If you had a library of Little Golden Books as a kid, you might be familiar with the treasure, “Big Bird Brings Spring to Sesame Street” by Lauren Collier Swindler.
It’s an epic tale that begins with a melancholy, talking bird pouting about winter and all its frolicking-blocking snow. In the bird’s words:
I need the spring. I’m sad and slumpy. I need the spring. I’m all goosebumpy.
Rather than migrating south, like you might think a chilly bird might attempt, Big Bird goes out and buys six flowers to brighten up his nest. Then, inevitably, he runs into all his Sesame Street pals who collectively sucker him out of each and every stem, leaving him with nothing but the idealistic notion that he brought spring to Sesame Street.
That’s one way to cheer up your pals. Another way, of course, is to buy them a drank. Our picks, inspired by Big Bird’s abhorrence of the snow and affinity for flowers:
“Would you like to keep this pretty pink daisy?”
There’s a whole new world you can bring your friends to thanks to the new Second Avenue Subway stops, like The Daisy (1641 Second Avenue), a chic UES spot doling out Mexican and American dishes and robust cocktails.
Whether your friend is pretty or not, give them The Last Daisy, a cocktail made with mezcal joven, Aperol, lime, yellow chartreuse and bubbles. If you’re trying to bust outta da FZ, spring for the Scorcher, a margarita with blood orange, pomegranate and jalapeno elements. That might just heat things up.
“It’s a tiger lily. Tiger lilies make me think of a nice, warm jungle.”
Another lily, Miss Lily’s (132 West Houston Street), serves up an orange drink called Lily’s Punch, a Caribbean punch made with soju and passion fruit that will start you on your way to feelin’ those tropic vibes.
The SoHo restaurant is a popular brunch destination with a two-hour unlimited cocktail option including either their “One Love Bellini” or “Hotstepper” Bloody Mary served beside island fare like Avocado and Ackee Toast or Jerk Pork Belly Hash.
“Maybe this blue pansy will make you feel better, Grover.”
Pansies are a favorite garnish at Hakkasan New York (311 West 43rd Street) on both their gorgeously-plated food and grammable drinks. The London-born, Chinese chain has locations all over the world, including one in the Theatre District.
The cocktail list is extensive, including drinks unique to their New York location like the “Flower & Stone” made with Bombay Sapphire East gin, apricot, strawberry, fennel, yuzu, rhubarb and mint.
“Do you think she would like a yellow daffodil?”
Daffodils belong to the genus narcissus named for that vain, gorgeous (but mostly relatable) Greek fella who fell into the pond. Narcissa (25 Cooper Square), however, is a spacious, East Village restaurant serving seasonal, local and organic fare.
To indulge your gal pal’s ego, treat her to a Shiso Fine, a sour cocktail with whiskey, aged maple syrup, yuzu and shiso that happens to be a pale shade of yellow, just like some daffodils.
“What are you going to do with that beautiful rose?”
After payday, plan a stop at The Rose Club in The Plaza (768 Fifth Avenue). Naturally they have caviar service and filet mignon, but why order those when you can have an $8 Bud Light? The space is stunning, and they have live jazz on Wednesdays.
The cocktails are obvs pricey, but they also have some punches including a champagne one with lemon and strawberries, Nolet gin, Moet and Chandon brut champs that serves up to 8 people for $300. Bring, beg or make friends.
“I’ve only got this one purple iris left, and it’s broken.”
Oscar the Grouch wanting the last flower just because it’s broken isn’t that shocking of an ending for this epic tale, but sometimes life can be predictable.
If your friend is feeling grouchy, take ‘em to the charming Iris Café Store #9 (20 Columbia Place – Brooklyn) in Brooklyn Heights. Their brunch menu has cool stuff like chilaquiles, the oh-so-popular avocado toast, and a pomegranate mimosa. Maybe they were just hangry.[Feature Image Courtesy Muppet Wiki]