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Booze Monogamy

Top-shelf watering holes devoted to a single type of liquor.

Illustrations by Remi Geoffroi  
  • Gin

  • Madam Geneva

    4 Bleecker St., at Bowery; 212-254-0350

    The moodily lit lounge hidden in back of AvroKO’s Bowery hot spot Double Crown takes its name from an old British slang term for gin. The Beefeater comes sweetened with housemade jam.

    Best drink: the tart and refreshing Rangpur gimlet, made with Tanqueray Rangpur gin mixed with homemade lime cordial ($12).

  • Scotch

  • Highlands

    150 W. 10th St., at Waverly Pl.; 212-229-2670

    The West Village tavern is defined by all things Scotland, from the tartan décor to the haggis to the expansive list of Scotch whiskeys (Glenrothes, Compass Box, Oban) that glow beneath bare-filament bulbs.

    Best drink: the smoky, fruity Blood and Sand cocktail, made with Highland Park Scotch, Cherry Heering, orange and lemon juices, and bitters ($12).

  • Rum

  • Roneria Caracas at Caracas Brooklyn

    291 Grand St., nr. Havemeyer St., Williamsburg; 718-218-6787

    The lively branch of the East Village’s Venezuelan arepas joint serves 30-plus rums available for sipping or in consulting mixologist Orson Salicetti’s (Apothéke) imaginative cocktails.

    Best drink: the bay-leaf-scented Rum Manhattan, incorporating Venezuela’s Santa Teresa Gran Reserva ($11).

  • Tequila and Mescal

  • Cabrito

    50 Carmine St., nr. Bedford St.; 212-929-5050

    Zak Pelaccio’s mellow West Village Mexican restaurant pours nearly a dozen mescals and 70-plus tequilas spanning young, bold blancos, like the earthy Gran Centenario, to barrel-aged añejos, like Partida.

    Best drink: the Mexican Firing Squad, made with tequila, pomegranate syrup, bitters, and fresh lime ($12).

  • Bourbon and Whiskey

  • Rye House

    11 W. 17th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-255-7260

    Chelsea’s rustic-American gastropub serves more than 70 bourbons and whiskeys (including a rare variety of Utah’s High West Rocky Mountain rye). Freemans vets Lynnette Marrero and Jim Kearns crafted the cocktails.

    Best drink: the citrusy punch amped up with chai-infused Wild Turkey rye and Batavia Arrack ($12).

  • Vodka

  • Vlada Lounge

    331 W. 51st St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-974-8030

    Hell’s Kitchen’s sleek gay lounge is run by Russian Samovar’s Vlada von Shats, who chills eighteen vodkas infused with oddities like ginger, grapefruit, and horseradish. Drinks are usually two for one from 4 to 8 p.m.

    Best drink: the bracing ginger infusion, served straight up and kept chilled on the bar top’s inlaid ice ($12).

From the 2010 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine