New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
A temple to all things cognac-related, this is a bar that cares about the finer things, a bar where the details matter. Filled with welcoming leather chairs and tottering bottle-lined shelves (the wait staff often require a ladder to pick your particular brand from its perch), it’s a sophisticated yet relaxed place to unwind after work or to make a destination of if you’re serious about your brandies. This is a mature place for mature drinkers and, as in any decent library, good manners and restrained behaviour are expected. Reservations are encouraged and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays group parties are limited to a maximum of six guests. The drinks menu is a glorious thing, brick-thick and bursting with rare cognacs and an eclectic array of spirits, as well as more than 100 cocktails. If the choice is a little overwhelming, the Brandy Library’s very own spirit sommeliers are on hand to help drinkers select the perfect libation, as well as providing a colourful account of the history and craftsmanship that has gone into creating it. And if the library vibe has got you in the mood for a bit of light studying, the bar also has an actual library of books on all things spirit-related, so you can extend your knowledge even further. There’s no ambient music here. It’s jazz on the iPod, mixed with live jazz nights on Mondays, when Joel Forrester is on the piano from eight till midnight. Weekend tasting sessions add to this venue’s appeal and their renowned spirit school seminars are well worth checking out.
What their pays say
This aptly named bar has an encyclopedic collection of brown spirits surrounding the room. The seating is modeled on a gentlemen’s club library. The drinks created by Ethan Kelly are inspired. Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown of Mixellany Ltd.