An Insider’s Guide to NYC Mixology Scene

Text: Peter Minkoff

The mixology scene has seen a real boom in recent years. Gone are the days of bartenders pouring beer and using a cocktail chart on those rare occasions when a guest dares to order a funny sounding drink. Mixologists are taking over. People with a passion for mixing drinks and making the perfect cocktail for every person they serve have changed the game for everyone. Using classic recipes, high-quality ingredients, fresh juices, and having a knack for experimenting is what makes a good mixologist. The NYC mixology scene is one of the finest out there and here is a list of its best renditions.

Bar Moga

Bar Moga is a little place in NYC that celebrates women and does so in great style with amazing cocktails. The name of the bar comes from the Japanese word moga. Mogas were modern Japanese girls from the 1920s characterized by their modern and independent spirit. Pictures of them hang on the walls of the bar and their style resonates in every part of this business. Drinks are devised by experienced female mixologist Becky McFalls-Schwartz, and the bar also serves female-produced wine. Their signature cocktail “the Moga” is a damn strong drink, just like the gals are, and a percentage of the money earned by selling this cocktail is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the A.C.L.U..


Alchemiq Catering

Alchemiq is a catering service known for the stellar mixology experience they offer. The founder, Igor Zukowiec is a master of flavor pairing and he envisioned Alchemiq catering as an exclusive and artistic expression of his passion. They have true artists creating magic behind the bar and in the kitchen. Classic cocktails, bespoke cocktails, and amazing dishes are all served in unique ways at every party they cater. They have new menus every season, the cocktails are mixed with the best quality drinks, and the dishes are prepared with fresh and locally grown ingredients. The mixologists and artists from Alchemiq, with dedication for their craft and an eye for detail, make every party they cater a magical event.


This is a place that offers more than cocktails; it offers cures for every ailment you have. Apothéke is inspired by European apothecaries of the 19th century and their mixologists take their duties as seriously as an apothecary takes its. You can find cocktails that can help with health and beauty, that have aphrodisiac properties, that help with pain, and so much more. Here you will find what you need and the best part is that you can also learn the old craft of mixing. At Apothéke Academy, you can learn all about mixing cocktails and the history of this great trade, so you can fix yourself a cocktail when you need a fix for your daily woes.

Death and Company

Death & Company

This bar opened in 2006 and for more than ten years it has been serving excellent cocktails and inspiring the mixology scene. It had an important role in growing the public interest in cocktails during the early days of the mixology revival movement. The mixologists at Death & Co. have a knack for recreating classic cocktails and mixing exciting new ones. Their skillfully mixed creations have been stirring the imaginations of other mixologists and satisfying the thirst of customers from day one. The unique thing about Death & Co. is that it gives control over the drinks to the bartenders, turning them into real mixologists. Employing talented and passionate people and giving them the opportunity to develop their skills, while elevating the cocktail experience at the bar is what continues to bring customers and fresh talent to this place.

Fort Defiance

Located in the heart of Brooklyn, Fort Defiance was founded by a mixologist St. John Frizell, whose love for cocktails is on full view on the menu. This restaurant has an array of American dishes on the menu, which you can pair with the best cocktails you can hope for. They buy the best quality locally grown meat, dairy, fruit, and vegetables, but the cocktails are what you should go there for. Also, the Irish coffee they serve is the best in the city and you can’t miss it.

Correction: An earlier version of the article stated that Natasha Torres is part of Bar Moga. She is no longer involved with Bar Moga. 

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