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The 3 Best Cocktail Bars in Harlem

As redevelopment breathes new life into Harlem, the nightlife scene is also getting a boost with new restaurants and bars. While the current speakeasy trend may have started downtown, Harlem was once a haven for underground drinking in the '20s and '30s. Head to these cocktail bars for a taste of uptown living. By Selena Ricks-Good.
67 Orange
Credit: Gotham Public Relations

67 Orange Street

2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY
(212) 662-2030

This cozy candlelit brick bar opened by Karl Franz Williams in 2008 was one of the first to introduce crafty cocktails to Harlem. Named after one of the first black-owned bars in NYC, 67 Orange Street offers an impressive menu of vintage-inspired drinks. Try the Upper Manhattan (Rittenhouse Bonded Rye, Carpano Antica, Angostura Bitters, orange bitters and a brandied cherry) or Cleopatra's Lust ( Plymouth Gin, Green Chartreuse, coconut water, honey liqueur, lime juice, orange juice, egg white, sugar and cream).

Red Rooster
Credit: Rooster Harlem

Red Rooster

310 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY
(212) 792-9001

This hot new restaurant from chef Marcus Samuelsson is named after one of Harlem's legendary speakeasies. Naturally, the bar has a strong presence here, with a cocktail list by mixologist Moses Laboy. Check out The Brownstoner (nutmeg-infused bourbon, Cherry Heering and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur) or The Spicy Lady (Plymouth Gin, jalapeno-rosemary syrup, lemon juice and Creole bitters).

Hudson River Cafe
Credit: Hudson River Cafe

Hudson River Cafe

697 W. 133rd St.
New York, NY
(212) 491-9111

Underneath the Hudson River Bridge with a brick patio overlooking the water, this nightlife gem opened in 2007 offers a sprawling, vibrant party atmosphere. A variety of sangrias and mojitos are available by the pitcher, or try the Roc a Basil (Ciroc Vodka with muddled basil and strawberries) or It's Thyme to Party (Hennessy Black muddled with pineapple and thyme).

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

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