I happened to be in New York a few weeks ago and was walking through a non-tourist section of the Midtown-South part of the City in the small Kips Bay neighborhood (on the line between Gramercy Park and Murray Hill neighborhoods) and I stumbled across a neighborhood bar calledWhiskey Rebel. I had just enough time before the next event and I was kind of parched with all of the walking, so I stepped in for a drink. The outside of the place is quite fetching with its bold red, black, and tan color scheme. The old-fashioned decor pretty much continues as you enter, with a very comfortable long bar and distressed brick walls. The website has some nice pictures. Since I got there during the middle of the afternoon there were only a few others in the place.
This being Manhattan, I ordered up a Manhattan. The base whiskey was Makers Mark (they asked if I wanted anything else) and it was poured into a generously sized Manhattan glass with little ice (the ice was left in the shaker) and a bit of orange peel, a cherry, bitters, and vermouth. This was a very generous drink and it was a really, really good Manhattan. Too often when I order up a Manhattan it gets lost in a full glass of ice. I don’t know that I’ve had a Makers Mark Manhattan, but with this ratio of whiskey to the glass I might prefer the Makers over a really good rye whiskey.
If you find yourself in this part of Manhattan, then I can recommend Whiskey Rebel. A related bar, Whiskey Trader Bar & Lounge can be found at a more approachable location: 71 West 55th Street between 6th and 5th Avenues just three blocks south and a half block west of the Plaza Hotel.
129 Lexington Ave. between 28th and 29th Street
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday to Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 a.m.