Last fall I had the luck to go back to New York. As always, finding good drinks was high on my list. Far and away the best ones I had while I was there were at Dutch Kills, the semi-remote (by NYC standards) bar in Queens.
The only visible indication that you have found the right place is the simple neon BAR sign outside. It was extremely quiet on the Tuesday evening when I visited, which meant that the bartenders were largely hanging out and shooting the shit. However, service was still extremely prompt.
Over the course of the evening, I had three different drinks, all constructed from vague desires - "something dry-ish with rhum agricole", "a Negroni variant", and "another Negroni variant". Much to my amazement, every single one was fabulous.
#1 - blanc rhum agricole, Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, bitters, and lemon peel
#2 - rye whiskey, Gran Classico, Cardamaro, sweet vermouth, Campari
#3 - Bowmore 12 Year, sweet vermouth, Campari, and chocolate bitters
As someone who mostly makes cocktails at home and tends to be picky about how other people make them, Dutch Kills is easily one of the best experiences I have ever had going out for mixed drinks. If you live in New York or have occasion to visit, you owe it to yourself to take the 7 train and visit Dutch Kills. You will not be disappointed.
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