Picture this: it’s a Friday night in New York City, and there’s plenty of available on-street parking. The calendar still reads August, which means anyone who’s anyone is in Mykonos or Montauk, and the city feels a bit deserted. If one cares to try a trendy new eatery or get through a notoriously stringent late-night door policy, this would be the perfect time.  However, while we at OR have been known to clutch a Tito’s-and-seltzer while cutting a rug well into the morning hours on a Tuesday night in early February, we tend to prefer a bit more sophistication with our libations in peak summer (think rooftop rosé or poolside jalapeño margaritas). But when the temperatures escalate and a high-powered HVAC system is on the menu, TriBeCa’s Brandy Library is our top pick for an elegant digestif.

With lofty bookshelves bedecked by the world’s finest spirits and accompanying rolling ladders reminiscent of Ivy League libraries, this long-standing downtown institution is known for it’s encyclopedic menu of high-end elixirs. From Christian Drouin to Pappy Van Winkle, the list of spirits reads like an overwhelmingly thorough who’s-who of global distilleries. Still more intriguing than the menu itself is the goldmine of knowledge that can be gleaned from the staff. Sip any favorite that suits you, or saddle up to the bar and let its tender* take you on an intoxicating international adventure.

With plenty of cozy seating and more than one shadowy corner, Brandy Library is a perfect date night decision, and though on-street parking may be abundant, we recommend leaving the driving to the pros (there’s an app for that).

*expert tip: ask about Japanese distillers if you care to score some bonus points with the handsome foreign bartender, and watch as he produces a copy of Whisky Rising just like magic.


photos: Brandy Library, Greenwich Hotel