Most New York apartments are barely big enough to house a queen-sized bed, much less entertain a crowd of people. For this reason (and many more), New Yorkers have perfected the art of the cocktail lounge. Dark, sexy and mysterious, a good cocktail bar often hits a few marks: high-quality ingredients, bartenders who care, and possibly a hidden location known only to the most adventurous imbibers.
From places like Dead Rabbit, a two-story speakeasy in the Financial District with over 72 cocktails on the menu, to Pouring Ribbons, a joint with a dedication to chartreuse and a laid-back atmosphere, the city's best cocktail lounges don't disappoint.
If you're looking more for lounge-y ambiance than a perfectly crafted beverage, you'd do well to check out Rockwood Music Hall. A cozy space that packs a big crowd, the music changes hourly, so you can settle in for an evening of live entertainment to match your drink(s) of choice.
Though it can be difficult to know what you're looking for when you're in a new city, this list will point you in the right direction, down a few staircases and back into a few dark alleyways to uncover the best cocktail lounges in the Big Apple.