruity Montepulciano rosé, but don’t rule out classic cocktails like a perfectly refreshing Negroni.
228 Manhattan Ave., nr. Maujer St., Williamsburg
Follow the blinking red beacon to this warm, rustic, and aromatic Williamsburg punch mecca where every night the bartender mixes one hot and one cold option, a bargain at just five dollars a cup. If you have a posse or are feeling like a lush, they also offer their favorite blends by the ten-serving bowlful with nautical monikers like “the Old Gunwhale” or “the Perfect Storm.”
Red Rooster Harlem
310 Lenox Ave., nr. 125th St.
Marcus Samuelsson's culinary love letter to Harlem is widely considered to be a restaurant, but that's only half the story: Walk into the open, loftlike room and you're definitely in a drinking establishment. The space has the sort of convivial watering-hole vibe that turns onetime visitors into regulars, with drinks that play up Red Rooster's pan-Harlem shtick: The Apollo, named for the famous theater around the corner, is an herbaceous gin drink with egg-white foam; the Brownstoner, a tweaked Manhattan, pairs nutmeg-infused bourbon with cherry heering and St. Germain.
Weather Up Tribeca
159 Duane St., nr. West Broadway
This new incarnation of the Prospect Heights boîte is three times the size of the original, with nooks designed for spreading “a little bit of really nice caviar on a French fry,” say the owners. Project partner Richard Boccato, of Dutch Kills and Forty Four, designed the cocktail list, and on certain nights he’ll personally be serving the Weather Up Jr., a variation of the original bar’s signature drink, made with cognac, amaretto, vermouth, and a Champagne float.
213 N. 8th St., nr. Driggs Ave., Williamsburg
The second full-service wine-making facility in all the five boroughs, Brooklyn Winery offers a number of full-service wine-making packages (including make-your-own kosher wine!), but in case you don’t have a year and upwards of two grand to spend, you’re more than welcome to stop by the wine bar, sample some libations, and munch on herbes de Provençe popcorn or baked brie with fig jam. Eventually they plan to serve products crushed in-house, but for now, the menu is comprised of the staff’s favorites, including a Zuccardi Malbec, a South African Rhone-style blend, and some local New York Rieslings.