5 Great Cocktails on Tap in New York City


Gin Palace’s Gin and Tonic

Why get excited about a big, premixed batch of booze that comes out of a spigot? Because if someone is putting his or her Fernet and cola on tap, he or she must think it’s really awesome. We’re not sure if the tap trend is really the next big thing, but when solid cocktail bars make things in bulk, we should probably rise to the occasion and drink in bulk, right?

Here are five excellent drinks on tap:

Gin Palace / Gin and tonic $7 (Pictured above)
Behind ominous black doors with angel wings as handles, this “palace” is more a dark, leathery den with stadium seating. However, the East Village bar takes its gin cocktails seriously. The G&Ts on tap were halted, briefly, when the State Liquor Authority decided to crack down on an antiquated law. Now, the river of gin flows again (with Commonwealth tonic and Bittermen’s grapefruit bitters).
95 Avenue A, 212-614-6818

The Wayland / San Francisco Spout $7
At this friendly neighborhood spot, Jason Mendenhall taps Fernet Branca, the super-trendy, pleasingly bitter Italian digestif, mixed with house-made cola. It’s good, and if you feel like bursting into song about it, someone might even accompany you on the piano.
700 East 9th Street, 212-777-7022

Amor y Amargo / Prim & Proper
Restaurateur Ravi DeRossi’s teeny bar is an ode to all things bitter. The Prim & Proper is a citrusy blend of Bittermens grapefruit liqueur and sweet vermouth. However, as a friend pointed out, “it looks like iced tea.” Although it was recently taken off tap, A&A promises it will return shortly.
443 East 6th Street, 212-614-6817

Saxon + Parole / Manhattan $15
Naren Young drafts the mix of W.L. Weller 12-year bourbon, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and house-made leather bitters in a beer keg. To order, the mix is tapped, stirred with ice, then strained into a cocktail glass. The overflow is kept on crushed ice for a cold refill, along with a cured cherry and orange peel. Expensive, but impressive.
316 Bowery, 212-254-0350

Bourgeois Pig / Wine Spritzer $7
This East Village bar already has a whole section of the menu devoted to interesting wine cocktails. Now, just before the end of summer, it has introduced a spritzer on tap. The fruity concoction tastes like a blend of white wine and fruit punch, but at only seven bucks, the mammoth-size bowl is practically a steal.
111 East 7th Street, 212-475-2246

[Note, this post has been updated to reflect corrections: Janet and Avery Glasser of Bittermens, which is located in Dumbo, are no longer involved with the bar Amor y Amargo]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 27, 2012


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