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NYC's Top 5 Luxury Cocktail Bars For 2012

Isn't it time you treated yourself? Dress to the nines, stuff your wallet and head to these posh NYC bars for a taste of the high life. By Selena Ricks-Good.
Bar Pleiades
Credit: Bar Pleiades

Featuring a black and white decor inspired by Coco Chanel, this hotel bar adjacent to Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud is an Upper East Side gem. The cocktail menu here ranges from classic to seasonal to exotic. Settle into a white quilted booth and toast your fashionable taste with the Cornucopia (gin, Kirsch, apricot, sage and lemon) or the Fujian Cocktail (brandy, black tea-infused Cointreau, amaro, lemongrass distillate and Japanese bitters).

The Champagne Bar
Credit: Plaza Hotel

If you're looking for an opulent setting to kick back in, The Champagne Bar at The Plaza delivers, with soaring ceilings, upholstered furniture and gleaming chandeliers. In addition to high-end Champagne (a glass of Krug Grand Cuvee will set you back $42), The Champagne Bar also offers a small selection of Champagne cocktails. Try the Imperial Plaza (Blume Marillen Apricot eau-de-vie, clover honey syrup, lemon juice and Brut Champagne) or the Strawberry and Champagne Mojito (strawberries, mint bathed in Bacardi Light, lime juice and Brut Champagne). Wine, beer, coffee, tea and small gourmet plates round out the menu.

The World Bar
Credit: World Bar

An international crowd flocks here, given the proximity to the U.N., so don't be surprised if you overhear conversations on the latest in world affairs. Sip $12.50 cocktails such as the Havana Fizz (aged rum, Champagne, lime juice and muddled mint) or the World Peace Cocktail (gin, lemon juice, orgeat syrup, elderflower syrup and a dash of blue curacao), or if you're willing to part with $50, go for The World Cocktail (Remy XO, Pineau des Charentes, grape juice, lemon juice and bitters, topped with Veuve Cliquot Champagne and a drizzle of 23-carat edible liquid gold).

The King Cole Bar
King Cole Bar at the St. Regis

You'll feel like you're living large when you step onto the marble floors of the St. Regis Hotel lobby and head to the King Cole Bar. Featuring Maxfield Parrish's famous Old King Cole mural, the scene here is lavish, darkly-lit and  Old World. Legend has it that the Red Snapper, the original Bloody Mary, was spiced up for American drinkers here after originating in London, and today's version is still a popular choice. Other safe bets include a classic martini or Manhattan.

The Pearl Room

Swanky cocktails are served up on the second floor of the SHO Shaun Hergatt, one of the few posh cocktail lounges in the Financial District. Peruse the creative drink menu inspired by the French Asian cuisine of the adjacent restaurant, with cocktails such as the Zakuska (Bols Genever, horseradish and dzechuan pickled Satur farm beets) and the French 75 in Padua (Citadelle Gin, Aperol, blood orange juice and Prosecco).

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Selena Ricks-Good writes about drinks and produces events as The Dizzy Fizz.

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