Best liquor tastings - 2007
LeNell's - CLOSED
At first blush, LeNell's doesn't seem like a liquor store run by alcohol aficionados. Though billed as a wine and spirit boutique, it offers none of the prim organization and informative descriptions of an Astor Place Spirits or a Vintage New York. Rather, the proprietors have organized one wine display with all the bottles that have pictures of cats on them and another featuring all the pictures of dogs. They keep their gin in a claw-footed bathtub. But don't let the irreverence fool you: LeNell's knows booze, and it's knowledge they're willing to share in their weekly liqueur tastings. Stopping in one day, you might sample an elderflower liqueur; on another day, it might be elegantly infused vodkas, small-batch bourbon, or even absinthe. A sheet of cocktail suggestions created by the shop's mixologists accompanies your taste. And should you have the good sense to purchase the hooch you've savored, they'll hand it to you lodged in a leopard-print bag—proving once again that serious drinking needn't be taken so seriously.