Let’s face it. Good cocktails that happen to be cheap are not easy to find in this town. Hell, even cheap beer is becoming a relic as dive bars like the Mars Bar shutter and Subway Inn is forced to move. Fortunately, there are still some caring bar-owners who open up their doors every day and welcome tired, thirsty New Yorkers with a quality pour that’s affordable. Here are 13 of them.
This low-key Williamsburg bar mixes up $10 drinks all day, which by New York standards is pretty cheap. But is also offers glasses of punch for $5 a glass, in flavors that rotate through from a long list of concoctions on a daily basis. Plus during happy hour, which runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m on Mondays through Fridays, all well drinks are just $6.
We were excited to highlight this little shot on our menu, all the proceeds of which go to the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.
The owners of The Drink, a small bar on a side street in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, were feeling charity-minded earlier this year. They wanted to put a shot on the menu, the proceeds from which would go toward a good cause.
“We were looking for something that was a little different, that would stand out,” said Nika Carlson, an owner of the bar. The eventual winner: the newest bartender darling, Mellow Corn.
Although the subway is largely a pretty crappy place to be, it does have redeeming qualities: 1) it’s a marvel of modern logistics, shuttling you from place to place daily, and 2) it allows you to aggressively drink without ever having to set foot in a car.
So that you can do the latter more awesomely, we present the first-ever Brooklyn Subway Bar Map (click here to enlarge!), wherein we list the best bar within a five-minute walk of basically every stop, and skip any without something good. By no means are you required to turn this into a bar crawl, but we’re not the boss of you, so do what you want.
The L …
Grand St/Bushwick Ave – The Drink
Call us suckers for nostalgia, but we’ve got a soft spot for memories of yesteryear — ya know, like Jem, roller skates, and Debbie Gibson…and oh yeah — PUNCH. But we’re not talking about your grade school Hawaiian Punch, people — we’re talkin’ redefined and refined, crafty concoctions, and there’s a bar in Brooklyn that stands out in the crowd: The Drink.
Super stoked to be in Eventbrite’s guide to summer in the city! We think our back patio is pretty cute, too. And we’re in such good company, like Bunna Cafe, Brooklyn BBQ Blowout at Good Co. and oh god our favorite, Sunny’s.
BEST WEEKEND DAY DRINKING:
East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
A Maritime wonderland with a cute back patio, this neighborhood hangout is a great place to grab a cold glass of seasonal punch.
THE DRINK: Though they serve other cocktails and booze, this Williamsburg joint specializes in spiced punches, which they conveniently offer by the bowl ($43) or by the glass ($5) with one of their rotating specials. There are lots of rum and bourbon-based offerings, like The Coxswain with Barbancourt Rum, lime, sorrel flower, ginger and tiki bitters. For a less traditional concoction try Smoke on the Water, a bracing mixture of Pueblo Viejo tequila, Sandeman’s Tawny Port, lapsang suchong smoked green tea, lime and xocolatl mole bitters. The old timey Maritime decor is fun but it’s the backyard area that really sells this spot in the summertime.
Partying on St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to mean swilling astringent Irish whiskey or cheaply dyed suds. Instead, use the holiday as an excuse to explore some unusual green concoctions: Think herbaceous gin and cucumber or tequila with celery juice. These five emerald cocktails created by some of the city’s best bartenders are boozy gems well worth raising a glass to. Sláinte!
The Close Haul
This festive punch is a perfect beverage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a crowd; the Drink serves it both by the glass and by the bowl for groups to share. The bar’s Frank Cisneros says that Damrak gin has pleasantly sweet notes of honeysuckle that go well with chamomile and cucumber, while Meyer lemon bitters make the whole drink “pop.”
An essential list of the coziest, most comforting New York foods you can’t (in good conscience) miss out on eating this holiday season…
#31: Hott Wassail at The Drink: Start with a cup of steamy, spicy apple cider-based wassail at this jaunty nautical-themed bar, and end up springing for a whole bowl of one of the many other accessibly boozy concoctions on the punch menu.
Allie Zempel, 27, from Brooklyn’s The Drink, made us what might be the quintessential Thanksgiving punch—one guaranteed to impress partiers accustomed classic wine-based punches.
1. The Trade Winds and The Smoke on the Water, The Drink, 228 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn
The team at this Williamsburg locale stop at nothing for the freshly squeezed juices and house-made syrups that populate the punch-heavy menu. For the Trade Winds, pumpkin is juiced with an extractor before meeting a chai tea and dried chili pepper syrup and coming head to head with scotch and solera sherry for a rich and smoky buzz. In the Smoke on The Water, earthy lapsang souchong syrup — a simple syrup made with lapsang souchong smoked green tea — balances nutty tawny port and bold tequila notes.