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 theaters — and we’re taking you to discover the best local haunts and hidden corners.
We start out at a drinking fountain dedicated by a temperance advocate who extolled the virtues of water over whiskey. But don’t worry, we’re not going to listen to him. Instead, we’re taking you to visit three of New York City’s best cocktail bars, where we sample drinks, find out about the people behind the bars, and learn how their craft cocktails are made.
Along the way, 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.
We 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.
When possible, we also swing by New York’s premier wine and spirits store, Astor Wines, where our expert guides can help you pick out the perfect boozy souvenir to take home with you after the tour. We show you what to look for when buying different spirits and 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 learn all about the East Village, its history, and what is happening there today, including where to eat, drink, and play.
(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our New York Craft Cocktail group tour.)
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, 3 cocktails.
Exclusions: Additional food and drink, bottles of spirits, souvenirs, tips and gratuities for the guide
Dress standard: Dress should be appropriate for a night out. Please avoid wearing shorts, baseball hats, t-shirts, or flip-flop (thong) sandals.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. In an effort to eliminate waste, we recommend that you upload your voucher on a mobile device. We do not need a physical copy of your voucher. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher. Be sure to have your photo ID.
Child Policy: Travellers under 21 years of age are not permitted to join this tour.