Your NYC cocktail tour starts in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, a site that’s famed for being the gathering place for political radicals and socialists, as well as the city’s immigrant poor — an appropriate place to begin since so much of NYC’s cocktail culture was invented by these very same people.
The East Village of New York was once an immigrant neighborhood, but today is one of the prime nightlife districts of the city, with great restaurants, bars, and theatres — and you’ll discover the best local haunts and hidden corners. On the tour, you’ll visit three of New York City’s best cocktail bars, where you’ll sample drinks, meet the people behind the bars, and learn how their craft cocktails are made.
Along the way, you’ll hear stories of how the modern cocktail came to be, how prohibition in America affected the bar scene, and how cocktails are enjoying a resurgence as a result of the craft distilling and cocktail movement.
They’ll keep the discussion going with visits to the sites of former speakeasies (hidden illegal bars that operated during the prohibition era) and share tales of the gangsters and politicians that kept the liquor flowing despite the 18th Amendment.
You’ll also swing by New York’s premier wine and spirits store, Astor Wines, where their expert guides can help you pick out the perfect boozy souvenir to take home with you after the tour. They’ll show you what to look for when buying different spirits and will highlight the new local micro-distillers that have opened up over the last several years and are producing delicious whiskeys, rums, vodkas, and gins.
In between stops you’ll learn all about the East Village, its history, and what is happening there today, including where to eat, drink, and play.