If your date orders their gin fizz “silver” and you ask the waiter for the same, do you know what you’re getting yourself into? Whether your answer is “No” or “I do, and it’s egg-cellent,” the best place to try it out is a candlelit booth at the West Village’s Little Branch. So dark you can’t see your shoes and so small it’s always kind of loud, this underground spot specializes in perfect executions of traditional American drinks. The menu is split into sections (fizz, collins, etc.); you just pick your liquor and how you want it served. House cocktails are a treat, too, but it’s the simpler selections that impress most, since they get butchered almost everywhere else. Just like in the old days, it’s cash-only, and although there’s no dress code, it wouldn’t hurt to get a little spiffy. After all, who wouldn’t want to sip the Platonic ideal of a cocktail in actual cocktail attire?
20 Seventh Avenue South, Manhattan