Jeremy Strawn has been “at this game” for 12 years, but his first time behind the bar ( at Woo Lae Oak in Soho), he literally had to sink or swim. It was a first time bartender’s nightmare… a frantic Friday and no working knowledge of the biz. Luckily, Strawn worked with an amazing bartender that night and he was hooked. Currently, he is the head bartender and consultant for Merchants Hospitality, which has more than seven properties all over New York City. Recently, he curated the cocktail menus at The Black Hound and Industry Kitchen.
Having been “the new guy,” Strawn has some serious advice for anyone starting out on the business. “Learn the classics and understand what makes them classics, taking the time to perfect the techniques. Nothing is more frustrating than having a hot shot new guy mess up your drink, and you ask ‘Why did you shake my Gin Martini?’ and they have no clue it should have been stirred.”
The quintessential holiday drink does, however, get kind of a bad rap. Eggnog is often spoken in the same breath as the likes of fruit cake, mincemeat pie and gefilte fish. This is because, for years, many people have only imbibed eggnog from milk cartons with a splash of rum or whiskey. There’s nothing exciting or memorable about that simple drink. This is why we cringe at the thought of eggnog.
Bartenders all across America are creating eggnog cocktails that will make you wonder why you ever stopped drinking this holiday classic. From Brandy, to rye, to habanero tincture, these drinks are as unique as they are delicious.
Most neighborhoods in New York have at least three million bars, which means picking the best among them is nearly impossible — much like choosing who’s better amongst Kobe, Shaq, and that handsome devil Travis Knight. But that doesn’t mean the debate around it can’t be fun as hell. Here are our favorites at the moment — let the cogitation begin, down in the comments.
This was a tough one because we love a ton of bars here (7B, Boxcar, Pouring Ribbons, Drop Off Service, Evelyn Drinkery, Alphabet City Brewing Company, and a million others), but The Wayland is the best all-around spot because of reliably good drinks (like the kale & ginger Garden Variety margarita, or the smoked-with-actual-smoke I Hear Banjos), as well as occasional live music and spontaneous secret lobster parties.
There aren’t a ton of spots this far downtown where you can get a great craft cocktail in a laid-back atmosphere. This is one of them.
It’s a great spot to start the night off with a happy hour, given its proximity to a ton of other cool stuff, but you don’t have to leave this tavern to have an amazing time. It’s a great spot to meet people or just take down dope cocktails, like their Wren Old Fashioned (Old Overholt rye, Punt e Mes, cherry liqueur, orange bitters), and bar eats like bacon jam & ricotta toast or excellent beef jerky.
This was another close call — Gallow Green’s enchanted rooftop almost took it, and so did the reliable good vibes at the Half King, but honestly you just need to sit on the Southernmost stool of this spot during sunset and then you’ll get it.
Sometimes we like to get weird, so we come here, order a million picklebacks and a goddamn bowl of bacon, and it happens.
Dead Rabbit is one of the best bars in the world, so it takes the title here, but a part of us will always love Jeremy’s Ale House and its giant styrofoam cups of beer, too.
Another neighborhood with a ton of super-strong options, but this tiny cocktail bar is our move, with some of the absolute best and most original cocktails in the city that focus on bitters and amaro and other less familiar liquor-age.
In addition to having some of the best wings in the city and the country, this old-school spot has the type of NY charm that other people are always trying super hard to recreate, plus some of the coolest urinals anywhere.
So what if the only time you go there is once a year and it’s packed and crazy, they’ve actually got a pretty tight schnapps list, and once you’re there it’s always fun. Pete’s Tavern, one of the oldest bars in the city, is more of an everyday best for sticklers about “seasons”.
It kind of depends on your vibe — if you’re looking for something a little more down-to-earth and rowdy, it’s tough to beat Half Pint or Bleecker St — but this spot’s cocktails, occasionally served in coconuts or other quirky boozeware, are superior, and always worth a visit.
In addition to being one the reasons it’s great to live Uptown, this spot rocks a great selection of craft beers, a bottomless brunch, and eats like the 1635 Burger with crispy onions, cornichon remoulade, cheese, and bacon.
It’s got live music almost every night of the week, vintage album covers all over the walls, and drinks like the mango mojito and the Baron with brandy, fresh lemon, simple syrup, and sparkling wine. It’s excellent.
As much as we like underground surf bars with frozen Coronas and a sandwich filled with wonton meatballs, french fries, and cheese, Reunion couldn’t beat out one of the best beer bars in the city with its constantly changing and impressive tap list and a chill, friendly vibe.
It’s got great cocktails, great coffee, and it’s next-door neighbor has the best burger in the area as well.
Dancing, drinking, Jenga, and ‘mosas & margaritas served in a mason jar, plus bar food like wings and crispy shrimp, make this place a go-to.
Yet another area with a quagillion excellent options, but this relative newcomer is the move right now thanks to amazing cocktails, like the smoky-bitter Hempen Halter, and food that has no business being as good as it is, like the amazing white shrimp po’boy, fresh-as-hell oysters, and a pastrami salmon dish that’s one of our favorite bites in the city right now.
Ping pong, giant beers, and hot people. That is all.
Another neighborhood, another amazing beer bar — this is one of the OGs on the craft beer scene, and one of the only reasons to stay in this neighborhood past happy hour.
Just off of Times Square, this spot plies you with great cocktails while the occasional piano is played and song is belted out. You could do way, waaaaaayyyyyy worse here
Divey, laid-back atmosphere, good pub eats, and cheap, decent beer. Win, win, win.
The Cannibal is awesome and so is Waterfront Ale House, but those veer too far into restaurant-y territory for us to be comfortable putting them on this list. Middle Branch pours reliably great drinks made by top-notch bartenders in a bi-level space that manages to feel a little like New Orleans.
Just a great bar with zero pretensions, big beers, dart boards, lots of pool tables, and Buck Hunter. Botanica, Temple Bar, and Tom & Jerry are also completely solid, but our heart is with Bleecker.
One of those spots that manages to pull off seemingly effortless quality. It’s always a good time with excellent cocktails and good eats.
We’re gonna cheat here and lump both of the hotel’s bars together — the one in the restaurant is still completely legit, but the bigger, newer one around the corner makes amazing cocktails, sometimes big enough for eight people, and rocks a seriously excellent burger and an incredibly rich, flaky, and amazing chicken pot pie.
We would have picked Milady’s but it left us too soon, so we’re going with another simple, old-school bar instead, and this one has the bonus of having a good burger too.
This long, dark, beautiful bar can get crowded, but it’s worth it for the good times, bespoke cocktails, and house cocktails like the barrel-aged Illegal Negroni with mezcal, Campari, and sweet vermouth aged in new oak.
The Upper East Side isn’t all Irish bars and frat bars anymore (they still have great versions of those, though), but the Gilroy doesn’t go too far in the other direction either — it’s just a neighborhood bar that’s really stepped up its cocktail game and also delivers good bar eats, like three cheese mac & cheese with bacon and bison sliders.
One of the best sports bars in the city. Period
Top-notch beers like Bell’s Expedition Stout, SingleCut Bon Bon 2X TNT Double IPA, and Westbrook One Claw are paired with burgers and 10 types of wings, like cider BBQ, chipotle blueberry, and Buffalo at this way-uptown beer bar.
An amazing beer selection, good food, and knowledgeable staff/customers in a no-fuss atmosphere — this is what a beer bar wants to be.
The Black Hound
New York, NY 10280
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of fun activities in New York City. South Street Seaport has bounced back from the days of Hurricane Sandy and is completely revived, with a number of activities for October and the months to come.
Visit The Black Hound
You can’t go to visit the seaport and not stop for good food and drinks, so stop by The Black Hound when you’re finished shopping and sightseeing. This speakeasy serves elevated bar foods in addition to the local brews and specialty cocktails, all in an intimate setting. It’s a great place to go when you want to wind down after a long day. Try one of their matured cocktails, such as the 100 days old Manhattan, aged 100 days in Rittenhouse rye, Antica Carpano, and leather bitters.
The Black Hound, 301 South End Ave, New York, NY, USA + 1 (212) 945-0562
301 South End Ave.
New York, N.Y., 10289
This contemporary speakeasy offers exquisitely crafted cocktails created by acclaimed New York City mixologist Jeremy Strawn. Below are the must-try cocktails at Black Hound. While all the mixologist at Black Hound are quite frankly amazing, be sure to get a cocktail or two crafted by Jeremy or Leo.
The Nivens McTwisp Tea Time by ” Lewis Carroll”
Can be order for 1 / 2 / 4 people
Dorothy Parker Gin infused with Rose Orange Tea
House made Citrus Bitters
Death in the Morning
By ” James Burke ”
Coffee infused Aperol
by “Carlo Collodi”
Can be served for 1 / 2 / 4 people
Lairds Applejack Brandy
House made Citrus Bitters
Baked Apple Bitters
“These cocktails are seasonal because going forward into fall and winter our cocktail menu becomes more spirit forward focused rather than citrus or juices,” Strawn explained. “The idea behind it is: you get something that doesn’t taste like alcohol, but it’s 100 percent alcohol. ”
Game of Thrones fans, it’s been a rough year. We’ve all been not-so-patiently waiting to find out what happened to poor Arya Stark, or whether the Wildlings made it over that wall. Now that the show is finally returning next Sunday, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with a toast. And, turns out we’re not the only ones — some of our favorite NYC watering holes are getting in on the action. Read below to find out where you can sip on delicious GoT-inspired drinks, and raise your glass to Westeros.
If you find yourself all the way downtown, head to Black Hound Bar & Lounge to try the Khaleesi, a fizzy concoction made with vodka, strawberries, and, of course, prosecco.
Black Hound Bar & Lounge is a modern Battery Park City bar with drinks inspired by noteworthy thinkers like Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill.
History’s great minds—from writers and poets to politicians and prodigies—aren’t above indulging in alcohol’s alluring effects. Black Hound Bar & Lounge (right), a modern Battery Park City watering hole, reminds us of this tipsy truth with a menu of cocktails inspired by the boozy musings of noteworthy thinkers. The Moveable Feast (rye, Amaro Montenegro, Luxardo Fine) is paired with Ernest Hemingway’s quip—“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”—while Painting as a Pastime (vodka, pistachio syrup, ginger, lime) comes with an assurance from Winston Churchill that he has “taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of [him].”
I’d have to think that while inventing cocktails is an exciting, creative part of a bartender’s job, naming them is just as fun. Sometimes you go simple, sometimes punny; sometimes historical, sometimes long-winded. We asked 17 bartenders about the best cocktail name they’ve ever come up with. Here’s what they had to say.
Volleyball Scene in Top Gun
“When I first opened Mulberry Project I named the best whiskey drink on the menu ‘Volleyball Scene in Top Gun.’ So I had a bunch of guys coming up and saying Hey man can I get another volleyball scene in Top Gun. A close second is a drink I onced named ‘Paper Plate’ once.” — Jeremy Strawn (Black Hound Bar & Lounge)