A Professional Drinker's Guide to NYC

April 18, 2016

Looking for the best bars in NYC? 

Though we like to consider ourselves seasoned barflies, it’s always best to defer to the professionals. So we asked these cocktail experts about their favorite spots to catch a buzz in NYC. Here are their favorite bars, breweries, and speakeasies in the city.

(9 activities)
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    Champagne Sunset Cruise

    (197)
    Twice a year, a sunset beautifully illuminates the Manhattan streets with the sun setting perfectly down each streetway. You shouldn't be forced to experience Manhattanhenge's beauty only twice per year. With the Champagne Sunset Cruise, you have a chance to experience this beautiful sunset whenever you want. You'll traverse the island's waterways, visiting bridges, Governor's Island, Ellis Island, and parts of Queens and Brooklyn. All the while, sip on a tasty drink and relax on the boat deck. How much better can life get?
    Champagne Sunset Cruise

    62 Chelsea Piers, New York

    • Sail on a luxurious 1920s yacht, watching the sunset on the Manhattan skyline
    • Enjoy views of Battery Park, Statue of Liberty, and various architecturally and historically significant bridges
    • Sip a complimentary beverage during the trip
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    195 positive reviews
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    Wine & Cheese Pairing on Yacht Manhattan

    (197)
    Join Classic Harbor Line for their series celebrating the wonderfully diverse and ever-changing world of wine! Each week they will focus on a different region exploring the grapes, styles, soils, viticulture, and tasting techniques that will help you enjoy your wine! These interactive tastings will be conducted by a wine professional in a fun, relaxed atmosphere aboard the beautiful yacht Manhattan. The tastings you will be introduced to will also feature a number of different artisan and farmstead cheeses selected each week to complement the wines of the day. In addition, a selection of dried fruit, nuts and breads will be served to highlight each pairing. Together with fellow wine enthusiasts you'll learn the basics of tasting in a fun, informative setting, find out what makes each wine different and unique, and discuss major styles, grape varieties, regions, and trends. All aboard!
    Wine & Cheese Pairing on Yacht Manhattan

    62 Chelsea Piers, New York

    • Taste five different wines from a specific region of the world aboard a yacht
    • Cruise around Manhattan and pair those wines with the perfect cheeses
    • Learn about wine and its various components
    • Sit back and let the wine relax you among the beautiful views
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    195 positive reviews
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    Wine & Cheese Pairing Cruise (Weekday)

    (197)
    Is there anything better than sipping wine and touring Manhattan on the water? On the deck of a 1920's style vessel, you will sail around NYC and witness the city skyline like you've never seen it before, while tasting wines from a specific region of the world. You'll learn the basics of wine tasting, analyzing grapes, viticulture, and trends, in a fun informative environment. To complement your wine and sailing experience further, various artisan and farmstead cheeses will be provided, in addition to a selection of dried fruit, nuts and breads. Don't miss your opportunity to soiree on the water and sip some wine in a way that would make Gatsby jealous.
    Wine & Cheese Pairing Cruise (Weekday)

    62 Chelsea Piers, New York

    • Sip five different wines as you sail the waters surrounding Manhattan
    • Learn the basics of wine tasting in a fun, informative environment
    • Discover grape varieties, wine regions, and trends
    • Enjoy complimentary artisanal cheese, fruit, and nuts
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    195 positive reviews
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    Vine, Wine and Dine on East Seneca Lake

    Feeling a little bottled up? Uncork with a tour that really pours on the fun! During this trip along the eastern shores of Seneca Lake, you'll visit four local wineries, where you'll taste multiple vintages, enjoy delicious pairings, eat a gourmet lunch, and learn all about the winemaking process. The first stop on this intoxicating tour is Silver Thread Vineyards, where you'll tour the grounds before heading to the tasting room for flights of Riesling, Pinot Noir, and a Blackbird paired with local cheese. Next up, you'll head to Red Newt Wine Cellars for a private tasting of their impressive selection, followed by a locally-sourced lunch in their bistro. After lunch, you'll visit Standing Stone Vineyards to get a taste of three vintages of a single varietal, exploring the impact of aging on red wine. Finally, you'll end your adventure at Damiani Wine Cellars, for a sweet ending comprised of a locally made chocolate paired with Damiani's wines.
    Vine, Wine and Dine on East Seneca Lake

    222 S Cayuga St, Ithaca

    • Visit wineries on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, including Silver Thread Vineyards, Red Newt Wine Cellars, Damiani Wine Cellars, and Standing Stone Vineyards
    • Expand your knowledge of wine during four professionally guided tastings and tours
    • Fill up on a scrumptious bistro lunch, along with pairings such as cheese, tapas, and chocolate
    • Enjoy a relaxed day touring some of the best wineries in the region!
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    NYC Pizza, Beer & History Tour

    (12)
    Pizza and beer: a celebrated combo among college students. However, anyone can enjoy these delicious classics, as you'll discover on this walking tour through some of the best pizza and beer haunts Greenwich Village has to offer. Italian immigrants have been making pizzas here for decades! You'll discover interesting tidbits about each unique place, the different and very important ingredients, and even various oven types, all while savoring three different styles of pizza. Between slices, wash everything down with a visit to two historic bars, including a former speakeasy that operated during the prohibition. You will also get to hear about the local history and see what drew famous artists and musicians, such as Bob Dylan and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to this neighborhood. Raise your glass, grab a plate, and get ready for a pizza and beer experience unlike any other.
    NYC Pizza, Beer & History Tour

    201 Bleecker St, New York

    • Enjoy a walking tour of pizza and beer in Greenwich Village
    • Visit three different pizzerias, each specializing in a different style of pizza
    • Sample beers from a well-known speakeasy
    • Discuss the architecture, people, and history of this unique and vibrant neighborhood
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    12 positive reviews
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    Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl

    (1)
    The name "Kerouac" etched in a bathroom stall. The bar where Dylan Thomas literally fought the dying of the night... and died. The places Ginsberg howled and howled. From the beginnings of The Beat Movement to bohemia capital, Greenwich Village houses NYC's historical, literary epicenter. On this Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl, you'll uncover and get a taste of the fantastic tales and historical accounts of the Village's infamous bars, literary patrons, and their alcoholic nature. Discover the underbelly, while filling your belly of malts and literature that changed the world. Cheers to that!
    Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl

    567 Hudson St, New York

    • Uncover the literary tales and history behind Greenwich Village's infamous bars
    • Regale in literature that changed the world, and all started in some of the bars you will visit
    • Enjoy unique stories about famous literary Village residents, while downing a few drinks
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    1 positive reviews
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    Hamilton Happy Hour Tour

    (1)
    Looking to follow in the footsteps of Alexander Hamilton (well, minus the unfortunate ending)? Get the full "Little Lion"experience during this NYC walking tour! Tour the streets of the city's oldest neighborhood, Hamilton's very own stomping ground, alongside a friendly local guide. Enjoy anecdotes covering not just Hamilton's life, but about how the neighborhood has evolved dramatically since his days, and how his legacy played a role in that evolution. Wall Street, the Stock Exchange, and the nation's financial system are all covered. You'll also visit Hamilton's gravesite, and stop in at a variety of favorite local food stops along the way. When it's time to stop walking and talking, you'll end the tour with celebratory pint in toast of Hamilton's life at Fraunces Tavern- the very same tavern that Hamilton and Burr ate before their infamous duel. Talk about bang for your buck! Too soon?
    Hamilton Happy Hour Tour

    54 Pearl St, New York

    • Learn all about Alexander Hamilton during a NYC walking tour
    • Hear stories of Hamilton's impact on the nation's financial system
    • End your tour at the renowned Fraunces Tavern
    • Exercise your mind during a social stroll
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    1 positive reviews
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    "Bottled Art" Painting

    (6)
    Join Unarthodox for a wonderful creative night out! Bring a bottle of wine and your creativity. This is not your typical art and wine class, you'll incorporate paint, music, aromas and a meditative environment to help unleash your creativity! Leave all your stress behind, you are entering a judgement-free, friendly, fun and sophisticated environment. Come alone, bring your spouse, your date or friends. Your instructor will guide you through the process of creating a masterpiece! You will be amazed with the results! You do not need to be an artist. All supplies and materials are included. Just bring your favorite bottle of wine and Unarthodox will do the rest! This class is perfect for Private Parties and Date Night.
    "Bottled Art" Painting

    547 W 27th St, New York

    • Use paint, music and meditative exercises to help unleash your creativity in a relaxed, friendly environment
    • Follow your instructor through the process of creating a masterpiece
    • Bring a bottle of wine to get your imagination moving
    • Tap into your creativity and open the floodgates for self-expression and exploration
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    6 positive reviews
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    Mad Men Cocktails Tour Experience

    (1)
    Mad Men fans will delight in this tour of three establishments features on the hit show. Step into the shoes of a 1960's advertising executive during this bar-hopping tour of Madison Avenue. Along the way, your guide will fill you in on the historical importances of these locales, and how their past was recreated on the show. Inside the bars, you'll be treated to three complimentary cocktails. Of course, you're free to purchase more if you'd like, in addition to ordering up some of the delicious foods these venues have to offer. Be sure and dress in your best 60's attire to complete the feel. Channel your inner Betty or Don while you're sipping on that Tom Collins, you might just come up with the next great automobile ad.
    Mad Men Cocktails Tour Experience

    Grand Central Station, New York

    • Tour three different establishments featured on the hit show Mad Men
    • Learn about the history of these spots and their importance to the Madison Avenue advertising scene
    • Enhance the experience with a few complimentary cocktails, plus downloadable 60's-style photographs
    • Indulge your whimsical side for a night with a step back in time
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    1 positive reviews

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