Connoisseurs and spirit enthusiasts around the world better get their drinking hats on to celebrate the official 2019 World Cocktail Day on May 13, 2019. The date has been celebrated in watering holes across the globe for years, commemorating the anniversary of the very first mention of the word ‘cocktail’ all the way back in 1806.
The first publication to do so was the now-defunct New York-based magazine ‘The Balance and Columbian Repository’, which coined the term ‘cocktail’ to describe “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters.”
Since that fateful day, the American liquor market has ballooned into a $257 billion giant, with the sale of cocktails making up a significant portion of it. There are countless hot spots across the US where you can find a truly unforgettable cocktail, but for World Cocktail Day, only the very best will do.
Here’s where you can find the best cocktails in the main party capitals of America…..
NEW YORK: THE DEAD RABBIT GROCERY AND GROG
When it comes to celebrating WCD the best way possible, you literally can’t do any better than The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in Lower Manhattan. This eclectic, eccentric, and downright weird watering hole was literally ranked as the best bar on Earth according to the closely-watched 50 Best Bars Guide, published every year.
Despite being surrounded by towering 21st-century monuments to the super-rich, this cozy establishment is designed to look and feel like a rough turn-of-the-century Water Street dive bar. Their expertly-crafted menu consists of 72 historically accurate drinks that were popular a century ago, and we’d recommend all of them.
If you only stop by for one, try the Flash Point, a dizzying concoction of Pineau des Charentes, Irish whiskey, gentian, raspberry, orange, lemon, and Belgian sour ale.
LAS VEGAS: THE CHANDELIER LOUNGE
Not so long ago, Las Vegas was more closely associated with chugging kegs of beer and champagne bottles with sparklers attached. These days the original City of Sin is a more refined place, a fact reflected by their burgeoning cocktail scene. If you’re in town on May 13th, then the one place you truly have to stop by is The Chandelier Lounge atop the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino.
Here you’ll find heart-stopping views, unparalleled opulence, and the most celebrated drinks in town. What’s more, this place is a genuine casino bar, where patrons can play a few rounds of poker, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack between sips.
This is a place where the real high rollers congregate, so make sure you’re prepared by working on your blackjack skills. Confusingly, there are several variants of the game available, but there’s an explanatory Betway blackjack guide available, which should come in useful to help you avoid looking like a rookie in front of the big boys. You’ll probably need to win a few rounds if you want to spend the night drinking there.
Their USP is their small menu of signature cocktails, the best of which is the Alice in Wonderland-themed ‘We’re All Mad Here‘, a gin-based potion which starts off blue but changes colors as you drink it, with the added effect of making your tongue tingle.
LOS ANGELES: THE CHESTNUT CLUB
The elegant Chestnut Club is the social epicenter of the Santa Monica set, and the ideal place to load up on a few cocktails before hitting up the now-thriving local club scene. The whole place has a distinctly old-Hollywood gentleman’s club vibe, without any of the smoke and sleaze. While the dark oak paneling would suggest a dingy decor, the large French windows on the exterior wall let in plenty of sunlight, as well as stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
This is a place that takes their craft very seriously, which is perhaps best demonstrated by the small and ever-changing menu. They have a few staples which are always available and the expert bartenders will happily throw together anything you want and ensure it’s the best version of it you’ve ever tasted.
If you’re swinging by on WCD, then you’ll want to try Diamondback Lounge, a three-ingredient drink consisting of rye, Applejack, and yellow Chartreuse. Trust us, you’ll only need one.
MIAMI: THE BROKEN SHAKER
Miami’s now legendary Broken Shaker started off as a pop-up cocktail truck (is there anything more Miami?) before settling into a permanent home at the high-end Freehand Hotel. It has since gone on to bag numerous awards and has become an institution for both locals and tanked-up spring breakers looking for somewhere to kick back after a heavy night at Miami Beach.
If you’re going to come for the cocktails, you’ll definitely want to stay for the courtyard, which feels like a genuine slice of paradise. The intimate courtyard is set around a Moroccan fountain, surrounded by palm trees and dramatic twists of ivy, and is the kind of place you could genuinely spend a lifetime.
The drinks are, of course, second to none. Their menu is filled with Cuban classics, but if you only try one drink make sure it’s the Surfer Blood, made with Ron Zacapa, Agricole rum, Pamplemousse, Averna, Angostura, and chocolate bitters.
If you’re lucky enough to be in one of these cities on World Cocktail Day, now you know where to go. Just make sure you head there early if you hope to grab a seat.