The winds of change are beginning to waft through the city streets as the days get shorter and the weather starts to cool down.
One thing's for sure, Fall's right around the corner.
The new season brings a fresh energy to the city and is the perfect time to venture out to somewhere new.
So take a night off from your usual watering hole and try out one of these crisp picks for September.
1. Pouring Ribbons (225 Avenue B)
The perfect hideaway from the lingering summer humidity, this Lower East Side cocktail bar sits atop a neighborhood liquor store, just in case you want to keep the party going back home. Upstairs you'll find an airy space with sultry Art Deco lighting awash in hues of teal.
Grab a bar stool so you can watch the bartenders work their magic up close. Their craft cocktail menu is beyond impressive, but try the autumnally appropriate Ragin' Glory, a crisp mix of Old Overholt rye whiskey, pear brandy, lemon juice, and homemade cinnamon bitters.
2. Albatross (3619 24th Avenue - Queens)
A bona fide hidden gem of Astoria, Albatross combines the best of both worlds: a chill, neighborhood spot with stiff drinks, a mixed crowd, and a pool table, as well as a rotating roster of shows and performers that take to the bar's elevated main stage.
Saturday nights are especially popular as the incomparable Sutton Lee Seymour hosts a fun-filled night of drag, talent and music. Monday nights are a ball as the dangerously charming Beverly Leslie Sills hosts Brokeback Bingo with a slew of prizes for the night's winners. Feeling lucky?
3. Alameda (195 Franklin Street - Brooklyn)
It seems that, in the tradition of evolving NYC neighborhoods, Greenpoint is rapidly becoming the new Williamsburg, and for good reason. Up on the borough's northern tip, Alameda raises the bar for watering holes and eateries in this rapidly developing area. Get it together, G train.
They do offer some light bites but the drinks are where it's at. Take a spicy-sweet swig of their rum-filled Daq to the Future, which combines Velvet Falernum (a
Barbadian sugarcane liqueur) and chilis, from the nearby Eagle Street
Rooftop Farm, with lime and grapefruit juices.
4. The Happiest Hour (121 West 10th Street)
Not ready for Fall quite yet? Step into this tropical bi-level oasis in the West Village, sporting a ’60s pop soundtrack, mod, half-moon booths, and waitresses in Chuck Taylors. Although there's much to see here, it’s the customizable cocktails and breezy vibe that attract their regular crowd.
At The Happiest Hour, the bartender asks you to pick your poison and uses it in one of their signature cocktail recipes. Por ejemplo, the Link Ray, using Cel-Ray soda, house-made celery pop, zippy
lime and Suze bitters, can be made with rum, gin or tequila– each giving the drink a distinct feel and flavor.
5. La Birreria (200 5th Avenue)
Get your last licks of rooftop drinking 14 stories above Eataly, the Italian food hall, at this massive outdoor beer garden. Featuring a long list of hard-to-find beers, including three ales brewed on location, as well as sweeping views of Madison Square Park, it's a quintessential urban escape.
Make your way through the winding aisles to the back 8-person elevator, which carries you up to this heavenly beer experience. If you're lucky, you can snag a spot at the Carrara marble bar and chill out with a cold seasonal draft. Saluti!
6. The Drink (228 Manhattan Avenue - Brooklyn)
Although you're smack in the middle of East Williamsburg, you'll feel like you stepped into a rustic seaside home, complete with wooden tables and chairs, ranch and nautical decor, and a super laid-back vibe. It's definitely a standout tavern among the five boroughs.
They are heavily communal at The Drink, with a heavy focus on their creative boozy punches. The bar boasts nightly punch-by-the-glass specials as well as whole punch bowls for groups, including the Crusade, a fruity mix of Old Monk Indian rum, citric rooibos, Earl Grey tea and spices galore.
7. Donovan's Pub (57-24 Roosevelt Avenue - Queens)
Sometimes you just want a straight up, tried and true local spot known for its great food and strong drinks. You'll be pressed to find a selection that does this better than Donovan's: "Woodside's Landmark Gathering Place since 1966." Talk about a reliable record.
It's everything you'd expect from an established pub: dim lighting, wood paneling, stained glass decorations, and a legendary burger platter. If you're looking to grab a super caszh drink and a plate of serious belly-filling food, Donovan's will be more than happy to accommodate it.