Our Favorite Williamsburg Bars (Video)

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere and let’s be honest, you can no longer avoid Williamsburg. If you are already a Brooklynite, put your shoes on and bring your thirst. For you city folk, take the L train for a quickie and get ready for an alcohol adventure. (Not that the L train isn’t an adventure in and of itself!)

Williamsburg has gotten a bad rap, branded as a hipster destination, but with new bars, restaurants and boutique hotels virtually popping up weekly, it’s worth taking the time to form your own opinion. We recommend starting sooner than later. Summer will be here before you know it, so if you do the research now, you will be first in line to take a boat ride to Brooklyn and head directly to your watering hole of choice for delicious drinks and amazing city views. Not that you have to take our word for it (you really should), but we did the research (it was a tough job), and these are six of our favorite places to tie one on (in no particular order). Cheers!

I. Allswell

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Can’t wait for the weekend? You don’t have to, Allswell serves brunch everyday starting at 10am. You immediately feel at home as soon as you walk through the door and into the cozy, comfortable, quaintly decorated, open space. And, since we’re being honest, brunch is not just an excuse to see friends and gossip about Friday and Saturday night, it’s an excuse to drink before noon. So you don’t have to wait until Sunday to get your Bloody Mary on. They rock the classic, but since this is an alcohol adventure, you may want to try a Sangre Del Toro, which is their twist on a Bloody Maria. Nothing like some spicy tequila to get your day started. If you are more of a delicate drinker, and want to ease into your spirits, try the Apropos, which brightens up bubbles by adding an herbal aperitivo and some aperol to a glass of prosecco.

Here, Britt from Allswell shows us the simple steps to make a Sangre Del Toro and an Apropos.

Click here for the full Sangre Del Toro recipe.

Click here for the full Apropos recipe.

Be sure to make friends with the staff and go back for happy hour, dinner or late night cocktails. Allswell is an anytime, everyday triple threat for fun, food and adult beverages. (Please note: you must be 21 to consume said adult beverages, but Allswell is also kid friendly so… no excuses!)

Allswell

II. The Gibson

Gibson

Just down the block on N. 11th St. is your very own neighborhood local. As soon as you enter the warm inviting corner bar, you will be greeted with a friendly face and made to feel like you belong (even if you don’t live in the hood!). The Gibson has an emphasis on their extra large whiskey list, which focuses on American whiskey, and also offer a rotating craft beer menu on 14 taps. If you are new to whiskey, there are plenty of options to whet your palate. If you are warming up to the hard stuff you can try one of their barrel-aged cocktails or we would suggest one of their signature cocktails, like the North Eleventh Social Club. This drink uses a high-rye bourbon, along with amaro, dry vermouth and some orange bitters, to sweeten your mouth and warm your heart.

Watch Cory below as he walks us through the North Eleventh Social Club at  The Gibson.

Click here for the full North Eleventh Social Club recipe.

The Gibson has 2 large TV screens and a backyard that is open when the weather permits. Look out for whiskey events coming soon… Make yourself at home here, let the bartenders remember your name, and enjoy the casual vibe.

The Gibson

III. The Shanty

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A welcome escape from the often people-plussed Bedford Avenue and a quick skip from the Lorimer stop, The Shanty is a quiet hidden gem that is connected to the New York Distilling Company (and literally connected to their gin distillery as well). Go off the beaten path, stay for the gin! The eye pleasing industrial space opens at 6pm during the week and is the perfect place to bring a date or just enjoy a fine cocktail. How many other bars can offer you three (soon to be four) different spirits made on site? Choose from their own Perry’s Tot – Navy Strength Gin, Dorothy Parker – American Gin, or Chief Gowanus – New Netherland Gin, and look for their soon to be available American Rye. We fell in love with signature cocktail, 50 Fathoms, that uses the Perry’s Tot gin, green Chartreuse, Cocchi Americano, and bitters, to give you a real kick.

Nate, from The Shanty, makes a 50 Fathoms for us in the video below.

Click here for the full 50 Fathoms recipe.

The Shanty has a full bar, snacks and offers free tours of the distillery on the weekends starting at 3 pm. Who knew your alcohol adventure would also be educational? After the weekend tours, stay for live music or just sip your pink gin, enjoy the glass-walled view and gaze directly into the distillery itself. What is pink gin, you ask? Take the trip and see for yourself…

The Shanty

IV. Bar Below Rye

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Chances are pretty good that if you’ve been to Williamsburg then you’ve more than enjoyed a brunch or dinner or more, at Rye. However, you may not yet know about the Bar Below Rye (BBR). Open 7 until late, it’s the perfect place to head after you’ve filled your belly or just make a destination all on it’s own. Venture downstairs into the modern saloon-styled space, covered in gorgeous reclaimed wood, with moody lighting and a live DJ. Our drink pick to begin is the Rye Stirred. This is what happens when a classic Manhattan meets a Sazerac. You don’t have to think twice to say yes to that.

To see Casey, one of the bartenders at Rye and Bar Below Rye, make a Rye Stirred, watch the video below.

Click here for the full Rye Stirred recipe.

BBR is a great space for a party or event and has an $8 late night menu so you can indulge in some delicious snacks to help absorb the alcohol that has accumulated along the way on your adventure. Oh and trust us (clearly by now you realize that we would never steer you wrong), order two of the crack sprouts (oops, I mean brussel sprouts!), we are addicted.

Bar Below Rye

V. Extra Fancy

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Do you want a fancy cocktail without having to dress the part and walk up to an intimidating mixologist and feel like you don’t belong? We recommend Extra Fancy. Isn’t it ironic (sorry, had to do it)? Designed to invoke a casual beach boardwalk, it will certainly get you longing for warm weather. The food menu zeros in on New England fare while the well-thought-out cocktail list stirs even more to the mix with sexy, jaunty names like, One More, That’s It, or Third Base. If you have enough, who knows, you may even get lucky (wink wink). One of our faves is the, “Baby, You’re Driving”; bison grass vodka, grapefruit cordial, Lillet and lime juice.

In the video below, Danny at Extra Fancy, shows how to make signature cocktail, Baby, You’re Driving.

Click here for the full Baby, You’re Driving recipe.

The super fun staff will always show you a good time, and be sure to check out the outdoor space as soon as the beach weather returns.

Extra Fancy

VI. Skinny Dennis

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What has a boar on the ceiling, a rubber chicken in a cage, Willie Nelson behind the bar and Hank Williams Jr. in pearls? If you guessed Skinny Dennis, you are the winner! Well actually, just go to Skinny Dennis and you win! That is correct, honky tonk in Brooklyn. Open everyday at noon (not that we’ve ever been there drinking that early…), Skinny Dennis is the bar to put your feet up, throw your peanut shells on the floor and drink a coffee. Yes, coffee. Willie’s Frozen coffee, a sweet, creamy, slushy, boozy breakfast beverage to be consumed anytime of day. After you’re caffeinated, you should slip into the down home southern vibe and drink a Bourbon Mint Sweet Tea (FYI it’s light on the tea).

You can get a Bourbon Mint Sweet Tea from Diana, a bartender from Skinny Dennis. Watch below to see her make one for us.

Click here for the full Bourbon Mint Sweet Tea recipe.

From there, if you can still stand, we leave you on your own. Lucky for you there is also an old school Ms. Pac-Man arcade, and a killer juke box to keep you busy until the band shows up at 9pm (4pm on weekends). Rock out to country tunes every night and repeat tomorrow!

Skinny Dennis

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