Boozy New York happenings that you should know about include matcha cocktails, pisco, and many avenues of coconut. Below, the proof is in the glass.
To Pretend You're Drinking Something Healthy
Head To: Osteria Morini, because the Michael White haunt is so much more than prosciutto and pasta.
Drink: Sweet Leaf ($15) is a take on the classic sour, and a playful step toward spring. Matcha—the de rigueur anti-oxidant-rich ingredient for beverages hot and cold—is matched with sage and lime, further accented by Oxley gin botanicals.
If You're Feeling Spicy
Head To: Llama Inn, the airy, hip new Peruvian joint from Eleven Madison Park sous chef Erik Ramirez, serves a killer lomo saltado (disguised as "beef tenderloin stir fry" on the menu), but it's even better alongside one the restaurant's pisco-dedicated libations.
Drink: Llama Del Rey ($13) is on draft and on point. Think, a sort of spiced red wine sangria that's spiked with both Zacapa rum and BarSol pisco. That potpourri of spices, though, comes from a syrup made of chicha morada, an ancient Peruvian beverage derived from purple corn, pineapple, cinnamon, and cloves. Protip: Llama Inn also offers an excellent selection of sipping piscos, and trying a few side by side is a great way to understand the spirit's range of flavors. Pisco 1615 made with the Quebranta grape will not disappoint.
If You Need a Vacation
Head To: The Lucky Bee, the Lower East Side's punchy new pan-Asian affair, is an early hit with the fashion set, thanks in part to its '80s-California meets Asian tchotchke spiked digs.
Drink: If You're Lucky ($13). See, the secret with drinks that involve fresh coconut water, is that the coconut water masks any trace of booze. Which ultimately yields a hangover waiting to happen. Unlike many tropical drinks that suffer from a heavy hand of sugar, If You're Lucky is actually quite dry, with a lightly caramelized, spiced flavor, thanks to clove, star anise, and cinnamon-infused rum. It's really really tasty.
If You Want to Drink Your Dessert
Head To: Betony, Midtown's sitting room for proper fine dining, moonlights as the city's most underrated cocktail lab.
Drink: Horchata. Yes, one would consider this an after dinner drink, but it's actually, thankfully, not so sweet. Typically made from rice steeped and blended with water, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar, in Cuba and Puerto Rico sesame seeds often replace grain. Here, Betony co-owner Eamon Rockey built a frothy adult seed shake—toasted sesame and pumpkin—balanced by a slug of Guatemalan rum.
If You're Ready for Summer
Head To: Momofuku Nishi, Dave Chang's austere Italian-Korean outfit firing up Chelsea.
Drink: Limoncello Slushie ($14), which is almost exactly what one would expect, with a hefty measure of yuzu. Familiar, yet different. The recipe for spring.