Published on October 6th, 2012 | by Dipsology0
A Guide to Cocktail Crawls in New York
If you’ve lived in New York for more than a year or two, you’re bound to encounter the inevitable out of town guest who wants to experience a typical New York night out. For dipsologists, there’s no better way to wow visitors than with a cocktail crawl.
Where to begin
- Start with a neighborhood and preferably one with a high concentration of dipsology bars. Luckily in New York, you have plenty to choose from. Check out our map or see our bars broken down by neighborhood if you need help deciding. If you’re looking to stay in Manhattan, the East Village is a treasure trove For Brooklyn, you can’t go wrong with Williamsburg.
- Establish your guest’s budget and party size. Drinking cocktails is not the most budget conscious. Also keep in mind that most bars only seat a max of 8; on a high volume night you could very well be looking at 2 hour waits at the most popular destinations. Set expectations from the beginning and assume you’ll shell out anywhere between $50 – $100 for a 3 – 5 bar crawl.
- Incorporate variety into your stops. Ask your guests if they have any favorite spirits. Consider specialty bars like Mayahuel (tequila & mezcal), Gin Palace, or Amor y Amargo (bitters) to switch things up a bit.
- Eat before you imbibe. There’s nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach. You may think that light snack you had late in the day will tide you over, but it won’t. Cocktails can be pretty boozy (and man do they go down quick). Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint, eat accordingly. For easy reference, here’s a list of dipsology bars where you can get drinks plus dinner.
- Tip on the total tab. Unlike beer or your typical vodka soda, leaving a $1-$2 tip per drink is undertipping at most cocktail bars. Expect to leave a 15-20% tip on your total tab. You’re getting a drink that’s made with quality ingredients by a highly skilled professional, not a crappy beer that takes approximately 0.5 seconds to open.
- Thank your bartender. If you have the opportunity to interact with your bartender, don’t hesitate to be friendly and ask questions. A bartender is a dipsologist’s best friend. If you’re seated at a table and interacting with a waiter or waitress, stop by the bar on your way out to say you enjoyed your drink and experience. Everyone loves to hear from a happy patron.
You can’t go wrong with any bar on our list, but if you want a sample itinerary, here’s one of our favorite crawls in the East Village. It’s perfect for a Saturday night when a lot of bars have long waits. You can pull this off with a party of 2-5.
Stop 1: Mayahuel – An old favorite of ours, Mayahuel (goddess of agave) continues to serve patrons an extensive tequila & mezcal based menu with delicious food along the way. We suggest you stop here for a round of drinks and small appetizers – the pork belly, ceviche, and guacamole are our favorites. (Check out Mayahuel’s full profile & menu.)
Stop 2: The Beagle – For a more substantial meal, head a few blocks north to The Beagle where owners Dan and Matt serve up great cocktails, an extensive sherry collection (which you can sample in a drink, or on its own) and a variety of American small plates. Fried pickles, polenta fried oysters and the best BLT in the E. Village. Yes. (Check out The Beagle’s full profile and menu.)
Stop 3: Pouring Ribbons – Don’t waste your time waiting in line for Death & Co (although if you must, put your name in at the door before Mayahuel and your party will be called an hour or two later when there’s room). Instead, head to Pouring Ribbons, a spacious second floor bar on Avenue B co-owned by a former D&C bartender. Their innovative menu features both classic and signature cocktails, all rated from adventurous to comforting and spirituous to refreshing and plotted on a handy chart to help you choose. We also encourage you to ask co-owner Troy Sidle about his vintage chartreuse collection. (Check out Pouring Ribbons’ full profile and menu.)
Stop 4: Booker & Dax – By the time you get here, it should be past midnight. Odds are in your favor that you’ll be able to seat your party. If not , give it a few minutes; the drinks are worth it. We love sitting at the bar here, which feels more like sitting in the first row of a 9th grade chemistry class, complete with liquid nitrogen, centrifuges and 9,000 degree pokers. Close our your night with a Banana Justino (it tastes like a yummy dessert) or a refreshing BDX margarita. (Check out Booker & Dax’s full profile and menu.)
View East Village Cocktail Crawl in a larger map