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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What to do in NYC this week

— Drink
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    Pairing Champagne and Oysters

    (68)
    How do you relax after a stressful week? Some people exercise, others devour a Wendy's Classic Triple Cheeseburger. But you, you're going to sit back, relax, and sip champagne while enjoying a selection of oysters on the half-shell and hors d'oeuvre. Camaje kitchen is here to help you learn about sipping, sniffing, terroir, and finish of some of the world's tastiest sparkling wines. While you sip, you'll enjoy oysters and hors d'oeuvre galore, each perfectly paired with your bubblies. This is a new form of relaxation you'll never give up.
    Pairing Champagne and Oysters

    85 MacDougal St, New York

    • Sit back and relax as you learn about champagne tasting, smelling, terroir and finish
    • Pair champagne and sparkling wine from around the world with a selection of oysters on the half-shell and hors d'oeuvre
    • Enjoy this tasteful adventure of champagne and oysters
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    65 positive reviews
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    Classic and Creative Cocktails

    (5)
    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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    5 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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    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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