Kiss the cold goodbye with these spring-inspired sippers from our favorite spots around the city. From light to dark and floral to spicy, our haute five cocktails of the season speak to every palate. Let the 5 o'clock countdown begin.
1. Santina | Salerno Sling
Gin, blood orange, cherry, basic stock
Cocktail master Thomas Waugh is known for not only his inventive bar menus, but also his ability to channel the individual personalities of Major Food Group's various NYC hotspots through his craft. The latest from the Carbone/Zalaznick/Torrisi empire sits proudly beneath the High Line, a glass menagerie of perpetual summer inspired by the traditions and coastal feel of southern Italy with an arsenal of colorful dishes and cocktails true to their roots. Though difficult to choose just one, our obsession of the season combines the unofficial cold-to-warm weather fruit of the region with a hint of cherry and the perfect base spirit. Attaché Insider: with floor-to-ceiling windows in one of NYC's most dynamic neighborhoods, Santina is the perfect spot for simultaneous cocktail sipping and people watching.
2. NoMad | The Gilsey
London dry gin, pale cream sherry, Cocchi Americano, Kirschwasser, green chartreuse, orange bitters
Nothing says spring like a lightly floral and herbaceous cocktail. This crystal clear beauty comes a bit dressed down, free of garnish and brazenly bare in a tall, fine coupe. The flavor profile decoded: dry gin as a base makes way for the sweetness of the cream sherry, embraced by notes of cherry and bitter almond characteristic of Kirschwasser. Green chartreuse adds an herbal, vegetal bouquet of anise, violet, spearmint, and basil with a mellow finish, brightened by orange bitters for a multilayered yet balanced sip from start to finish. Attaché Insider: start the night off with one of these, but don't leave without a signature NoMad tiki drink. With a menu as diverse as the recipes themselves, it's clear that bar director Chris Lowder knows his way around any palate.
3. Cafe Clover | Tropic Thunder
Appleton Reserve, pineapple, lime, coconut water cube, dried chili pepper
Let's face it: Cafe Clover's entire menu sings in any season. Springtime calls for a number of flavors and notes, and this particular cocktail covers all ends of the spectrum. Falling into what we call the "evolving cocktail" category, the initial sip gives a completely different flavor profile and mouthfeel than the last as the coconut ice dilutes the drink and the chili pepper's kick becomes more and more intense the longer it sits. A thrilling ride, if we do say so ourselves. Attaché Insider: keep an eye out for partner and NY nightlife guru David Rabin, whose infectious charm and industry savvy make him the man to know.
4. Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE | Bon Voyage
Spiced tequila, mezcal, banana, lemon, egg white
With an ever-rotating menu and visiting chef program, Chefs Club maintains balance in the form of Anthony Bohlinger's standout bar program. Tenured tried-and-true cocktails remain a staple on the bar menu (albeit with a spin), making way for a handful of seasonal cocktails designed to accentuate featured chefs' signature dishes yet still shine on their own. Take this egg white cocktail, for example: spiced tequila and mezcal combine for a well-rounded base of smoky salinity, rounded out by the soft creaminess of the banana and the texture of the perfectly shaken egg white. Attaché Insider: with one of the most diverse tasting menu programs in the city, it's worth the full experience. Be sure to book a seat in the Studio.
5. ZZ's Clam Bar | Sarsaparilla
Spanish rum, derelict spices, amontillado sherry
Any cocktail that's served in a vintage pirate flask is good in our book. Thomas Waugh strikes again with this old school concoction, best enjoyed late-night in celebration of access granted by the ever-austere doorman. With more cocktails than seats in the intimate space, choosing just one makes for a tough endeavor -- that's where we come in. ZZ's "Sarsaparilla" is unlike any other, boasting complexity on both the nose and mouth with a smooth, slightly effervescent finish and sultry spice throughout. Sherry might just be our new springtime muse. Attaché Insider: be sure to sit at the bar seat closest to the wall for the best view in the house.