Since its opening a couple of years ago, Copper & Oak has established itself as the downtown place, par excellence, to explore a stunning variety of spirits without the pretension. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard only good things. The little sister to TriBeCa’s The Brandy Library, it boasts a wide (if not comparable) selection of brown spirits—whiskey, brandy, rum, tequila & mezcal—available in 1oz and 2 oz pours. This allows you to create any combination of flights or tastings, according to your own whims, or the recommendation of the expert bar staff.
Copper & Oak’s approach to drinking is rather purist. Rumor has it they won’t serve you anything in your spirit beyond ice, water, soda, or a simple mixer like ginger. The point is to explore the spirits in their most basic form, getting to know and enjoy them as they are before you gussy them up with bitters and Vermouth. Like On the Rocks, Copper & Oak is the place to hang out for a bit while you figure out what you like, or find new whiskeys to love. —Julia Ritz Toffoli