UPPER WEST SIDE
The UWS isn’t exactly known as a cocktail destination, but this hidden bar is an oasis. The drinks here highlight unique, interesting flavors (pistachio or tomato mists, mace blade tinctures), but they’re decidedly unfussy -- few items on the menu count more than four ingredients -- so you won’t have to wait for ages for your cocktail (more than we can say about some other picks on this list). That and the cozy atmosphere (yes, that is a collection of books lining a back wall) make this an ideal after-work drinking spot.
How to get in: Enter Burke & Wills and head to the back, where you’ll ascend some stairs behind a green leather door; a hostess will almost certainly guide you to the upstairs bar.