October 30, 2011

That I get to write about booze for school is a testament to the fact that I am totally in the right place.

Here’s my most recent piece for my food writing class, a list of my favorite places to drink in NYC this fall.


Not that any true New Yorker needs an excuse for a stiff drink, but there is something about the first crisp days of fall that make us want to curl up with a strong cocktail in a cozy bar. Don’t mourn the loss of summer, fellow lushes! Shorter days mean longer evenings to spend sipping the good stuff!  From warming cocktails with seasonal spice, to the ultimate hearty bar snacks, to the perfect toasty lounges, here’s the perfect guide to autumn imbibing.


Oh my God, they're having Schnitzel Fest.

  • Loreley – 7 Rivington Street – Manhattan – The first Oktoberfest celebrated an Autumn horse race with beer. No one remembers who won, but the important tradition remained: the booze. This Lower East Side beer garden is the best place to enjoy a German Beer and a Brat without the serious crowds of the ever expanding outer-borough gardens. Get there early on a Sunday afternoon to snag a seat at one of the communal picnic tables on the patio. Between the space heaters, the spicy curry wurst, huge wrist-straining mugs of BEERS TK, and the body warmth from the inevitably good-looking strangers who will join your table, you will be toasty and toasted. In light of a long-standing feud between local neighbors, and noisy patrons below, it’s best to use one’s inside voice, or be prepared for anything the elevated neighbors may (literally) throw at you. Liter beers $14-16 dollars. Currywurst with perfect shoestring fries, $10.

    Whiskey Perfection. via TONY


  • Forty Four – 44 44th Street – Manhattan – This is a grown up bar. Forty Four, on the ground floor of HOTEL TK with it’s long dark wood bars, cozy banquettes against a two-sided fireplace, and strong perfectly crafted cocktails based on famous hotel cocktails the world over makes this a great place for a drink post work, if you can convince your date to navigate Times Square. My favorite? The inside warming Vieux Carre with serious rye whiskey, a few dashes of bitters, and just the aroma of absinthe, that comes with the world’s most perfect oversized ice cube. It tastes like a million bucks, and at $18, it kind of is.


Image via LaughingSquid

  • Beecher’s Handmade Cheese – 900 Broadway – Manhattan – I can’t think of anything better on an Autumn night than a grilled cheese and a steamy bowl of tomato soup. Oh wait, yes I can! Grilled cheese, tomato soup, and VODKA. The buzz on the cocktail from the fromage-o-philes at Beecher’s is serious, and pretty warranted. They steep a bunch of grilled cheese sandwiches in good vodka overnight, and then wring the boozey goodness from them. By adding a dollop of tomato, and a Serrano ham rim, they make drinking your dinner seem totally acceptable. $16 for the cheesey boozey goodness.


The most charming entryway, ever.

  • Black Mountain Winehouse – 415 Union Street – Brooklyn – For all of us lacking a country house for foliage gazing, there is Black Mountain Wine House, a farmy casual wine bar with a huge stack of firewood outside. The light in this place is perfect, like a golden October sunset, and their fireplace roars on chilly evenings. Their mulled wine is fall in a mug, spiced perfectly with cloves and cardamon. Pair it with a bubbly pot of swiss-style fondue and you’ve got yourself a perfect evening.


  • The Hurricane Club – 360 Park Ave South – Manhattan – Let’s face it. Fall weather in New York isn’t all sweaters and sunshine. Sometimes it’s downright rainy and miserable. The best thing to do? Counter the dreary with a cocktail in an old-school Tiki inspired bar. And the best cocktail to have? The spicy Dark and Stormy made with syrupy delicious Gosling’s rum and tangy Barritt’s ginger beer. The good folks at The Hurricane Club will even spice up your drink with some extra fresh ginger if you’re nice. Pair it with the Peking Duck Tea Sandwiches. $14 for the dark and stormy, and $15 for the delightful peking duck sliders.


  • Employees Only – 510 Hudson Street – It’s crowded, and it’s warm, but that works much better in the fall. Once you get past the pretention of the mixologist, and his bright white chef’s coat dramatically working the shakers, to the actual cocktails, all the show seems worth it. The Mata Hari, with it’s chai infused vermouth, balanced cognac, and fresh pomegranate juice is as pretty as it is delicious. Tea and booze are great partners! It’s like a sexy librarian! If you want to warm up even more, try their Lazy Lover, an exotic combination of jalepeno infused chartreuse, sweet Cachaca, deep Benedictine, and tart lime. It’s like alchemy in a glass. Cocktails $18.

2 Responses to “ON BOOZE”

  1. Chris said

    Lovely article. Makes me miss the fall on the right coast!

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