Last week Guest of a Guest listed its favorite cocktail bars in the city, and today “Tiki” Adam Kolesar (an eccentric who keeps sixty varieties of rum at a home bar that’s made from an Airstream trailer) gives Frank Bruni a list of his favorites. All of these places are very good, but they’re not for everyone. Take the Mulberry Project, for instance: Without a cocktail menu, you have to tell the waiter what ingredients you’re in the mood for, so he can convey them to the bartender. Only when the bill comes do you realize that some of the drinks cost more than others — no explanation offered. Why should you pay $15 for one cocktail and $17 for another when all you asked for was “something with tequila” in one instance and “something else with tequila” in the other? Who knows, but some people are okay with this.
For everyone else, there are the bartenders who chat you up about something other than your preference in bitters and are generous enough to buy you the occasional round. In a slideshow today, Gothamist presents a refreshingly mixologist-free list of the best five barkeeps in New York City, including our two favorites, hands down: Lucy of Lucy’s and Sunny of Sunny’s.