Cocktails in New York's financial district

When I was in New York for Manhattan Cocktail Classic, Alex Day and Dave Kaplan's new venture Demi Monde had just had a soft opening, and I was looking forward to check it out. The financial disctrict is definitely not known as a cocktail destination, but I finally managed to transport myself down there - just to find out that it was closed because of a power failure. I was told to come back the next day, but for some reason I didn't think it was worth the effort...

Fast forward to mid July, when I had decided to spend an extended stopover in New York, to prepare my liver for Tales of the Cocktail. This time, I was also aware of another recently opened and intriguing bar in the area - The Growler Bites & Brews - which made it even more interesting to travel down south.

The Growler is more of a pub, with lots of craft beer and greasy grub like burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and so on. However, they also have a nice selection of cocktails - some of them are barrel-aged or on tap - and on weekends they offer an unlimited 'build your own Bloody Mary bar' which I unfortunately didn't get to try... two recommended drinks are Gin Salty Dog (Bulldog gin, grapefruit juice, triple sec, Carpano Antica, citrus salt) and Dead Rabbit Punch. In conclusion, The Growler is a great addition to the area and definitely worth a visit.

The Growler Bites & Brews
55 Stone Street

Demi Monde is located on Broad Street, but just to confuse people (?) the entrance is on Stone Street. Walk down the stairs and you have the bar to the left and a rather spacious room with red walls, dark wooden panels and black leather sofas to the right.

They have developed a selection of house sodas, which can be had with or without alcohol - and I decided to try Celery spiked with gin (vodka is also suggested in the menu). Almost overly sweet, but quite fresh and fizzy - not bad! Next time I will try the Strawberry Tarragon soda, but I will probably keep away from Pineapple Coconut Egg Cream... other drinks to try out while nibbling on the cherry wood smoked almonds or one of the caviars on offer are Cut & Paste (eau de vie de pomme, Irish whiskey, honey, bitters, absinthe mist) and Wolf Tone (pisco, grappa, elderflower, eucalyptus, bitters). Great stuff, but I'm not sure about the burlesque performances, though...

Demi Monde
90 Broad Street (entrance on Stone Street)

In the making since more than two and a half years, construction has finally begun at The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog on Water Street, close to both The Growler and Demi Monde. It's the brainchild of Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, who left the Connoisseur's Club at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast to try their luck overseas - and the few sneak peeks made available to the public are very tantalising indeed. Named after an 1860's street gang of Irish immigrants, once open customers can expect a combination of Irish pub culture and sophisticated cocktails spread over three floors. Can't wait to check it out!

The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog Preview of mixed drinks list
30 Water Street

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