I can't say I ever expected to find a particularly forward-thinking cocktail program in the Meatpacking District. But I also can't say I ever expected to find Aaron Polsky in the Meatpacking District. Polsky, who you may recognize from his work at Neta or Amor y Amargo, was brought in to develop a cocktail program that was "cutting-edge and delicious," he told us, "but could also handle the volume of a 200-seat restaurant."
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If I have one favorite classic cocktail, it's the Negroni—refreshingly bitter, just sweet enough to round out the edges, with complex botanicals and a bright burst of orange oil to set it off. But once you start considering the Negroni as a template, you'll find variations on the theme just about everywhere.
Here are eleven in New York I've loved of late, with spirits ranging from mezcal to genever to bourbon, with every amaro you can think of, and with coffee, beets, dried figs, and roasted oranges all making appearances.