"Recalling certain gentlemen of other days, who made of drinking one of the pleasures of life - not one of its evils; and who whatever they drank, proved able to carry it, keep their heads, and remain gentlemen, even in their cups. Their example is commended to their posterity." - abridged from The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book by A.S. Crockett
The above is the bulk of the text from the menu at NYiR's favorite fancy cocktail bar, Little Branch. Nice website right? It matches the other eye-catching aspects of this look-at-me bar. Namely, there's no sign (just a plaque that looks like it belongs outside your dentist) and that it's just a black door on a random street corner (featured above). If you can find it though you descend into a cozy, upscale parlor with sometimes live sometimes good old recordings of jazz and the best cocktails in Manhattan.
The bartenders are impeccably dressed and are excellent at what they do. Avoid the menu and just play Mad Libs. For example, "Hello there [name of impeccably dressed individual]. I would like to order a [liqour] based cocktail that features [your favorite color, season, sports team, whatever you want]." They will nod and a few minutes later produce heaven in a glass. I went for scotch and "something minty or spring-like" the other night and received a scotch-ade which was a mint, cucumber, scotch concoction that would best be served on a cool day in May.
I admit that the deliciousness comes at a price. $12. But it's the sort of alcoholic beverage that is worth $12. I recommend going here before going out for a night, on the early side, with a small number of people or just one friend. It's that cozy and precious. Like you. And Knut the polar bear.