Boozy January Guide to the Best Cocktails & Mocktails

As the chill of January descends upon New York City, there's no better way to lift your spirits and warm your soul than by indulging in expertly crafted cocktails at some of the city's most vibrant and cozy establishments.

Experience Isla & Co.’s Eye Catching Espresso Martini Flight

Isla & Co. in Williamsburg adjacent to the William Vale (107 N 12th St.) or at Hotel Hendricks in Midtown (25 W. 38th Street) recently launched a Espresso Martini Flight. The flight, priced at $25 includes an Olive Temptation made with Starward Australian Whisky, house-roasted coffee, banana, cream, and olive oil, the Scarlett Rose with Tequila Reposado, Licor 43, house-roasted espresso, and a touch of salt, and the Coco Devine with Plantation Dark Rum, sherry, Mr Black, house-roasted coffee, and crushed Tim-Tams. These complex combinations from Beverage Director Jeremy Ortiz promise to captivate your taste buds and provide a truly memorable experience.

Experience Hidden Lane’s Cocktail Menu Beside Their Luxurious Fireplace

Hidden Lane (129 E 15th) is a true hidden gem. The lounge boasts a bi-level bar and a heated outdoor garden. It's known as a great after-work hangout spot complete with a picturesque garden, illuminated by beautifully lit trees and old New York charm. Recently renovated with barn-wood paneling and painted white brick throughout, the space is accented with an ornate brass ceiling and an upstairs lounge with lounge seating, a cozy fireplace, and a separate bar area. Steps away from Gramercy Park, Hidden Lane is open from 4pm to 2am during weekdays and from 2pm to 3am on weekends. Enjoy cocktails like the Hidden Lane Spritz, featuring Aperol, Prosecco, and Blackberry Soda or and happy hour specials from 5 to 8 pm, monday through friday, offering bud light or narragansett can with a well shot (vodka, tequila, rum, gin, whiskey) for $5, house margarita or spicy margarita for $9, and a beer & shot combo with bud light or narragansett can for $8, along with a $2 discount on well drinks, cocktails, beer, and wine.

Head to Daintree to Indulge in Sky High Rooftop Cocktails

Daintree (25 W 38th St) is an intimate cocktail lounge and rooftop destination on the top floor of Hotel Hendricks in Midtown. Grounded in both Australian tradition and New York soul, Daintree offers a lively setting for imaginative cocktails and globally inspired bites, paired with oversized windows and sweeping Empire State Building views. The lounge is complemented by their al-fresco wine bar in the sky, which features a rotating list of natural wines from around the globe paired with cocktails and food that's served best with drinks. Delight in cocktails like Aussie Spritz for a refreshing mix of Aperol, blood orange, thyme, Pimm’s, strawberry, and prosecco, the Cold Brewtini with Finlandia vodka, Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, Créme de Banane, and cold brew. The Blood Orange Mule offers a zesty blend of Finlandia vodka, Don Q Naranja, blood orange, lime, ginger, and white peppercorn. Enjoy the Ms. Bradshaw with Finlandia vodka, ume plum liqueur, cointreau, and select aperitivo. The Garden Soirée features Barr Hill Gin, Tequila, cucumber, basil, Maraschino Liqueur, and lemon. Conclude your experience with the Ring My Bell, a mix of Roku Gin, yellow bell pepper, yellow chartreuse, and fino sherry. Each cocktail is a crafted masterpiece, promising a journey of flavor and elegance.

Sip Stunning Cocktails with Parisian Flair at Loulou in Chelsea

Loulou (176 8th Avenue) stands as a captivating French Bistro and Speakeasy nestled in the heart of Chelsea, boasting an enchanting outdoor dining experience. Executive Chef Carl Alioto curates an enticing menu featuring signature dishes such as the Loulou Burger, Duck Leg Confit, and Steak Frites. However, it's not just the delectable cuisine that draws patrons in; Loulou also offers an extensive selection of meticulously crafted cocktails. Whether you choose to have a drink in the elegant dining room or venture into the speakeasy through a vintage Coca-Cola vending machine door on 8th Avenue, the experience is bound to be memorable. Loulou’s craft cocktail menu showcases masterpieces like "Down the Rabbit Hole" with Upstate Vodka, Aperol, Fresh Lime Juice, Watermelon Juice, and Basil. Other noteworthy concoctions include "El Cievo" with Gran Centenario tequila, lime, ginger syrup, and rosemary needles, and “The World is Yours” featuring Empress gin, Heaven Sake Junmai, Crème de Pêche, and edible flowers. For a visually stunning selection, choose the “Firebird” made with Patron Silver, Cointreau, lime juice, hibiscus and served in a delicately shaped bird glass with an intricate stem.

Treat Yourself to Masterfully Mixed Cocktails and NYC Glamour at Pando 39

Pando 39 (54 W 39th St.) located in the heart of New York City, offers elegantly handcrafted cocktails made by an in-house master mixologist, plus a variety of regional craft beers, and simple yet elegant meals. Among the highlights are the A.C.K., a refreshing concoction of Tito's Vodka, St. Germain, lemon juice, prosecco, and strawberry, embodying a symphony of taste priced at $16. The Classic Espresso Martini, featuring organic Grainger's Deluxe Vanilla Vodka, Mr. Black, and espresso, offers a rich and invigorating option for the discerning palate at the same price point. For a nostalgic twist, the From the Past cocktail blends light rum, smoked cinnamon syrup, lemon, and strawberry, creating a balanced and nuanced flavor profile. With an extensive selection ranging from the Bryant Park Sour to the Love Potion and the Pando Espresso Martini.

Explore 100+ Whiskeys at Pando Park Near The Empire State Building

Pando Park (450 Park Avenue South), located in the vibrant neighborhood near the Empire State Building, offers patrons an extensive whiskey collection, a handcrafted cocktail menu plus upscale bar food and classic New York City ambiance! The establishment goes beyond the ordinary, featuring "All Day Oyster Happy Hours" and a build-your-own-cocktail Happy Hour every weekday from 3 pm to 6 pm. The culinary offerings are equally enticing, featuring innovative dishes like house-made pasta, dry-aged steak, and a delectable cured meat and cheese board. With over 100 whiskeys on hand, Pando Park showcases its commitment to providing a comprehensive dining and drinking experience. The cocktail menu boasts an array of imaginative creations, such as the Red Pepper Spritz, Midtown Fix, For My Friends, Morning Ritual Milk Punch, and more.

Drink Seasonal Cocktails and Hoppy Craft Beers at Clinton Hall

Clinton Hall invites patrons to indulge at any of their FiDi (90 Washington St.), 36th Street (16 W. 36th Street), E. 51st Street (230 E. 51st), Bronx (601 E. 189th St.), and Williamsburg (247 Metropolitan Ave.) locations, featuring an expansive food and drink menu. Revel in a diverse beverage selection, including Supercraft beer, hard seltzers, wine, and a fully stocked bar menu, complemented by an array of delectable dishes crafted by Executive Chef Anastacia Song. Delight in signature offerings such as the Double Smashed Burger, Buffalo Cauliflower, Crispy Chicken Wings, and Giant Pretzels. The culinary journey extends to seasonal cocktails, where standouts like the Winter Sangria with mulled options, the Spicy Marg with Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, the Not So Old Fashioned blending bourbon, elderflower liqueur, agave, and orange bitters, and the Smokey Negroni with mezcal, campari, sweet vermouth, and orange, promise a delightful fusion of flavors to accompany the lively ambiance.

With Dry January on the horizon, I wanted to share some of the best non-alcoholic craft cocktails in NYC, so you can still be social while keeping it booze-free.

Mr. Melo’s Tamarind Mate Cooler

The Tamarind Mate Cooler Courtesy of Brandyn Liu

The brand new Mr. Melo (61 Withers St.) in Williamsburg is an approachable and vibey listening bar replete with compost cocktails, New Greek dishes, and great music. The Tamarind Mate Cooler is available on draft with the option to add vodka or agave. The Mate Cooler’s zesty, yet refreshing flavor profile is perfect for colder months, and was inspired by Mr. Melo Co-owner Nik Vagenas’s inspiring time spent in India, featuring housemade chai-tamarind syrup, and brewed yerba mate tea. It’s served over ice, and topped with a splash of soda for some subtle effervescence.

Carnegie Diner and Cafe’s Apple Pie Mocktail

The iconic Carnegie Diner & Cafe is located on the corner of West 57th Street and 7th Avenue, steps from its namesake, Carnegie Hall in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Executive Chef & Owner Stathis Antonakopoulos expanded to open a location in Secaucus, NJ and now his third spot in the sprawling space at 828 8th Avenue (off 50th Street). Menu items feature an extensive all-day breakfast menu in addition to serving up salads, burgers, sandwiches, main entrees, pastas and desserts. Along with a full bar and craft cocktail menu, Carnegie has a well-rounded mocktail list with something for everyone. Ideal for the holiday season, their Apple Pie Mocktail is absolutely perfect on its own, or paired with one of their irresistible desserts. Housemade Cinnamon Cordial is is blended with crisp apple juice, fresh lemon, and served over ice with a splash of bubbles. Other mocktail highlights include a Cucumber Fresh Mocktail with tonic, and a Bee-Hind with housemade ginger cordial, cranberry, and lemon.

Indulge in Clinton Hall’s White Hot Chocolate This Winter Season

White Hot Chocolate Courtesy of Greg Mecane

Indulge in the festive spirit at Clinton Hall's various locations across FiDi, 36th Street, E. 51st Street, Bronx, and Williamsburg. Don't miss out on the seasonal joy—sip on the delightful White Hot Chocolate, a heavenly blend of melted white chocolate, Grand Marnier, and topped with candy cane shavings. Complement your drink with their fantastic menu from Executive Chef Anastacia Song, featuring mouthwatering offerings like the signature Double Smashed Burger, Buffalo Cauliflower, Crispy Chicken Wings, Giant Pretzels, and more.

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