With springtime in full swing, I think it might be a good time to address the practice of daytime drinking. And while I suppose any season is an appropriate time of year to drink during the day—though, frankly, I happen to be partial to winter—springtime seems particularly suited for those languorous and lovely afternoons that turn into evenings that turn into ohmygodyou'veclosedthebar, you total lush, kind of nights.
This can be one of the best ways to pass the days, though you do need to be careful not to let it happen too often. Daytime drinking is special precisely because it is a luxury—a respite from the tedium of your regular schedule. But everyone needs to escape once in awhile, even if it's just to the bottom of some spectacular drink like the Green-Go from Tooker Alley. The Green-Go is a blend of tequila, lime, tomatillo, and verjus and is a refreshing riff on a Bloody Mary. And while Tooker Alley doesn't open until 5 pm, I had to include this drink on the list, because both the drink and the bar are just that good. Besides, day drinking is all about bending the rules, isn't it? I like to think so anyway.
Perhaps the perfect neighborhood bar, South is located in Park Slope and offers plenty of beer on tap and in the bottle, a comprehensive selection of whiskey and rye, and the kind of bar food (grilled cheese, PB &J) that will ameliorate any of the negative effects of daytime drinking. South has a backyard and a jukebox and the kind of bartenders who are a joy to sit around with and shoot the shit. Whether you go in solo or with friends, you won't ever feel alone. It's an excellent place to get a mid-afternoon buzz and play around on a jukebox.
This is the place to go if you want to feel as decadent as possible while you're indulging in your daytime drinks. You're in good hands at Clover Club, rest assured that the bartender will anticipate the kind of drink you want, even before you've figured it out yourself. Just the other day, my bartender Pedro—knowing I like bourbon—made me something called a Barrymore Room. It was a blend of bourbon, muddled strawberries, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, and egg whites. It was exactly what I
wanted needed. Pair your drinks with some of the delectable bar treats like deviled eggs or the oysters "Rock Your Face Off." You won't regret it. After a day of drinking at Clover Club, you won't regret a thing.
Lowland's is open starting at 1 pm on Friday, and what better reason to skip out on work than heading over to Gowanus to drink in this bar's quiet backyard, play some board games, and eat a Buffalo chicken sandwich? Plus, let's say you really have to work or something? Lowlands has free WiFi, so you can sign on to your computer while knocking back beer and you can feel productive and like you're a great multi-tasker. Good for you! Treat yourself to another beer.
Ruby's Bar & Grill
Ruby's is a Coney Island institution that has gone through as many ups-and-downs in the last few years as riders on the Cyclone do. There was a fear that Ruby's would need to close due to rent issues in 2012 and while the owners of Ruby's signed a new lease last summer, then, of course, Hurricane Sandy struck. Yikes. Luckily, all of these problems seem to be in the past, which means you should take advantage of the fact that Ruby's is still up and running and has barely changed from when it first opened in 1975. It's a spot that was made for day drinking. I mean, you're on the beach. Have some cold ones and stare off into the ocean. It's infinite. And so it's terrifying. It's always good to scare yourself a little when you're day drinking. Keeps you on your toes.
Located in Windsor Terrace, not far from Prospect Park, the Double Windsor's happy hour starts at 3pm, and it's not the worst idea in the world to belly up to the bar at 3 and get your daytime drink on. The Double Windsor does simple drinks well, but what you really want to do is look at what they have on tap. The beer list is extensive and exciting—you can't help but find something that you like. And while the bar itself is paneled in dark wood and feels pretty dim and cozy, huge windows face the street and let in a ton of light. If you start drinking early enough, you'll still have plenty of time to go stumbling out, blinking into the sun, so that you can roam around Prospect Park for a while. Try not to fall into the lake.
Get yourself over to Red Hook for some of the best day drinking in Brooklyn. Fort Defiance—named after a tactical Revolutionary stronghold—has great mixed drinks and a full restaurant menu, so you can really get anything you need here. But what it also has is an impeccably curated, yet reasonably priced, wine list. Most people don't think about wine when they think about day drinking, but they really should. That specific wine-drunk drowsiness is a special kind of fog to be in. Everyone should do that at least once this spring.
The Drink isn't open until 5 on weekdays, but is open earlier on the weekends. And day drinking counts on the weekends too! This bar isn't to be missed for day drinking, both because it has a lovely backyard and offers a nice array of drink choices, including specialty punches. Combine that with the fact that even if you're just ordering a Bulleitt on the rocks, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that the ice cubes are the perfect size and don't melt too quickly, and you've got a great bar for day drinking. The bar snacks are exceptional here too, with everything from housemade salmon jerky to pickled eggs.
This Park Slope stand-by has a great beer selection, but also? You can bring your dog. Your dog wants to be out during the day too! And if you don't have a dog? Maybe someone else will have brought their dog and so you can live vicariously through them! And if you don't like dogs? What the fuck is wrong with you? How can you not like dogs? Do you even like day drinking? Do you even have a soul?
With beers on tap rarely running more than 5 bucks a pint and hillbilly novelty drinks like the Dr. G (Guinness and Dr. Pepper) and bourbon-spiked sweet tea, Skinny Dennis is usually jam-packed at night. But you're not going at night, are you? You're going during the day. So you can kind of have the run of the place, which includes having access to the vintage arcade games and hopefully staking your claim to both the jukebox and a perch on the reclaimed bench seat of a 1981 Ford F100 pickup truck. Plus now that the weather's heating up (maybe? it still remains to be seen) you'll definitely want to indulge in Uncle Willie's Frozen Coffee. Served in a classic Anthora disposable paper coffee cup and made in a daiquiri machine, Uncle Willie's Frozen Coffee consists of milk, vanilla, sugar, bourbon, coffee liqueur, brandy, and Oslo coffee. Not only is this just an amazing drink on its own, but, because it includes caffeine, it is actually the PERFECT daytime drink. The caffeine will make sure you can carry on and transition into night drinking with the greatest of ease. And that's all you really want to do, isn't it?
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