The beagle takes a look at the best cocktail bars in New York - the world's (second) best cocktail city...
Dead Rabbit - Financial District
Longtime "Best Bar in the World". Don't be fooled by the spit n sawdust taproom downstairs - put your name down with the doorman on your way in and enjoy the Guinness until they have a seat for you in the fancy "Parlor" on the first floor. The menu is literally a work of art, and while it may make each drink sound like it contains far too many ingredients to work, have faith. They're punchy and well balanced (and that's just the staff...)
Attaboy- Lower East Side
Probably Beagle's favourite bar in the world. On the site of the former Milk & Honey, so effectively built on sacred ground. Low key, 'neighbourhood' style bar hidden behind an unassuming door - it's the one with AB stickers on the front (or was last time we were there). Just knock and hope for the best. There's no menu here, you just need to get a seat at the bar and chat to the bartenders. Bonus points if you can unassumingly get them to make you a Penicillin (M&H modern classic) just by talking about how you like smokey, citrus, ginger drinks...
Employees Only - Greenwich Village
Another highly regarded bar, and not a bad spot for dinner either. Can have quite a rowdy crowd, but there are tables at the back if you're eating. Have the steak tartare: (a) it's ace, and (b) a waiter comes and makes it at your table. There's also free chicken soup at closing time and a fortune teller by the door, if you need one (or the other).
The Nomad Bar- NoMad
Allegedly the fourth best bar in the world. If you believe in that sort of list. A classic New York 'club lounge' sort of vibe and it gets pretty busy with post-work drinkers.
PDT - East Village
A long-standing classic of the speakeasy style. Enter through the phone booth in Crif Dogs. Eye roll. Outrageously popular (for an alleged secret), so you'll probably need to book. Owner Jim Meehan is a geeky-legend of the cocktail world. The drinks are awesome and you can get hot dogs and tater tots as well.
Death & Co - East Village
A seriously influential bar that created or rediscovered a lot of drinks now considered modern classics - Final Ward, Oaxaca Old Fashioned, Coffey Park Swizzle, Strange Brew et al - thanks to the 'Mr Potato Head method'. Seriously...
Mace - East Village
A useful spot if you need somewhere to wait for a table at PDT or Death & Co as its just the other side of the park. A big herbal theme to the menu here, so some strong flavours that may not be to everyone's taste.
Nitecap - Lower East Side
New last time we were in NYC and is a bit of a party bar, but with high spec cocktails.
Maison Premiere - Brooklyn
New Orleans style oyster bar. Also big on absinthe. Worth a visit if you're in Brooklyn.
Rainbow Room- Midtown
Pretend you're Jack Donaghy and take in the view from the top of the rock. Takes an age to get served, but at least you can enjoy the view.