In the 1960s, 116 MacDougal Street was right in the middle of Greenwich Village’s beatnik scene. At the time, it was home to the Gaslight Cafe, which was a hangout for poets and musicians, including Bob Dylan.
If you go to the address today, you’d be hard pressed to find a bongo solo, an appreciative chorus of finger snaps or a sea of black berets, but at least you can drown your sorrows with a delicious cocktail.
116 MacDougal is currently home to one of my favorite New York bars, the Up & Up. The entrance is marked by a sign that disappears into the mayhem of the Village’s eclectic shops, casual restaurants and NYU student bars.
Head down a steep flight of stairs and you’re transported to another world far away from the chaos of New York. The elegant establishment has a welcoming vibe akin to drinking at a good friend’s home. Some nights are pleasantly calm, while others are enjoyably boisterous.
The drinks run the gamut from new creations and updates on underappreciated classics (care for an Insanely Good Midori Sour?) to a playful range of bottled cocktails.
So, the next time you’re in New York you need to stop by Up & Up. Here are five of the most interesting cocktails on its new menu.
Animal Vegetable Mineral
Scandinavians are crazy about the caraway-infused liquor aquavit. Americans, on the other hand, not so much. But the clear spirit works well with English gin, cucumber and citrus in the Animal Vegetable Mineral.
If you gotten on the recent Italian amoro trend, try the Betty Bentley that calls for the herbaceous and minty Branca Menta as well as Pedro Ximénez Sherry and Knappogue Castle 12-Year-Old Irish Whiskey. The concoction is lightened with a splash of refreshing seltzer.
Bring June Flowers
While summer may now be officially over, you can still have a taste of warm weather with the cleverly named Bring June Flowers that blends vodka, French aperitif Suze, jasmine tea, cucumber and lemon juice.
If you’re the type of person who likes to be the first of your friends to try something new, the Resting Fierceness is for you. It includes bartender favorites absinthe, mezcal, maraschino liqueur and mint.
While you might not encounter cobblers on many bar menus now, at one time they were wildly popular. If you’ve never had one, the Stingray Cobbler, (Plantation Pineapple Rum, Lustau Manzanilla Pasada Sherry and lime juice) is a nice introduction to the category.