298 Bedford Ave.
Mixing elements of Paris and New Orleans, this absinthe and oyster bar has quickly become a destination for sophisticates from Williamsburg and beyond. Sip various types of absinthe or enjoy the mystical green spirit in a cocktail such as the á la Louisianne (Old Overholt Rye, Vieux Pontarlier, Carpano Antica, Benedictine and Peychaud’s Bitters). The all-raw menu boasts well over two dozen types of oysters–just $1 each during the 4 to 7 p.m. weekday happy hour–along with other shellfish plates.
Amor y Amargo
443 E. 6th St.
New York, NY
amoryamargo.comBitter is sweet at this tiny cocktail bar offering a wide selection of bitters- and amari-splashed drinks within the same complex as El Cobre and Cienfuegos. There’s even a house-made sweet vermouth on tap, for only $4 a glass. The place shares a kitchen with El Cobre, so feast on dishes such as empanadas or tortilla espanola while you chat with the informative bartenders. For further instruction on the world of bitters, check out their schedule of classes.
149 Mulberry St.
New York, NY
Although hidden below street view and run by the owners of Milk & Honey, don’t confuse this cocktail bar for a quiet speakeasy. A regular rotation of DJs keeps the trendy crowd bustling while the bartenders mix a steady stream of drinks made to order. Choose from a menu of fresh ingredients to go in your drink and let the barkeep do the rest. Find a dark nook to lounge in or, on warm nights, head to the outdoor garden.
33 Nassau Ave.
(347) 987-4632Sprawling, open and airy, this massive 6,000 square-foot beer garden and gastropub near McCarren Park is a welcome addition to North Williamsburg/Greenpoint. From the owners of Spitzer’s Corner, Spritzenhaus offers craft beer on 100 taps along with a German-themed food menu. The venue is also well-suited for year-round drinking, opening its massive garage doors in summer and warming up with an oversized fireplace in winter.
131 Sullivan St.
New York, NY
The bar program at this hot new Soho restaurant from Locanda Verde’s Andrew Carmellini is generating almost as much buzz as the food. No wonder, as bar manager Naren Young is considered one of the city’s top mixologists. Snag a stool or squeeze yourself into the scene and try the Picked Ramp Gibson (Breuckelen Gin, Dolin Dry Vermouth, lemon bitters and house pickled ram juice) for a garlicky twist on the dirty martini.
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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.