Best Of

Best Gin Bar


The first time we visited Madam Geneva, we were told to enter through its sister establishment, the now-closed Double Crown. Even though there was a glass door on Bleecker looking right into the speakeasy, we were forced to sashay through the cavernous restaurant on the corner as a kind of punishment for wanting entry into a supposedly exclusive den of iniquity, or an attempt at least to keep out the lazy riffraff who wouldn’t bother finding the entry. Once inside, however, we had no problem scoring a cozy corner of a couch, where we sampled several imaginative cocktails built around a singular spirit: gin (19th-century nickname: Madam Geneva). Rather than just your standard tonic (though MG’s tonic is house-made), mixers included rose water, orange blossom, lemongrass, and other fragrant, flowery liquids—and even jams! After a few of those, we were anxious about the now-drunk walk of shame back through the restaurant. Luckily, once you’re inside, all rules are quickly vanquished; we were allowed to exit right out onto the street. 316 Bowery, 212-254-0350, (10012)

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