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The Summit (located at 133 Avenue C between 8th and 9th), offers a cool, laid-back atmosphere where young professionals can meet to experience the latest mixology trends. Exposed brick-walls lit by candles, hanging lights in old liquor glasses, and three decorative chandeliers give The Summit a romantic ambiance that is sophisticated and casual, yet not pretentious. It’s small and cozy, with the bar spanning its length, from the entrance to the back.
We began by trying two drinks from their small but diverse cocktail menu: Lions in London and The John Lee Hooker. The first was a mixture of Bombay Saphire East Gin infused with Rooibos tea, Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, Summit orange bitters, and the second a mixture of Peet Monster Scotch, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, fresh lemon, orange and sasparilla bitters, topped with Hop Stoopid Beer. Our bartender, Demetrius, was attentive, talkative, and, most importantly, really good at his job. Watching him make drinks was like watching an apothecary or mathematician who has memorized every unique formula; even the way he folded the orange peel into my Lions in London was an art form. He also made sure to point out the dark marks on the brick behind us. Hurricane Sandy had left her water mark two and a half feet from the floor along the entire wall.
For our next round of drinks we tried Born n’ Raised and The Gov’nor. We sipped on The Gov’nor, which had Yamazaki 12 Year Whisky, toasted cardamom infused agave, Japanese yuzu, and fresh orange juice. Born n’ Raised, which we actually preferred, is made with Honey Bush Tea Infused Oak Cross Scotch, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, agave, and orange bitters.
Our fifth and final drink (on the house!) was called Breakin’ the Law. Don Amando Mexcal Reposado, Dimmi Italian Cordial, fresh lime, chipotle chili agave, Summit orange bitters, and cucumber. The chipotle chili agave added a perfect combo of spicy and sweet. Breakin’ the Law was definitely the most interesting drink of the evening; it was also our bartender’s favorite.
We happened to visit The Summit on a a Dj night, and I appreciated that we could have a conversation over the Chairlift, The Cardigans, and Phoenix tunes he played. This bar is definitely the place to be for a mid-week date. On weekends, though, with no cover and no reservations needed, it fills up quickly. Arrive early to nab a seat at the bar–watching the mixologist at work is as exciting as having the drinks themselves.