Salsa, cigars, vintage cars and sultry bars… Cuba has hit the headlines again, following the death of former president Fidel Castro, and has become a must-visit travel destination. Fitting then, that one of NY’s nattiest new drinking dens is a swellegant homage to the American bars transplanted to Cuba during Prohibition.
Saunter to waterfront Pier A – where the thirsty once flocked to board new-fangled flying boats for tipples in Havana – and you’ll find BlackTail, named after an early aviation outfit which pioneered the route to Cuba. The Irish team behind acclaimed The Dead Rabbit (Belfast émigrés Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry) is behind this sophisti sip spot, continuing their quest to create the world’s best cocktail bars.
Wow-deco decor immediately transports you to Cuba inside, featuring dark wood-lined walls, wicker chairs, olive leather banquettes, ornate globe pendants and lush plants. An impressive Spanish-colonial painting backdrops the bar, alongside stained glass, murals and old photos of the Caribbean island’s heyday.
No less than 50 period cocktails pair with hispanic mouthfuls like Sugarcane Gulf Shrimp, the stuff-of-legend Cuban sandwich or Tres Leches Cake. Choose from highballs, punches, soars and old-fashioneds, replicating authentic 1920s to 50s drinks from Cuba’s American bars but given a savvy contempo spin. Ride the house-blended rum train with a Rum and Cola, American Southside (Mojito), Daiquiri or El Presidente. It’s a great spot to ring in the New Year, amigos!BlackTail / 2/F / Pier A / 22 Battery Pl / +1 212 785 0153 / 5pm-2am daily / blacktailnyc.com