Slideshow: Where to Drink in the East Village: 10 Great Cocktails

One Flight Up at Pouring Ribbons ($14)
One Flight Up at Pouring Ribbons ($14)
From the all-star bar team of Toby Maloney, Joaquín Simó (Death & Company, Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Bartender of the Year), Troy Sidle (The Violet Hour), and Jason Cott, Pouring Ribbons is a formidable cocktail bar that still wants to be approachable, their drinks ranging from the colorful and bright to the dark, stirred, and brooding. The One Flight Up is one of the former, a riff on a pisco sour, with Campari and soda mingling in the bottom, and a faint whiff of orange flower water. Its flavors shift constantly as you sip, the Campari bleeding up through the base, as separate or as stirred-together as you choose to play it.

Pouring Ribbons: 225 Avenue B, second floor, New York NY 10009 (map); 917-656-6788; pouringribbons.com

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[Photo: Alice Gao]

Cold Buttered Rum at Booker & Dax ($14)
Cold Buttered Rum at Booker & Dax ($14)
Trust Dave Arnold and his team of creatively minded cocktail engineers to give this beloved winter warmer a decidedly cool makeover. With a thick, foamy cap that just won’t quit (seriously, baristas would be jealous), the cocktail drinks like some sort of boozy lemon meringue pie. Heavy though it may sound, the drink is remarkably fresh—the tart acidity of the lemon cutting the richness of the dark rum and creamy vanilla-chai notes.

Booker & Dax: 207 2nd Avenue, New York 10003 (map) momofuku.com/new-york/booker-and-dax

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[Photo: Renata Yagolnitzer]

Cape Town Cup at The Beagle ($13)
Cape Town Cup at The Beagle ($13)
There’s something to be said for enjoying a bright, juicy cocktail in the dead of winter. Let The Beagle’s Cape Town Cup be that drink. A combination of Bual Madeira, Byrrh Quinquina, sparkling wine, orgeat syrup, and Darjeeling tea, the mixture is fruity and sweet without approaching cloying. There’s a touch of prickly effervescent texture there too, and it's devastatingly easy to drink. (If you’d rather something on the darker side, opt for the Four to the Flor, a Scotch-based sipper mixed with honey and salty-savory fino sherry.)

The Beagle: 162 Avenue A, New York NY 10009 (map) 212-228-6900; thebeaglenyc.com

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[Photo: Maryse Chevriere]

Slight Detour at Mayahuel ($14)
Slight Detour at Mayahuel ($14)
Mezcal is more or less a must when you visit this sexy spirits den. Here, it stars in a boozy trio with reposado tequila and an intensely fiery jalapeño-infused tequila. Tempered only slightly with agave nectar and xocolatl mole bitters, it has that kind of in-your-face heat that somehow only makes you want to drink it faster.

Mayahuel: 304 E 6th Street, New York (map) 212-253-5888; mayahuelny.com

[Photo: Renata Yagolnitzer]

The John Lee Hooker at Summit Bar ($12)
The John Lee Hooker at Summit Bar ($12)
While it would be difficult to go wrong with any of the spirited options here, the John Lee Hooker comes highly recommended. Smoky Peet Monster Scotch and caramel-like Buffalo Trace Bourbon make perfect partners in crime—a strong base for the zesty mix of lemon juice, aromatic orange and sasparilla bitters, and punchy Hop Stoopid beer.

Summit Bar: 133 Avenue C, New York (map) thesummitbar.net

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[Photo: Maryse Chevriere]

Casualty at Amor y Amargo ($12)
Casualty at Amor y Amargo ($12)
Considering the joint is devoted to bitters, this variation on that classic bitter cocktail—the Negroni—seems an appropriate choice. Contributed to the menu by Chris Elford, this combination of blended Scotch, Montenegro Amaro, Byrrh Quinquina, and Bittermens xocolatl mole bitters is smooth and fragrant with a bite of spice and citrus.

Amor y Amargo: 443 E 6th St, New York (map) 212-614-6817; Facebook page

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[Photo: Renata Yagolnitzer]

Jack With One Eye at Gin Palace ($11)
Jack With One Eye at Gin Palace ($11)
At least here your choice of spirit should come easily. In this creation, gin is offered as a double-act in combination with housemade pumpkin syrup, a splash of absinthe, and bitters. Served over a gorgeous block of ice, the resulting cocktail is wonderfully aromatic—piney-fresh with just the slightest hint of sweetness to balance it out.

Gin Palace: 95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009 (map) (212) 614-6818; ginpalaceny.com

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[Photo: Renata Yagolnitzer]

Harry Lime at The Third Man ($12)
Harry Lime at The Third Man ($12)
As a variation on a Last Word, the Harry Lime is lovely—unabashedly smoky, and deliciously tart from the combination of El Buho mezcal, Green Chartreuse, fresh lime, and maraschino. But don't disregard the charm of this drink's supporting star: a shot of sparkling wine. Add a little at the beginning to lighten the mood, slam it back at the end, float it on top of the electric-green elixir, sip it as you go—how you choose to attack it is player’s choice. Fortunately for you it’s a win-win game.

The Third Man: 116 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009 (map) 212-598-1040; thethirdmannyc.com

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[Photo: Maryse Chevriere]