The World’s 50 Best Bars Spotlight: Exclusive Cocktail Recipes From NYC’s Overstory

For about a year-and-a-half after the first COVID lockdowns in March of 2020, it could not have been easy maintaining the revered institution that is The World’s 50 Best Bars. After all, it curated a list of hospitality excellence at a time when visiting a drinking establishment was regarded as one of the most dangerous experiences you could have.

But as the vaccine programs began to prove effective last summer into autumn, we quickly remembered why we had always trusted their epicurean wisdom and guidance. New (and old) bars were beginning to open up again, and someone needed to be on the front lines letting us know which ones were missable, and which were most definitely not.

One of the latter was most certainly Overstory, the dramatically perched new cocktail mecca, opened last September on the 64th floor of a listed 1932 Art Deco skyscraper in New York’s Financial District. It was the brainchild of Jeff Katz and chef James Kent, the duo behind the also FiDi located Crown Shy, and who had opened the Saga restaurant one month earlier just one flight below (the 63rd floor, that is) in the same 70 Pine Street building.

TW50BB has just launched North America’s 50 Best Bars, and Overstory quickly became the recipient of a Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award, voted on by NA50BB’s 220 very well schooled academy members. This was not exactly a surprise, as the views alone are nothing less than Oscar-worthy. But they had also installed Harrison Ginsberg, formerly of the venerable Dead Rabbit, as Bar Director. And the philosophy behind his drinks program is simple: minimal garnish, labor-intensive techniques, and complex, very original flavors.

Yet he insists Overstory is about much more than headline-grabbing cocktails.

“Since we opened,” he explains, “our goal has been to make it a place where everyone wants to return. To achieve this, creating a sense of comfort and warmth is equally important as the flavor and presentation of drinks. The bar experience is about so much more than cocktails, the room and perhaps a view. A great bar should make guests feel at home, happy, relaxed and excited.”

Though Mark Sansom, Content Director for 50 Best, sees the bar’s overarching philosophy as being as lofty as its position up on the 64th floor, going as far as to describe the experience as “high art.”

“Through impeccable service,” he observes, “Harrison Ginsberg and the entire bar team take guests on a journey where everyone is made to feel that they are the center of attention. With its exceptional, culinary-inspired cocktails, gobsmacking 360° views from its outdoor terrace, and luxe demure decor, it feels like being on top of the world, both literally and figuratively.”

As of now, reservations must be made exactly fifteen days in advance of the day of visit. But we asked Ginsberg to let us in on the magic behind some of his most inspired Overstory creations, so that we might all be able to try them at home while waiting out the date. And we do strenuously emphasize experiencing it in person…unless you happen to have a 64th floor apartment, that is.


Calabaza Old Fashioned (pictured top)

2 Dash Saline
1 Dash Mole
1 Tsp Cinnamon Syrup
1 Tsp Rhinehall Mango Brandy
.25 oz. Sweet Potato Syrup
.25 oz. Calvados
.5 oz. Barley Infused Amontillado Sherry
1.5 oz. Pumpkin Oil Infused Michter’s
Method: Stir 
Glassware: Old Fashioned
Garnish: Orange Peel

Manhattan a l’Orange

1 Dash Angostura
.25 oz. Mancino Chinato
.75 oz. Martini Rubino
1.25 oz. a l’orange mix (Brown Butter, Orange and Lavender Infused Michter’s Bourbon, Grand Marnier & Cognac)
1.25 oz. Michter’s Rye Whiskey 
Method: Stir
Glassware: Cocktail Glass
Garnish: Lemon & Orange Expression, Cherry

212

2 Dash Absinthe 
.5 oz. Blackened Pear Juice
.25 St. George Pear Eau De Vie
.25 oz. Sfumato
1 oz. Archivo Vermouth
1.5 oz. Cacao Nib Miso Infused Michter’s Rye
Method: Stir
Glassware: Rock
Garnish: Lemon Express

Gone Bamboo

2 Dash Rosemary Tincture
.75 oz. Peach Juice (Acid Adjusted)
.25 oz. Orgeat
1 oz. Coconut Yogurt Barley Tea
1 oz. Amontillado Sherry
1 oz. Michter’s Rye 
Method: Whip Shake
Glassware: Pint
Garnish: Crushed Barley & Mint

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