Sip to Summer in the City at NYC’s Hottest Cocktail Bars

Summer in New York City means it’s time to soak up the sunshine. Whether you’re in the mood to drink at a one of the city’s many rooftop bars or cool down in a subterranean cocktail lounge, here’s a list of places you should take in the hottest cocktails this season.

Yes, we are sending you to a vegan spot inside ABC Carpet, but this spot is the latest NYC restaurant from celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the bright space offers refreshing cocktails and fresh pressed juices. The Matcha Colada puts a spin on pina colada, and you’ll also find coolers combining Asian flavors like soju with sea buckthorn or a yuzu gin and tonic.

This prohibition-era Cuban-themed bar from the team behind Dead Rabbit has mastered classic rum-based cocktails. To welcome the summer, head bartender Jesse Vida has concocted what he calls the Perfect Daiquiri, made with Blacktail’s own mix of rums, lime juice and rich cane syrup. The rum blenc combines Bacardi Heritage, Cana Brava, Barbancourt white rum, and Banks 5 Island blend rums.

Cuba is on many of our minds lately, and while vacations to Cuba may no longer be on the horizon, Cienfuegos can still transport you there. This summer, drink the Isle of Manhattan Fizz made with rum, gin, coconut, lime, pineapple and orange flower water. The Alabazam is made with rum, Lillet Rouge, maraschino, lemon, strawberry, Angostura, and sparkling wine.

Dead Rabbit
Any season is the right season to drink at the bar named The Best Bar in the World two years in a row. Each drink on their menu has a story attached to it, but read for yourself about the drinks you should have when you stop by, such as Tom, Dick & Harry made with Dutch vodka, Chilean pisco, strawberry, red pepper, rhubarb, fennel, lime and hibiscus bitters.  

Mother of Pearl
Polynesia meets New York sensibilities at this sophisticated tiki restaurant and bar in East Village. The fruit-forward tiki cocktails accompany one of the more diverse lists of virgin mocktails around and plant-based Pan-Asian food. Any tiki drink would be great for summer, but the cocktail Taste the Rainbow brings you all the summer fruits with kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, banana cognac, lemon, lime, pisco and overproof rum.

The subterranean cocktail lounge under Schapiro’s offers a Lower East Side escape from New York’s sweltering humidity, especially with the elevated slushies they have on the cocktail menu this season, along with drinks like the Karma Chameleon (available in two versions including a double served in a copper owl) made with honeydew infused Absolut Elyx vodka, sherry, Chareau aloe vera liqueur, lime and seltzer.

Pay at least one last visit to this Lower East Side mainstay, since Schiller’s Liquor Bar’s lease is ending and they are closing in August after 14 years. This neighborhood spot with a great happy hour mixes up drinks like Ziggy Stardust with gin, Cointreau, lemon, Prosecco muddled with melon and mint, or the Little Red Corvette which  combines Union mezcal, Pur pear liqueur, watermelon and lemon.

The Seamstress is always one of the best bets for craft cocktails in the Upper East Side, with head bartender Pam Wiznitzer’s mastery of classic drinks. But for the summer they’re bringing in more fun with the annual Rosé Bar, which runs from July 10 to Aug. 6. There will be rosé flights and oysters, of course, but make sure to look out for the special rosé cocktails.

The Campbell Bar
The iconic bar at Grand Central Station had closed last summer to the dismay of New York commuters, but it thankfully reopened as The Campbell Bar last month. The cocktail menu leans towards the classics, which go well in the highly decorated main room, but there are plenty of summer sippers to be imbibed in the Campbell Palm Court, boasting palm trees, or just outside at The Campbell Terrace.  There’s a Collins variation with thyme and a selection of Mules.

The Heights at Arlo Nomad
This rooftop bar at the Arlo Nomad offers views of both downtown and uptown Manhattan, and a glass bottom terrace. The bar pairs snacks from chef Dale Talde with cocktails named after New York neighborhoods. For summer sipping, try the Brooklyn Heights with tequila, lime, lemon, and fresh pressed watermelon juice, or the Prospect Heights with matcha infused vodka, cucumber, mint, and lime.