Rachel and Kyle Ford, from Ford Media Lab, know cocktails. They shared with us their 7 best cocktail places in NY and we can’t wait to check them all out!
This week we bring you a super talented duo to talk about the best cocktail places in NY.
Named two of Saveur Magazine’s 15 Cocktail Instagrams to Follow in 2017, Rachel Ford and Kyle Ford of Ford Media Lab know cocktails.
Formerly cocktail bartenders and brand ambassadors for top spirit brands, Rachel and Kyle used their insider knowledge when creating 1806 Magazine.
To discover more of their favorite spots and behind-the-scenes stories of the people behind cocktail culture in New York City – including more about those listed below– pick up a copy of 1806 Magazine, Volume 1: New York City at Ford Media Lab (FML).
After attending OTIS College of Art and Design for Fashion, Rachel earned a degree in Business, merging her creative talents with a keen understanding of brand marketing and strategy.
A love of creating a unique consumer experience led Rachel to the hospitality industry, where she made a name for herself internationally.
Rachel went on to represent Tanqueray gin as the National Ambassador, demonstrating unparalleled influence and strategic vision.
Her inimitable story-telling ability served as a basis for FML’s expansion into creative brand consulting and independent publications.
She is known as a figure in the world of media, appearing on Bar Rescue, and within the pages of Chilled, Cocktail Lovers, and The Daily Beast.
With a degree in Economics and Philosophy, Kyle began his professional life in Finance. Creative energies eventually prompted him to quit his job and pursue his keen interest in craft cocktails and photography.
Kyle became the resident cocktail and spirits expert for Rémy Cointreau and managed their international brand advocacy initiative.
During this time, his strategic use of social media and photography inspired a business opportunity.
The combination of these two worlds served as a basis for the formation of FML and its first creative partnerships with international spirits companies.
Kyle’s work and personality has been featured such places as Fox & Friends, VH1, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Wine Enthusiast, and Nylon Magazine.
Take a look below to see their 7 Best Cocktail Places in NY:
Lighthouse – Williamsburg
“Have you ever walked into a space and felt a positive energy that you couldn’t quite put your finger on? For us, that place is Lighthouse. Run by the kindest brother/sister team on the planet with a passion for sustainability, Lighthouse serves great food that you can feel good about eating. Be sure to visit for brunch; the chilequiles are a favorite and the house-baked bread is some of the best around. The cocktails are not to be missed either!”
The siblings, Assaf and Namma Tamir, truly do a great job at this neighborhood spot. Their entire business model revolves around sustainable values that we definitely support.
They offer a menu with New American fare, working with super fresh and seasonal ingredients, sourced locally from local growers and farmers. There is also a Pre-Fix Family-style option that is great for bigger groups and they can accommodate diet restrictions too!
Their drink options range from their signature cocktails, to a great selection of organic, biodynamic and natural wines.
“We recycle, compost, and collaborate with other green minded organizations to grow, improve and educate ourselves, our staff, our guests.”
It’s a great spot for brunch or dinner, so be sure to add them to your To-Go List! Oh! And still, they offer spaces for private events and catering services.
Note: We loved it so much that we went back there to shoot with Assaf and Namma for our YouTube video Where To Go For The Best Cocktails In Brooklyn?
Tuesday – Thursday: 6pm – 11pm
Friday: 6pm – 12pm
Saturday: 12pm – 4pm | 6pm – 12pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm | 6pm – 11pm
Location: 145 Borinquen Place
Long Island Bar – Cobble Hill
“Imagine enjoying a Cosmopolitan cocktail – made by the man who created the recipe we know today – in a bar that feels both modern and preserved in time. With a team of bartenders formerly behind bars like Death and Company and Flatiron Lounge, at Long Island Bar you’re in good hands – even if Toby Cecchini himself isn’t around to make you feel like Carrie Bradshaw.”
The story of this place starts back in 1951, when it was family owned by Emma Sullivan and her husband, in partnership with her cousins. Then, in 2013, it was renovated and relaunched by Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini.
Today, they’ve been chosen and featured by food experts for having the best burgers, French fries and cocktails.
As Tompkins said to Grub Street: “It’s a fifties bar, it’s near the water, and it’s the most gorgeous, warm place you’d want to have a drink in.”
Go check it out!
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 12am
Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 2am
Location: 110 Atlantic Avenue
The Rum House – Times Square
“The Rum House is literally the best place to get a drink in the worst place on earth. Once a seedy bar with an honor-system beer cooler and clouds of cigarette smoke, The Rum House has transformed the space into a magical cocktail haven with nightly live music and old New York nostalgia. Word has it they make a mean Daiquiri.”
Times Square is definitely not a place in our radar, but we have to confess that there is a hand full of great hidden spots there. This one is a great option if you’re into run and cocktails in general.
If you’re into good live music, be sure to see their website and see which bands are lined up for the week!
Hours: Daily, 12pm – 4am
Location: 228 West 47th Street
Amor y Amargo – East Village
“The name of this beloved thirteen-seat bar and bitters shop, Amor Y Amargo, literally translates to “love and bitters.” Responsible for turning those in-the-know on to the world of Italian amaro, at this intimate East Village bar you’ll find a carefully curated menu of stirred and spirituous cocktails – but first you need to find a seat. Go early!”
Founded in 2011, this is a great spot to go if you’re into tasting. Plus, it’s a small space, just like we enjoy.
They have a bit of everything and you’ll be surprise by their cocktail options. If you’re not really an expert, even better! They’ll be able to recommend their best drinks, catered to what you like.
We’re positive you won’t leave disappointed!
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 1am
Friday: 5pm – 3am
Saturday: 3pm – 3am
Sunday: 3pm – 1am
Location: 443 East 6th Street
Bar Goto – Lower East Side
“When the former Head Bartender of the famed Pegu Club decided to open his own bar on the Lower East Side, Bar Goto, he paid homage to his Japanese heritage. From the meticulously-crafted cocktails, to the delicious okonomiyaki, to his grandmother’s obe belt hanging on the wall, he did just that. Standout items include the Sakura Martini and the celery (trust us, you’ll love it – even if you’d never pair “love” and “celery” together).”
Ahhh, the Lower East Side of Manhattan is definitely one of the neighborhoods we enjoy exploring the most!
This place is a “first come, first serve”, so depending on the day, you might wait a while. But, it’s surely worth the wait.
Bar Goto opened in 2015 and from the day they launched, they have collected countless nominations from “Best NYC Bars” to “Top 15 Cocktails” and more!
They offer everything from wine, sake, beer and champaign. Their menus is based on Japanese comfort food from curry ramen and miso wings, to spicy cod roe spaghetti with squid and other delicious options.
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 12am
Friday & Saturday: 5pm – 2am
Sunday: 5pm – 12am
Location: 245 Eldridge Street
Cocktail Kingdom – Flatiron District
“Where do all the top bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts purchase their barware? Cocktail Kingdom. While you can order online, it’s much more fun to visit in person – but you have to know where to look.
Tucked inside an office building on 25th Street is a treasure-trove of everything from copper-hued bar spoons to etched glassware and cocktail books filled with mouth-watering recipes. If you’re lucky, owner and cocktail savant Greg Boehm may show you his vintage book library.”
Yup, they have it all! It’s surely an experience to go there and see everything they offer.
Make your list and go crazy with everything from bar spoons, strainers, jiggers, mixing glasses, to bitters bottles, trays, bags, cases and shakers!
Hours: Monday – Friday 10:30am – 5pm
Location: 36 West 25th Street, 5th Floor
Jupiter Disco – Bushwick
“If you weren’t looking for Jupiter Disco, you’d probably never know it’s there. Marked by a single red light, it feels like you’ve discovered a super cool secret when you walk through the unmarked door to find a dark cocktail bar and a DJ spinning for a hip industry crowd. The cocktail menu is displayed on screens on either side of the bar amongst the neon lights; remember to look up!”
Looking for a hidden, sci-fi inspired spot with fantastic cocktails and DJs playing all night long for a hype crowd? This is the place for you!
They have only a few food options: the empanadas, but their drinks are awesome! Plus, it’s divided in the menu into some fun topics like: “Introduction to Orbit”, “When the Kite String Pops…”and “Generation Ship”.
Get ready for take off!
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6pm – 4am
Location: 1237 Flushing Avenue
Thank you Rachel and Kyle for sharing your 7 best cocktail places in NY, and keep up the amazing work at Ford Media Lab!
If you enjoyed these tips, you might also enjoy reading out other places to enjoy New York’s nightlife!
To organize Corporate Events with tastings and the best mixologists in town, contact our experts.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Rachel and Kyle Ford, Alice Gao, and all the venues.
*Last Update on March/2020.*