Try These 6 Unforgettable Cocktails on Manhattan's Upper West Side
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Whether you're just leaving a show at Lincoln Center, dining on Amsterdam Avenue with loved ones, or organizing a rooftop soirée, a well-made cocktail can be the perfect complement to a day or night out and about on the ever-elegant Upper West Side.
Known for its luxurious homes and access to Central Park West, the UWS is also home to some of Manhattan's most sought-after bars, restaurants, and lounges, many of which showcase the talents of world-class mixologists.
Here are several prime cocktails you can find throughout the Upper West Side, as recommended by our Brown Harris Stevens Manhattan agents.
The Smoke and Mirrors
The Owl's Tail
"If you’re looking for the place to nibble on delectable small plates while sipping on a perfectly crafted cocktail, you should head directly to the Owl’s Tail. The mixologists there have a deft hand at building balanced drinks that will make you feel just fine." --- Keith Marder
Marder recommends the Smoke and Mirrors for "a true treat with a heavy dose of 'wow' factor." The cocktail is bound to tantalize your senses. It begins with a base of bourbon that is mixed with sweet vermouth, calvados, tanteo habanero, demerara syrup, and molé bitters. The drink ascends to the next level of luxury, however, with its infusion of smoke from actual Applewood chips. The aromatic smoke is trapped under a cover and is released when your libation is delivered.
The Empire Hotel
"A summer evening on the UWS wouldn't be complete without a trip to the iconic Empire Hotel." --- Anna Kahn
The hotel, popularized by the series "Gossip Girl," has a rooftop bar and restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating options. Kahn's drink of choice is the Rooftop Frosé----a refreshing, frozen blend of rosé and watermelon puree. The drink is perfect for warmer temperatures or for those looking for a sweet yet refined drink.
"Bodega 88 is a neighborhood favorite. It has the same owners as Calle Ocho, which many of us were sorry to see close during the pandemic. Bodega has some of the same dishes and drinks that made Calle Ocho so popular!" --- Mark D. Friedman
Friedman describes Bodega 88's Pomegranate Mojito as "killer." It is made with Bacardi Silver rum, pomegranate liqueur, lime, agave, and mint.
"My go-to neighborhood place to grab a cool cocktail is Crave Fishbar, located between 80th St. and 81st St. and Amsterdam.
It's sophisticated enough for a business gathering yet casual enough for a relaxing cocktail with friends and family." --- Olga Bidun
Along with sustainably sourced seafood, Crave offers an extensive list of cocktails, a highlight of which is the restaurant's Moscow Mule, which Bidun recommends for those looking to enjoy a classic standby. Served in a copper mug with ginger beer, fresh lime juice, and vodka, it's a great way to cool off for the evening.
The Tropical Nymph
"Situated atop the Le Meridian New York, Life is a lounge and outdoor space that offers spectacular views of Central Park. All of the drinks served there have fun and memorable names." --- George DeMarco
DeMarco's favorite, The Tropical Nymph, includes vodka, pineapple, blue Curacao, mango, and orgeat. You'll be transported to a tropical paradise from the first sip.
"TESSA is truly a year-round favorite. The restaurant has some of the best bartenders and waiters around. Their cocktails change seasonally, making it easy to find a new go-to." --- Lori Huler Glick
Glick's current favorite is the appropriately named Strawberry Fields, made with VDKA 6100, fresh strawberries, lime juice, basil, and ginger beer.