It’s a stone’s throw from Wall Street, but the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog isn’t your usual finance bro spot.
The Dead Rabbit — voted the world’s best bar in 2016 — is tucked away amongst the ferries at 30 Water St. in the Financial District. It boasts an extensive list of whiskies and 19th century-inspired cocktails and some rather unconventional decor.
The bartender, Melissa — one of three bartenders in the cramped space — was warm and welcoming on an unexpectedly bustling Monday night, where nary a seat was available. She was enthusiastic about serving me her favorite cocktail–the Old Mule Skinner.
The Old Mule Skinner is a concoction of Old Forester 100 proof bourbon, yellow chartreuse, papaya, lime, honey and Tiki bitters. It was refreshing and balanced, slightly sweet from the hint of honey yet earthy and warm thanks to the bourbon. I also tried the Perfect Lady Royale (Ketel One Citron vodka, peach, apricot, lime, jasmine, Moet & Chandon champagne), which was essentially a glorified–and much stronger — bellini. Melissa took her time crafting these drinks and they came out like works of art.
But however yummy the drinks, the Dead Rabbit is probably not the place to meet your future spouse, or even a new friend. The crowd felt extremely cliquey, as groups wandered in, ordered drinks and rarely strayed from their chosen spot in the bar. This parlor-style scene is meant to resemble a 19th-century taproom, with old-timey photos, strings of 50ml nips hanging from the wood-planked ceilings and hundreds of bills from around the world clinging to the walls, but is it also isolating.