CBS2-Header-Logo WFAN 1010WINS WCBS tiny WLNYLogo

Latest Best of NY

NYC’s 5 Best Chinese New Year Cocktail Spots

February 10, 2013 1:00 PM

View Comments

The smoke from thousands of firecrackers and incense sticks wafted through Manhattan’s Lower East Side as New Yorkers rang in the Year of the Snake at the city’s annual Chinese New Year extravaganza. What better way to celebrate than with a cocktail? Here are our five favorite venues for China-inspired traditional food — and not-so-traditional cocktails. By Jonathan Pogash.

momofuku ssam bar1 NYCs 5 Best Chinese New Year Cocktail Spots

(credit: Momofuku Ssam Bar/Facebook)

Momofuku Ssam Bar

207 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

At Momofuku Ssam Bar (more Asian-fusion than typical Chinese), try the McKenzie Shrub: (Rye whiskey, Cocchi Americano, pomegranate and coconut). You may also want to get your hands on a classic Penicillin cocktail (scotch whisky, honey, lemon, and ginger). Food-wise, you can try a varied selection of hams, as well as P.E.I. mussels and dry-aged sirloin steak tartare. Save room for dessert – sweet potato ice cream and chocolate parfait are on the list. CIA molecular mixology/gastronomy superstar Dave Arnold just took over the bar program at newly opened “Booker & Dax” (part of Momofuku Ssam) – so you’ll have to try some of his concoctions, as well.

Members of the Chinese American community, tourists and other New Yorkers celebrate the the first day of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Snake Chinatown (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Members of the Chinese American community, tourists and other New Yorkers celebrate the the first day of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Snake Chinatown (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

King Yum Restaurant

181-08 Union Tpke.
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
718-380-1918

More: NYC’s 4 Best Tiki Bars

At King Yum Restaurant in Queens you can enjoy a libation from their “exotic drinks” menu. With tiki-inspired names and ingredients, you really can’t go wrong. They have a Zombie (light & dark rums and fruit juices), Mai Tai (with Jamaican rum), and the Boco Loco (cocounut milk, light rum, Cointreau, served in a fresh coconut shell). The Moo Goo Gai Pan, Chicken Almond Ding, and Sizzling Seafood Go Ba are always crowd pleasers. Go with a group – you’ll have fun selecting from the extensive menu and gazing at the large tiki mask in the middle of the room.

mr chow1 NYCs 5 Best Chinese New Year Cocktail Spots

(credit: Mr. Chow)

Mr. Chow (Upper East Side and TriBeCa)

324 E. 57th St.
New York, NY 10022
212-751-9030

With two Mr. Chow outposts in NYC (Upper/Midtown East and TriBeCa), you can enjoy a celebratory specialty cocktail or glass of champagne to ring in the Chinese New Year. If you’re in the mood for upscale Chinese food, they this is the spot for you. We like their scallion pancakes, Korean meat, and pot stickers. If you want to be experimental, go for their frog legs, jelly fish, or beef tongue.

joes shanghai restaurant NYCs 5 Best Chinese New Year Cocktail Spots

credit: Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant

Joe's Shanghai Restaurant

24 W. 56th St.
New York, NY 10019
212-333-3868

Joe’s Shanghai Midtown offers a nice-sized cocktail menu. On it, the organic cucumber saketini, at $9, is a deal. Blending Crop Organic cucumber vodka and premium sake, it’s simple yet elegant. Sit at the bar to enjoy your cocktails and order some steamed dumplings to complete your New Year celebration.

chinatown brasserie NYCs 5 Best Chinese New Year Cocktail Spots

credit: Facebook/Chinatown Brasserie

Chinatown Brasserie

380 Lafayette St.
New York, NY 10003
212-533-7000

Cocktails and Dim Sum at hip downtown eatery Chinatown Brasserie sound mighty fine to us. Try their special Frozen Mai Tai (Montecristo rum, pineapple, lime, and orgeat), or their Chili Mango Margarita (Tanteo tropical tequila, chili mango puree, triple sec, and sour mix). Any one of their steamed, pan fried, crispy, or specialty dim sums are terrific. You’ll be ringing in the Chinese New Year with style!

For the latest on NYC’s bar and nightlife scene, follow us on Twitter!

Jonathan Pogash, aka The Cocktail Guru, is a beverage consultant, writer, and educator.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus