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bar with classic mixed drinks

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lately i've grown tiresome of wine bars - there unneccesarily expensive and the pretense seems to have gotten worse with the rest of the world loving it. i'm sorry but drinking $16 quartinos of rioja isn't cutting it. i'm green when it comes to mixed drinks but when a bartender makes a good one it hits the spot! Does anyone know what bar makes a classic mixed drink that would make me feel like Cary Grant?

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  1. Little Branch, Employees Only, Milk and Honey, Campbell Apartment.

    3 Replies
    1. re: zoeterry

      I second Little Branch. Every drink I've had there has been great- if not something I never would have ordered at a "regular" bar.

      1. re: zoeterry

        I've had great drinks at Campbell, but I think it depends mostly on your bartender. One made me a sidecar so poorly that I've been afraid to go back since. Another didn't know what a French 75 was. Their special cocktails list is also a bit gimmicky IMO.

        I've never had a bad drink at Angel's Share.

        1. re: zoeterry

          Milk and Honey is great and I'll add Death & Company, Pegu Club and PDT.

        2. Flatiron Lounge

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lucia

            I second this, but pay attn - I once ordered a Manhattan that had grand marnier in it, thinking it would be subtly good, but it was not at all right, and steer clear of some the more "innovative" infusions. That being said, I've had some excellent drinks there, mostly recently they were featuring rum drinks, and every one was very tasty and well mixed

          2. I'll second Death & Company on 6th b/w 1st and A and also a new place that just opened a month or so ago called SB3 on 3rd and B makes some incredible mixed drinks, you know just by walking into the place and seeing th ingredients lined up on the bar. Oh, and their food is really cheap too.

            6 Replies
            1. re: kicks82

              Is there some reason no one's mentioned Brandy Library? I'd been there at least 3-4 times by this time last year. For no particular reason, I haven't been there since. But it was always nice to go in at a less busy time and "consult" with the bartender, or let him/her decide what I'm going to have.

              1. re: egit

                I've been wanting to check that out, it's nice to hear some info on it! Thanks

                1. re: elizabeththinks

                  I've been to both Little Branch and Brandy Library. Both places take their cocktail traditions very seriously which, if I'm in that kind of mood, is really nice. The downside of Little Branch is that it's very hard to find and it SERIOUSLY looks like a bomb shelter inside. Zero points for ambience. Sorry, if I want good cocktails, it means I don't want to go to a dive bar that reminds me of Siberia or the like.

                  1. re: egit

                    I second Angel Share - it's very classy and the world just seems to slow down when you go inside. It's a great place to sit and enjoy your drink and the drinks happen to be great.

                    1. re: zoeterry

                      Angel's Share is otherworldly as are the cocktails.

                2. re: egit

                  I'll 2nd Brandy. It's tops in my book for quality cocktails. Unique, stong, nice atmosphere.

              2. bemelman's bar at the carlyle. it is certainly no bargain but one can get a bullshot with real beef bullion, real whiskey sours (ie not a mix), manhattans, daiquiris as well as more innovative ones. it also has great homemade potato chips.

                2 Replies
                1. re: wryorwhite

                  Wow, does Bemelmans have potato chips again? I hadn't seen them after the renovations a few years back.

                  If the poster wants to feel like a sophisticated movie star, I would certainly recommend a swanky hotel bar like Bemelmans (too bad the Plaza is closed) or a solid restaurant such as Keens. Angels Share is nice, too. Pegu Club is too trendy for me but maybe early in the evening would quiet. I didn't go for Campbell Apt at all and much prefer the saloon in the Oyster Bar for my Grand Central cocktails.

                  1. re: Up With Olives

                    They do have the potato chips - was there a couple of weeks ago - $19 cocktails - but v. tasty! And I agree about Campbell - went once and my reaction was "eh".

                2. Milk and Honey, Pegu Club, Temple Bar, Employees Only

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nehna

                    Brandy Library is great.. but I always feel a bit limited with spirit selection there. Devin tavern also makes some great classic cocktails. Milk and Honey is by far my favorite..only draw back is you really can't decide to go there last minute.

                  2. Monkey Bar