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15 Must-Try Cocktail Bars in NYC

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Nothing hits better than a cold cocktail on a hot summer day, and New York City’s unparalleled selection of cocktail bars and restaurants make it easier than ever to sip a boozy, fruity treat in prime al fresco season. Summer 2020 probably didn’t play out the way most New Yorkers planned, but local businesses are making the best of it, luring thirsty city lovers out of their apartments with fresh, specialty cocktails featuring premium spirits that just aren’t the same shaken up at home.

Brand new restaurants that opened their doors during a seriously tumultuous time for hospitality, as well as re-envisioned beloved city staples adapting to the new normal, are now serving some of the city’s best cocktails, enjoyable at a safe social distance. Cheers to an unexpected, yet wholly memorable summer, and a hopefully brighter season ahead!

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1. Kokomo Restaurant

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65 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(347) 799-1312
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Williamsburg’s tropical summer hotspot has been packed since opening its outdoor Caribbean restaurant in July. Cocktails by bartender Rael Petit, like generously BANKS rum-spiked frozen punches are pleasant and fruity, pairing just as well with ambient city patio sounds as they would with the sounds of the ocean. Almost. 

2. Dante West Village

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551 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 982-8799
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The West Village is now home to not one, but two outposts of the popular Dante restaurant. The newly-opened Hudson Street location proudly places produce and seafood front-and-center on its menu, and it’s equally beloved for its stylish, sage-green décor and killer cocktail menu. Definitely don’t sleep on the GREY GOOSE Bloody Mary — available for $5 during brunch, you’ll definitely be tempted to go back for seconds.

3. A.R.T. SoHo (Arlo Roof Top)

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231 Hudson St 11th Floor
New York, NY 10013
(646) 518-8882
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The outdoor bar atop the Arlo SoHo hotel offers sweeping views of the Hudson River and iconic Manhattan skyscrapers, all from a well appointed stylish lounge. Cocktails are served individually or by the pitcher, to accompany an extensive menu of finger foods and small bites, like pizza and chicken wings. Drinks are designed to cool down imbibers on the most humid of days, like a refreshing GREY GOOSE hibiscus lemonade, BACARDÍ-made mojito, and rotating daily frozen cocktails. 

4. Broken Shaker at Freehand New York

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23 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 475-1920
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This rooftop bar offers plenty of stylish outdoor seating, copious tropical greenery, and stunning panoramic views of the NYC skyline — what more could you want? Cocktails, you say? Broken Shaker has some of the best in town. Start with Curry in a Hurry, an East-meets-West blend of BOMBAY Dry gin, GREY GOOSE vodka, ST~GERMAIN liquer, red curry honey, pineapple, and lemon juice. A little heat, a little sour, definitely a boozy kick — there’s nothing else like it.

5. Zona De Cuba

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558 Grand Concourse
The Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 292-1400
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An island retreat in the Bronx, this destination rooftop is dedicated to bringing fun and Cuban flavor to every socially distant guest. Mojitos muddled with abundant fresh mint are mixed with BACARDÍ Superior, can be flavored with several varieties of tropical fruit, and served by the glass or pitcher. Another boozy specialty, the D’USSÉ Colada, made with D’USSÉ VSOP, coconut cream, pineapple juice and angostura bitters, brings island vibes meant to be shared. 

6. The Woodlot

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61-04 Woodside Ave
Woodside, NY 11377
(347) 242-3225
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Brand new open streets seating, plus curbside cocktails, breathe a new charm into this cocktail bar. Spiked Popsicles, frozen cocktails, and espresso martinis all make day drinking and people-watching easy. Special to the cheekily named cocktail menu is The Honey Bear (also served as The Bear To Share), made with ABERFELDY 12 year Scotch, New York local honey, peach and lemon, and served in a very Instagrammable bear jar. 

7. East Hae

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98 N 6th St 3rd floor
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(929) 239-3421
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A rooftop gastropub in the heart of Williamsburg, pretty much unknown to non-Brooklynites? It’s almost too good to be true, but this outdoor Korean restaurant and bar is a solid spot to spend a summer night. Weekday happy hour (half off kimchi nachos and more!) and live music nights are worth visiting for, but any night specialty drinks like the Minteu, made with GREY GOOSE, soju, passion fruit orgeat and mint, make visiting East Hae a special occasion. 

8. Kimoto Rooftop Restaurant & Garden Lounge

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Sheraton Hotel Rooftop, 228 Duffield St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 858-8940
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This rooftop garden lounge adorned with over 300 plants offers a peaceful escape, complete with comfort food from the Mira Sushi & Izakaya team and seasonal specialty cocktails. Refresh with a Spa Cooler, mixed with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, ST~GERMAIN, aloe vera juice, cucumber and a spritz of fresh lemon. 

9. Sammy's Fish Box

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41 City Island Ave
The Bronx, NY 10464
(718) 885-0920
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A summer day can be easily spent slurping down Littleneck clams on the half shell and munching on crunchy fried seafood at this neighborhood fish shack dating back to 1966. An extensive list of martinis, punch bowls, mojitos, frozen margaritas and pina coladas, like the Strawberry Colada made with BACARDÍ Gold, bring the party all afternoon and evening long. 

10. Havana Café

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3151 E Tremont Ave
The Bronx, NY 10461
(718) 518-1800
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A Caribbean oasis enhanced with streetside dining and a brick oven, Havana Café is the spot for seriously melty Cubanos, plantain chips and compulsively sippable tropical cocktails. We recommend the Millionaire Mojito — an upgraded take on the classic drink made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho rum, muddled mint leaves and fresh lime. It’s available in your choice of a 16 oz or 32 oz portion.

11. The Kimberly Hotel

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145 E 50th St
New York, NY 10022
(212) 755-0400
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Open for a staycation or just a nightly drop in, The Kimberly Hotel’s rooftop thirty stories above street level immerses visitors in the Manhattan skyline to enjoy specialty cocktails and small plates. The martini list shouldn’t be glanced over, including the luscious Pear-Tini, stirred with GREY GOOSE La Poire, pear nectar and fresh lemon juice. 

12. Vistamar

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565 City Island Ave
The Bronx, NY 10464
(718) 709-0888
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It doesn’t get better than chowing down on King Crab legs dipped in drawn butter, watching the sun set over the docked boats in the Long Island sound, and Vistamar delivers. An extensive Cuban-influenced menu, available prix-fixe or a la carte, is only enhanced by the views and feel-good cocktail menu. The Morir Soñando is the must-try cocktail — popular throughout Latin America and the Carribean, this frozen drink blends milk, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a shot of DEWAR’S White Label whiskey. The name means “die dreaming” in Spanish — one sip of the icy, creamy drink and you’ll know why.

13. Ocean Prime

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123 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 956-1404
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The steakhouse chain with a loyal following for power lunches knows how to kick off a hearty meal with a cocktail. Opt into a cucumber gimlet, made with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, muddled fresh cucumber, simple syrup and hand squeezed lime. It’s not quite a salad, but it’s veggie-forward enough to segue straight to heftier appetizers like lobster bisque and white truffle caviar deviled eggs. 

14. Bonefish Grill

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340 Sunrise Hwy
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
(516) 766-1238
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The nationally beloved steakhouse has big-city vibes even out in the suburbs, with an extensive menu of market-fresh fish and wood-grilled specialties inspiring diners to overdo it in the best way possible. Kick off a night of classy gluttony with a round of cocktails, like the Coral Reef Punch — it starts with BACARDÍ Superior rum, adds fresh orange and pineapple juices, coconut and passion fruit flavors, plus a dash of house-made vanilla bean syrup.

15. Talk Story at McCarren Hotel Rooftop

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160 N 12th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 218-7500
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The classy cocktail bar that sits high atop Williamsburg’s McCarren Hotel is the best place to take in views of the entire Manhattan skyline — and sip something fruity and tropical while you’re at it. Order up a Tidal Wave — featuring SANTA TERESA 1796 rum, blue curaçao, pandan leaves, toasted coconut, and pineapple, it’s the tastiest wave you can catch in NYC.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Kokomo Restaurant

65 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Williamsburg’s tropical summer hotspot has been packed since opening its outdoor Caribbean restaurant in July. Cocktails by bartender Rael Petit, like generously BANKS rum-spiked frozen punches are pleasant and fruity, pairing just as well with ambient city patio sounds as they would with the sounds of the ocean. Almost. 

65 Kent Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11249

2. Dante West Village

551 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

The West Village is now home to not one, but two outposts of the popular Dante restaurant. The newly-opened Hudson Street location proudly places produce and seafood front-and-center on its menu, and it’s equally beloved for its stylish, sage-green décor and killer cocktail menu. Definitely don’t sleep on the GREY GOOSE Bloody Mary — available for $5 during brunch, you’ll definitely be tempted to go back for seconds.

551 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014

3. A.R.T. SoHo (Arlo Roof Top)

231 Hudson St 11th Floor, New York, NY 10013

The outdoor bar atop the Arlo SoHo hotel offers sweeping views of the Hudson River and iconic Manhattan skyscrapers, all from a well appointed stylish lounge. Cocktails are served individually or by the pitcher, to accompany an extensive menu of finger foods and small bites, like pizza and chicken wings. Drinks are designed to cool down imbibers on the most humid of days, like a refreshing GREY GOOSE hibiscus lemonade, BACARDÍ-made mojito, and rotating daily frozen cocktails. 

231 Hudson St 11th Floor
New York, NY 10013

4. Broken Shaker at Freehand New York

23 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010

This rooftop bar offers plenty of stylish outdoor seating, copious tropical greenery, and stunning panoramic views of the NYC skyline — what more could you want? Cocktails, you say? Broken Shaker has some of the best in town. Start with Curry in a Hurry, an East-meets-West blend of BOMBAY Dry gin, GREY GOOSE vodka, ST~GERMAIN liquer, red curry honey, pineapple, and lemon juice. A little heat, a little sour, definitely a boozy kick — there’s nothing else like it.

23 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010

5. Zona De Cuba

558 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, NY 10451

An island retreat in the Bronx, this destination rooftop is dedicated to bringing fun and Cuban flavor to every socially distant guest. Mojitos muddled with abundant fresh mint are mixed with BACARDÍ Superior, can be flavored with several varieties of tropical fruit, and served by the glass or pitcher. Another boozy specialty, the D’USSÉ Colada, made with D’USSÉ VSOP, coconut cream, pineapple juice and angostura bitters, brings island vibes meant to be shared. 

558 Grand Concourse
The Bronx, NY 10451

6. The Woodlot

61-04 Woodside Ave, Woodside, NY 11377

Brand new open streets seating, plus curbside cocktails, breathe a new charm into this cocktail bar. Spiked Popsicles, frozen cocktails, and espresso martinis all make day drinking and people-watching easy. Special to the cheekily named cocktail menu is The Honey Bear (also served as The Bear To Share), made with ABERFELDY 12 year Scotch, New York local honey, peach and lemon, and served in a very Instagrammable bear jar. 

61-04 Woodside Ave
Woodside, NY 11377

7. East Hae

98 N 6th St 3rd floor, Brooklyn, NY 11249

A rooftop gastropub in the heart of Williamsburg, pretty much unknown to non-Brooklynites? It’s almost too good to be true, but this outdoor Korean restaurant and bar is a solid spot to spend a summer night. Weekday happy hour (half off kimchi nachos and more!) and live music nights are worth visiting for, but any night specialty drinks like the Minteu, made with GREY GOOSE, soju, passion fruit orgeat and mint, make visiting East Hae a special occasion. 

98 N 6th St 3rd floor
Brooklyn, NY 11249

8. Kimoto Rooftop Restaurant & Garden Lounge

Sheraton Hotel Rooftop, 228 Duffield St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This rooftop garden lounge adorned with over 300 plants offers a peaceful escape, complete with comfort food from the Mira Sushi & Izakaya team and seasonal specialty cocktails. Refresh with a Spa Cooler, mixed with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, ST~GERMAIN, aloe vera juice, cucumber and a spritz of fresh lemon. 

Sheraton Hotel Rooftop, 228 Duffield St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

9. Sammy's Fish Box

41 City Island Ave, The Bronx, NY 10464

A summer day can be easily spent slurping down Littleneck clams on the half shell and munching on crunchy fried seafood at this neighborhood fish shack dating back to 1966. An extensive list of martinis, punch bowls, mojitos, frozen margaritas and pina coladas, like the Strawberry Colada made with BACARDÍ Gold, bring the party all afternoon and evening long. 

41 City Island Ave
The Bronx, NY 10464

10. Havana Café

3151 E Tremont Ave, The Bronx, NY 10461

A Caribbean oasis enhanced with streetside dining and a brick oven, Havana Café is the spot for seriously melty Cubanos, plantain chips and compulsively sippable tropical cocktails. We recommend the Millionaire Mojito — an upgraded take on the classic drink made with BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho rum, muddled mint leaves and fresh lime. It’s available in your choice of a 16 oz or 32 oz portion.

3151 E Tremont Ave
The Bronx, NY 10461

11. The Kimberly Hotel

145 E 50th St, New York, NY 10022

Open for a staycation or just a nightly drop in, The Kimberly Hotel’s rooftop thirty stories above street level immerses visitors in the Manhattan skyline to enjoy specialty cocktails and small plates. The martini list shouldn’t be glanced over, including the luscious Pear-Tini, stirred with GREY GOOSE La Poire, pear nectar and fresh lemon juice. 

145 E 50th St
New York, NY 10022

12. Vistamar

565 City Island Ave, The Bronx, NY 10464

It doesn’t get better than chowing down on King Crab legs dipped in drawn butter, watching the sun set over the docked boats in the Long Island sound, and Vistamar delivers. An extensive Cuban-influenced menu, available prix-fixe or a la carte, is only enhanced by the views and feel-good cocktail menu. The Morir Soñando is the must-try cocktail — popular throughout Latin America and the Carribean, this frozen drink blends milk, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a shot of DEWAR’S White Label whiskey. The name means “die dreaming” in Spanish — one sip of the icy, creamy drink and you’ll know why.

565 City Island Ave
The Bronx, NY 10464

13. Ocean Prime

123 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

The steakhouse chain with a loyal following for power lunches knows how to kick off a hearty meal with a cocktail. Opt into a cucumber gimlet, made with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE gin, muddled fresh cucumber, simple syrup and hand squeezed lime. It’s not quite a salad, but it’s veggie-forward enough to segue straight to heftier appetizers like lobster bisque and white truffle caviar deviled eggs. 

123 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019

14. Bonefish Grill

340 Sunrise Hwy, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

The nationally beloved steakhouse has big-city vibes even out in the suburbs, with an extensive menu of market-fresh fish and wood-grilled specialties inspiring diners to overdo it in the best way possible. Kick off a night of classy gluttony with a round of cocktails, like the Coral Reef Punch — it starts with BACARDÍ Superior rum, adds fresh orange and pineapple juices, coconut and passion fruit flavors, plus a dash of house-made vanilla bean syrup.

340 Sunrise Hwy
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

15. Talk Story at McCarren Hotel Rooftop

160 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

The classy cocktail bar that sits high atop Williamsburg’s McCarren Hotel is the best place to take in views of the entire Manhattan skyline — and sip something fruity and tropical while you’re at it. Order up a Tidal Wave — featuring SANTA TERESA 1796 rum, blue curaçao, pandan leaves, toasted coconut, and pineapple, it’s the tastiest wave you can catch in NYC.

160 N 12th St
Brooklyn, NY 11249

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