A Professional Drinker's Guide to NYC

April 18, 2018

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.

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    Champagne Sunset Cruise

    (205)
    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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    204 positive reviews
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    Hamilton Happy Hour

    (1)
    With the growing popularity of the musical Hamilton, you’ll love this tour celebrating the life of this great Founding Father. This Family Friendly tour will take place in the Financial District, which was the entire city in Hamilton’s time. You’ll visit key spots in the Hamilton story including Trinity Church where he is buried, the Federal Reserve Bank which is a descendant of the first Federal Bank established by Hamilton, the sites of the Bank of New York and Manhattan Banks formed by the future duelists, and finally you’ll end at Fraunces Tavern where Hamilton himself often drank. Learn all about Hamilton’s life, his rivalry with Burr, and other facts not found in the musical.
    Hamilton Happy Hour

    75 Broadway, New York

    • Dive deep into the story of the star of the hit musical Hamilton in NYC’s most historic neighborhood
    • Pay your respects at Hamilton’s gravesite located in one of the most historic churchyards in town
    • Discover the origins of the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street’s many other financial institutions
    • Grab a pint at the tavern where Hamilton and Burr broke bread for the last time before their infamous duel
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    1 positive reviews
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    New York Craft Cocktail Tour

    (26)
    Do you consider yourself a cocktail aficionado? Or perhaps you're the kind of person who sits down at a cocktail bar and orders a beer? Regardless, this is the tour for you! This Happy Hour tour will bring you to the center of New York's booming cocktail culture as you visit some of the best cocktail bars in the city. Along the way you will sample delicious libations, swap tales of speakeasies and gangsters, and shop for new local craft spirit. You'll even get a chance to learn how to make craft cocktails, while discovering some of the best places to grab a drink in the Big Apple. It's a great way to start off an unforgettable evening in New York City.
    New York Craft Cocktail Tour

    Avenue A & St Marks Pl, New York

    • Find the best tucked-away places to grab a drink in New York's East Village
    • Learn how prohibition shaped NYC, and the speakeasies and gangsters who influenced the city's cocktail culture
    • Discover new spirits from local micro-distilleries and see how bartenders are revolutionizing cocktails in America with fresh, artisanal ingredients
    • Taste delicious craft cocktails at some of New York's best bars
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    26 positive reviews
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    Classic and Creative Cocktails

    (4)
    In two fun-filled hours you can become a confident bartender, creating delicious and gorgeous cocktails, to the delight of your guests. A master mixologist will walk you through how to stock a basic bar and create classic cocktails as well as some fabulous new recipes that will impress the most discerning sippers. The instructor will demonstrate each cocktail on the extensive menu, giving you the opportunity to taste them all. Each student will be paired with a partner and have the opportunity to make their two favorites from the list. The class includes a segment on stylish garnishes, from standard olives and lemon twists, to a few imaginative extras. You take away an e-booklet on the well stocked bar including recipes for cocktails, and a space for you to note your personal preferences.
    Classic and Creative Cocktails

    340 W 40th, New York

    • Learn the ins and outs of cocktail making
    • Get hands on experience behind the bar
    • Make, shake, and taste your own drinks!
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    4 positive reviews
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    Wine Tasting 101

    With our resident sommelier, you will have an opportunity to taste and contrast six different wines, which will be on a rotational basis by seasonality. In the process, we aim to help you learn such wine basics as varietal, tasting techniques, region/history, everyday-practical wine appreciation tips etc. In addition, it is our goal that through our discussions, it would help calibrate your palate as you embark on this lifelong adventure called wine. Prepare to leave this class one step closer to being a sommelier or simply impressing friends with your newfound knowledge at the next dinner party. No experience is necessary as this is a fun and instructive event open to anyone who is interested in expanding their knowledge of wine.
    Wine Tasting 101

    50 3rd Ave, New York

    • Build your basic wine knowledge with a resident sommelier
    • Enjoy a tasting of six different wines from various regions
    • Engage your senses while having fun and possibly discovering a new favorite wine!
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    Pottery Sip & Spin

    (23)
    Drinking wine is therapeutic, making art is therapeutic -- why not combine them for an extra relaxing Friday night? During this Sip & Spin class, you'll learn the basic techniques of the potter's wheel. Throw your own cup, bowl, saucer, or whatever your heart desires! Who knows? Maybe the alcohol in your system will inspire your creativity to spin a ceramic masterpiece! Once your piece gets glazed and fired up, you'll be able to bring it home to display proudly for your friends and family.
    Pottery Sip & Spin

    238 Grand St, Brooklyn

    • Learn the basic techniques of the potter's wheel through hands-on experience
    • Throw your own ceramic masterpiece, such as a cup or bowl
    • Enjoy wine or beer while you indulge in the arts
    • Take home your unique piece once it's been glazed and fired up
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    22 positive reviews
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    Birth of a Cocktail Tour

    Some tales are more intoxicating than others, as you'll find out during this three-hour of NYC's cocktail culture! Alongside a sociologist or spirits journalist, you'll take a deep dive into the history of the cocktail while traveling from Midtown to the Flatiron District. Along the way, you'll get a look at some of the speakeasies, hotel bars, and other sites behind some of the world's most famous drinks. In addition to history, your guide will offer insights into cocktail aesthetics and the tools of the trade, before settling down to a tasting led by one of the most accomplished mixologists in the city!
    Birth of a Cocktail Tour

    2 E 55th St, New York

    • Learn about the history of the cocktail during a three-hour tour of Midtown and the Flatiron District
    • Visit some of the historic speakeasies and hotel bars behind world-famous cocktails
    • Enjoy a cocktail tasting experience put on by a preeminent city mixologist
    • Immerse yourself in NYC's mixed-drink culture during a relaxed and educational outing
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    Gun Hill Brewing Company Brewery Tour

    (12)
    Tap into your inner beer lover during this frothy experience. Check out the inner workings of one of NYC's favorite microbreweries, getting an intimate look at how this facility crafts delicious and complex beers from start-to-finish. Featuring a range of products, such as barrel-aged stouts, pomegranate wheats, and more hoppy concoctions, Gun Hill Brewing Company features a little something for everyone. Of course, in addition to learning about the thought and work behind these brews, you'll be able to judge them for yourself with ample tastings. One thing is certain - this tour is sure to keep you foaming at the mouth.
    Gun Hill Brewing Company Brewery Tour

    3227 Laconia Ave, Bronx

    • Tour the production floors of a popular and creative New York microbrewery
    • Taste a range of delicious beers while learning about the processes that differentiate them
    • Discover a new favorite brand of beer during an intimate introduction
    • Enjoy expanding your knowledge of brewing while letting loose with a few drinks
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    12 positive reviews
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    Spanish & Portuguese Wines

    (25)
    Spain vs. Portugal. While to some, it may sound more like a soccer match than a wine class, both regions offer some of the world's most complex and delicious wines. Spain produces such a variety of wines that it rivals France, while Portugal crafts "old world," full-bodied wines, contrasting the Spanish variety. As this class takes you on a wine adventure through both regions, you'll taste and discuss the delicious wines from both regions, try distinct food pairings, and learn traditions and general consumption rules. Yes, like the soccer match, there are rules. In this match, there are goals coming from both sides.
    Spanish & Portuguese Wines

    330 West 11th Street, New York

    • Taste and compare delicious wines from Spain and Portugal
    • Learn about the production, traditions, and rules behind the wines from each respective country
    • Pair your wines with Spanish meats, Marcona almonds, Arbequina olives and some of the regions most prominent cheeses
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    24 positive reviews
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