The city's cocktail craze can't stop, won't stop, with new dens of mixology popping up in every corner of the metropolis like so many cronut vendors on steroids. And while we often prefer downing Budweisers at a dank old man bar, there are nights when we cannot deny the call of the cocktail, which beckons us with its tasty tinctures served in fancy glasses. When we're craving a cocktail, here are some spots that are a shake above the rest—as always, leave yours in the comments.

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Dutch Kills (Tien Mao)

DUTCH KILLS: Aside from the relatively new Dead Rabbit, Long Island City's Dutch Kills is probably the most atavistic, There Will Be Blood-style cocktail saloon in town. Yet somehow the old-timey style feels lived-in, not schtick, probably because the guys who started the place are Sasha Petraske, Richard Boccato and Ian Present, barkeeps of impeccable taste and talent. They both made the trailblazing Milk & Honey a hit, and Boccato went on to open the fun LES tiki bar PKNY (RIP in two weeks). Dutch Kills had the feel of a timeless classic from the moment it opened.

Sawdust coats the floor in the back room, where a piano player can often be found cranking out ragtime. The cozy bar area is nestled in the middle, and you can hear the music better from there, but you'll probably be more comfortable in the front room, where servers deliver drinks to dark, secluded booths. On Mondays there's an $8 happy hour menu that runs all night, on other weekdays it ends at 7 p.m. After that most cocktails set you back $11, and they're worth it. If you like gin you shouldn't miss the Twentieth Century, made with lemon juice, white Creme de Cacao, and Lillet Blanc, served up with a twist. John Del Signore

Dutch Kills is located at 27-24 Jackson Avenue (at the corner of Dutch Kills Street), Long Island City, Queens, (718) 383-2724

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Clover Club on Facebook

CLOVER CLUB: I have to admit it. For the most part I am not a fan of the contrived nature that most retro-speakeasy style cocktail bars present and, as such, split my neighborhood drinking allegiance between the more laid back styles of Bar Great Harry and Wing Bar. That being said, when date night with the Missus rolls around or I've got friends in town from the provincial backwater of my youth (GO BROWNS!) I look to Clover Club to deliver a great cocktail bar experience.

Whether it's the fetching combination of gin, raspberry syrup, grapefruit juice and cantaloupe juice in the Pecos County Fizz for myself at the front bar or sharing a gin and champagne-fueled Boathouse Punch in the cozy back room, this is the South Brooklyn spot for refined boozing. Save room for the brioche bread pudding! Josh Steele

Clover Club is located at 210 Smith Street between Baltic and Butler Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718) 855-7939, cloverclubny.com

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The Beagle on Facebook

THE BEAGLE: There is a problem with cocktail bars in New York City that even someone who really likes cocktail bars can't shake (pun): they can be Fussy and Exclusive, also Hidden in a Phone Booth. But then there's The Beagle. Open from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the week and until 2 a.m. on weekends, The Beagle is more like a bar that serves cocktails. No lines, no secret booths, no codes to enter, no impossible reservations or $20 dollar drinks.

Their twenty cocktails—all $13—are organized by style (up, tall, on the rocks) along with one or two specials that change daily. I usually stick to the Second Marriage (their take on an Old Fashioned), but it seems to not be on the menu anymore. The Whiskey Smash is also refreshing (though much less whiskey-y). Other highlights: the Red Light Special (Rye, Pimms, Americano Rosa, Dash of Scotch) will get your drunk and if they are ever featuring a Manhattan, get it. They also have a pretty decent (I guess?) selection of Sherries, but if you know a lot about Sherries you are probably already bitching in the comment sections by now.

It's rarely packed in there so you will always have a place to sit—even at the bar is nice. The darkly lit space's inoffensively scored music and healthy chatter volume conspire to create an overwhelmingly pleasant and private place to tie one on. It can be a pricier night (as cocktail bars tend to be) but the vibe and the drinks might keep you there. Marc Yearsley

The Beagle is located at 162 Avenue A between 10th and 11th Street (212) 228-6900, thebeaglenyc.com

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The Penrose (Photo by Paul Wagtouicz; via Penrose on Facebook

THE PENROSE: The UES has been clawing its way out from underneath the weight of frat boys and preppy murderers for decades, but the neighborhood has some glimmers of hope in recent arrivals to the area. One such beacon of promise is The Penrose, a just over a year old bar and gastropub located in the heart of doucheville on Second Avenue in the low 80s. It's got that old-timey decor that's so popular with establishments across the river these days in a gigantic space that houses two long bars and three separate dining rooms. Despite the ample seating, you'll likely have to wait to plunk down during prime hours.

But waiting is the perfect time to dive into their house cocktails ($11) like the heady Old Pal Spencer (Bulleit Bourbon, Aperol, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, Bitters) or a Dirty Pickle Martini made with McClure's Spicy Pickle Brine. The bar isn't the quiet, intimate setting common to most cocktail-focused drinking dens, rather it's a more boisterous, animated vibe where the focus is as heavy on the eats as it is the booze. After throwing back a few potent potables, soak up the booze with the Spiced Beef Sandwich ($12) or Battered Irish Sausages ($6). Nell Casey

The Penrose is located at 1590 2nd Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Street (212) 203-2751, penrosebar.com

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PDT via The Jedi Foodi E. on Yelp

PDT: Though it’s been open for six years, PDT (or Please Don’t Tell) still proves an elusive reservation for most bar-goers. At this point, almost every New Yorker knows about the little speakeasy tucked away behind a phone booth in the Lower East Side’s popular Crif Dogs, but what guests might not expect is the exceptional and altogether unique cocktail selection makes the wait worthwhile.

The menu undergoes its occasional tweaks, but the bar always delights with cocktails that make use of interesting liquor like PDT’s signature bourbon infused with bacon. On hot summer nights, wash down your bar snacks with The Mariner ($15), a mixture of scotch whiskey, pineapple juice, citrus, and lovely smoked cardamom syrups. Brennan Carley

PDT is located at 113 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A (212) 614-0386, pdtnyc.com

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Weather Up (via The Jedi Foodi E. on Yelp)

WEATHER UP: Weather Up is one of those bars with an unmarked exterior, making it practically invisible to tourists, people without smart phones, people without friends in the area and people who do not say to themselves "Why are all those well-dressed drunk people coming out of that door? I should check that place out!"

Once successfully inside, patrons may be chagrined by the high prices of cocktails, assuming those patrons are more accustomed to paying $4 for a tall boy of High Life. Not to worry, though: In addition to their expert craftsmanship and general deliciousness, the drinks are potent enough to blur the vision of even the most hardened boozer. The bartenders are persistently personable despite always being overrun by customers, and the drinks are never to sweet—making them, unfortunately, especially easy to guzzle. Weather Up adjusts its menu periodically, and its back garden is the ideal setting in which to enjoy a Trinity (gin, antica carpano formula, dry vermouth) or an Eastern Sour (bourbon, fresh orange juice, fresh lemon juice, orgeat).

After two, it will be you who totters out door and into the summer night, leaving passersby on Vanderbilt Avenue to whisper to themselves, "I should check that place out!" Lauren Evans

Weather Up is located at 589 Vanderbilt Ave, Brooklyn, and 159 Duane Street between West Broadway and Hudson Street, (212) 766-3202, weatherupnyc.com

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The Sparrow (Sam Horine/Gothamist)

THE SPARROW TAVERN: Located between the Triboro Bridge and the subway tracks and across the street from the Famous Beer Garden, it would be easy to overlook the Sparrow Tavern—but that would be a mistake, wouldn't it. Don't let Guy Fieri's enthusiasm for the place sully your opinion—the bar serves both hearty comfort food like the Sloppy Pork Sandwich and Lamb Sausage Tacos, as well as specialty cocktails like the Blueberry Lavender Mojito and Saffron Sour that would feel at home in a more upscale environment, but taste even better in the bar's relaxed setting. Bonus: Doors swing open midday, making it an excellent locale in which to work from home—or escape the office for a quick lunchtime nip. Lauren Evans

The Sparrow Tavern is located at 24-01 29th Street at 24th Avenue in Astoria, Queens (718) 606-2260, thesparrowtavern.com

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The Gin Gin Mule from Pegu Club (via Sherrie H. on Yelp)

PEGU CLUB: Pegu Club is one of those places that you have probably walked by a million times but never noticed. Located on Houston between West Broadway and Wooster, the simple glass entrance is marked only by a green crest on the door. Stairs take you up into a surprisingly large lounge decorated in a sleek style, complete with a black bar top, Japanese-inspired wooden window patterns, and green and red wall accents. Warm low lanterns illuminate the space, making it perfect for date nights.

Pegu squeezes all of their citrus juices by hand and their mixologists craft their own infusions. The bar also uses small batches of soda to keep the flavors distinct and fresh. When it comes down to ordering, the Earl Grey MarTEAni is a favorite with its tea-infused gin, simple syrup, lemon juice and egg whites. Or, if you can’t make up your mind from the menu, just describe your ideal drink to the bartender and he will customize one for you, allowing you to choose your level of sweet or tart. It may take a few minutes for the mixologists to do their thing, but all is right with the world after a few sips of their strong, carefully crafted creations.

Cocktails are seasonal and rotate often, but will generally run you $13-$14. Gabrielle Sierra

Pegu Club is located at 77 W Houston Street between West Broadway and Wooster Street (212) 473-7348, peguclub.com

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Courtesy of Employees Only

EMPLOYEES ONLY: If you want to enjoy Employees Only, go right when it opens at 6 p.m., sit at the bar, and let the very talented and personable bartenders lead you in the right direction. This is what I did when I went for the first time this past winter. During my hour or so on the barstool, one of the bartenders told a story about how Jon Hamm and John Slattery had been there one night, but left when a large party came in. Allegedly Hamm looked at Slattery and said something along the lines of, "Here comes the douchebag parade," before leaving. From there, the bartenders explained how Don Draper makes his Old Fashioneds on Mad Men, and proceeded to make me one of the best Old Fashioneds I've ever had. It was well worth the $15. They also have more specialty cocktails (menu), and a food menu if you want to pair your cocktails with some oysters... or brown butter mashed potatoes. Just try to get there before the "douchebag parade" arrives. Jen Carlson

Employees Only is located at 510 Hudson Street between Christopher and West 10th Street (212) 242-3021, employeesonlynyc.com

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The Dead Rabbit's upstairs cocktail parlor (Gabi Porter)

THE DEAD RABBIT: Since opening in Lower Manhattan this winter, The Dead Rabbit has swiftly established itself as one of the best destination cocktail bars in a city overrun by them. Located in a landmarked building dating back to the 1820s, the two-story charmer is named after the infamous Irish gang that brawled ferociously with The Bowery Boys during the mid-19th century.

The ground floor tap room feels like a time capsule, with live Irish music playing in the corner, sawdust on the floor, historic satirical cartoons, and exposed wooden beams. Down there you'll find cocktails, bottled punch, a wide selection of craft beer, a truly massive array of Irish whiskeys and “pop-ins,” which we're told "consist of lightly-hopped beer combined with amari or fruit liqueurs, a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages to give unhopped brews a bitter or fruity character." In the back, an assortment of imported British and Irish groceries are for sale, which alludes to the days when gangs would get drunk in bars hidden inside grocery stores.

The upstairs cocktail "parlor" is similarly atavistic, but slightly more sophisticated. The sprawling cocktail menu is inspired by some 70 drinks that you might have knocked back in the 19th century, including "hot and cold communal punches, bishops, flips, possets and nogs, cups and cobblers, sours, fixes and daisies, slings, toddies and fizzes, juleps and smashes, as well as absinthe." Cocktails are priced modernly at $14, while variously-priced punches are ladled out of shared out of antique punch bowls into vintage tea cups, which you can decorously sip at the bar or at one of the back tables where a variety of heavy bar food's served. John Del Signore

The Dead Rabbit is found at 30 Water Street, 646-422-7906