As a born and raised New Yorker, I was skeptical to go on the Take Me Out Mixology Tour, which predominantly caters to out-of-towners. I’ve been to countless quintessential cocktail dens like Apotheke and Death & Co. What could they possibly show me? I was wrong.
The tour starts with a limo picking you up in Union Square to start off your night. This limo will be with you for the three hour tour (cue Gilligan theme song), where you can have pre cocktail cocktails, and also keep your coats to avoid coat check. Our tour included a couple from the UK that we’re leaving the next day and our tour guide, Zorana. Don’t forget to keep cash on you because cocktails are not included in the price for the trip and sometimes a fast getaway is necessary to get to your next destination. The organizers of the tour have this planned so that lines are skipped and back doors are used, if applicable, so you feel like the celebrity you never became.
We started at the Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC) in the LES. The place, which also has a location in London, was busy for close to 10pm on a Saturday night, especially since it is reservation only. The dim lighting made it fit the Speakeasy vibe. We all got different drinks so everyone could try different options on the menu. We sampled Dabam’s Flip, with Plantation Barbados 5 Rum, Sweetened Thai Iced Tea, Condensed Milk, Whole Egg, Angostura Bitter and Pernod Absinthe, and felt we traveled back to the 1920’s.
We also tried –Take Is Going Back to Japan, with Shiitake Mushrooms infused Great King Street Scotch, which was not for the faint of heart. 12 Grapes with La Diablada Pisco was a cocktail fit for a prohibition queen. We were also a big fan of the vintage-looking glasses.
We headed back into the limo to have more mini cocktails and were on to our next stop, the Skylark in Midtown West. Yet another cocktail haven I had never been to, especially with a view from the 30th floor. This was my favorite stop of the night. The interior was cozy and you were surrounded with the twinkling lights of the city.
We tried the Coco, a mixture of many botanical liquors, but most importantly with floating strawberry pearls and the Sommelier cocktail with a malbec wine base and added liquors and bitters. It was hard not to feel on top of the world in this place.
Onto our last stop in Columbus Circle, we popped a bottle of champagne in the limo and headed to the Stone Rose Lounge. This is where the limo leaves you, and you are on your own to get home after a good 6 drinks. Make sure you carb-load beforehand. You get a table right near the gigantic windows, which up four floors isn’t a bad view. Make sure to take pictures, because you may not remember.
– Stephanie Carino