Ardesia in Hell's Kitchen has an impressive cocktail list—and there's not a spirit to be found at their bar. That's right: since their liquor license is wine and beer only, they can't serve gin, bourbon, or vodka, but bartender Damon Gravina has crafted a collection of complex and delicious wine-based cocktails that put sangria to shame. For inspiration, he looked to some of the flavors inherent in wine: fruit and spice, to start. From there, he experimented with vermouth, bitters, and a variety of housemade infusions.
With the exception of one after-dinner drink, these cocktails aren't sweet at all. Instead, they're refreshing, sometimes lightly bitter or spicy, and low enough in alcohol (thanks to the absence of spirits) that you can have two. And trust us, you'll want to.
All the cocktails are $10, and only offered on Saturdays and Sundays at Ardesia. Want one on a Thursday? Here are the recipes so you can make them at home.