Haute Summer Cocktails From Top NYC Restaurants

Not all the mixology action takes place in the Hamptons during the summer. City bartenders are keeping their Manhattan-bound weekday clientele very happy during happy hour with new signature cocktails and summery offerings. We asked a few watering holes to talk about what’s hot right now and to share a few recipes for their most popular cocktails


This tiny (14-seat) restaurant was an instant hit when it opened last year on the Lower East Side. Chef Luiz Arce Mota conjures up modern Mexican dishes, while mixologist Alex Valencia works his wizardry with agave, mezcal, and tequila. And ay, camamba! we want to try everything on the drinks menu. Here are two cocktails to sample, either at La Contenta, or at home.

Mezcal Avocado Margarita
Mezcal Avocado Margarita

102 Norfolk St.; (212) 432-4180; lacontentanyc.com

Mezcal Avocado Margarita
1/2 oz. cucumber juice
1/2 oz. jalapeño infused agave syrup
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. avocado purée
Pinch of cilantro
1 oz. Milagro silver tequila
1 oz. Montelobos joven Mezcal

Add the ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake for 8 seconds. Serve up or on the rocks. (Use the blender to make the cucumber juice and the avocado purée. Add a pinch of salt to the purée)

Mexican Firing Squad
Mexican Firing Squad

Mexican Firing Squad
2 oz. Milagro silver tequila.
1/2 oz. pomegranate syrup or EO pomegranate syrup.
3/4 oz. lime juice.
2-3 dashes of angostura bitters.

Combine the ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake for 8 seconds. Serve in a highball glass  Add ice, and balance with a Jarritos club soda (or any club soda). To garnish: Place a lime wheel on the rim.

ATRIO at Conrad New York 

It’s not surprising that the Atrio is an i-banker go-to—the sleek restaurant is in the Conrad Hotel, right next door to Goldman Sachs. On Thursdays this summer, Atrio will have live music with a DJ spinning from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. If you stop by make sure to order the St. James Guardsman. Or mix one up yourself:

St. James Guardsman
St. James Guardsman

102 North End Ave; (212) 945-0100; conradnewyork.com

St. James Guardsman
2 oz. Bombay Sapphire
1 oz. Grand Marnier
1/2 oz. Elderflower Cordial or St. Germain
2 oz. grapefruit juice
Splash of Prosecco

BULL & BEAR at the Waldorf Astoria New York

This iconic spot is a survivor—plowing through the Great Depression, a World War, and more recently, the Great Recession, with its business intact. B&B is now a favorite watering hole of Midtown’s financial elite, who come for the prime steaks and lobster, and the Waldorf salad, natch! The cocktail menu is seasonal with summer offerings including the Chamber Magic (Hendricks Gin, Earl Green Tea cordial, lemon), the Raspberry Push (Double Cross Vodka, Prosecco, fresh raspberries, lemon) and the Bronx, whose recipe is below:

The Bronx at The Waldorf Astoria's Bull and Bear
The Bronx at The Waldorf Astoria’s Bull and Bear

540 Lexington Ave.; 212-872-4900; bullandbearsteakhouse.com

1½ oz. Beefeater London
Dry Gin
½ oz. Cinzano Rosso
Sweet Vermouth
½ oz. Noilly Prat Extra
Dry Vermouth
1 oz. fresh orange juice
1 dash Regans’ Orange
Bitters No. 6 (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.