Thirsty? For those who like to quench their thirst with beverages that also enhance their Instagram feed, we’ve got 12 beautiful picks just for you. From adorable latte art to gorgeous craft cocktails to over-the-top milkshakes, drink up with the following not-to-miss beverages in NYC.
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1. Berries & Bubbles at OCEAN PRIME
123 W 52nd Street, Midtown
This upscale steakhouse not only serves up delicious dishes like “Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli,” “White Truffle Caviar Deviled Eggs” and succulent steaks done up with enhancements like black truffle butter and a Maytag blue cheese crust, but Ocean Prime‘s cocktails are worth the trip. Don’t miss the “Berries & Bubbles” libation, made with Belvedere Citrus Vodka, Crème de Cassis, sour mix, fresh berries and dry ice. The drink is served in a chilled martini glass and topped with a float of Domaine Chandon Brut.
Tip: Action shots like the one below can help tell the story of the drink. Remember you can freeze action by using a faster shutter speed, and slow action to create movement by slowing the shutter speed. If you’re using a slow shutter speed in low light, however, you’ll likely need a tripod to avoid motion blur.
2. Decadent Milkshakes At The Burgary
67 Clinton Street, Lower East Side
If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable places in New York City, this spot should be on your list!
There’s no limit to the imaginative milkshakes served up at The Burgary, a tasty burger and sandwich shop. Pictured below are the “Fruity Pebbles Milkshake” and “S’mores Milkshake,” though you’ll also find the old time treat topped with candy canes, M&Ms, Oreos and more (all delicious and guaranteed to get you extra likes on your Instagram feed). Oh, and did we mention you can lace your milkshake with booze?
Tip: See that bank-vault door? Open it up and enter the eatery’s sister speakeasy, Garfunkel’s.
3. Silk Road at Crimson & Rye
198 E 54th Street, Midtown East
With over 100 whiskeys, ryes, bourbons and scotches, Crimson & Rye is passionate about this smoky brown spirit. Their cocktails pay homage to classic recipes passed down through generations as well as new creations from their mixologists. Pictured below is the “Silk Road,” an intoxicating — and beautiful — concoction of Belvedere Vodka, Averell Damson Gin, lemongrass, star anise syrup, lime and egg white.
Tip: Don’t feel like you need to get the entire glass or drink in the shot. As seen below, you can experiment with cutting out corners and leaving some negative space. You might want want to add additional props into the frame, too, such as a menu.
4. Silver Paloma Cocktail at Mastro’s
1285 Avenue of the Americas, Midtown West
As if their fresh sushi rolls and succulent steaks weren’t lovely enough, Mastro’s cocktails are also worth a post on Insta (no filter needed). Below you’ll see their “Silver Paloma,” a tasty cocktail crafted with Patron Silver Tequila, Combier Liqueur de Pamplemousse Rose, Monin Watermelon syrup, fresh lime and basil served over ice with a sea salt rim. We’ll take two of these, please!
Tip: Remember to fix your white balance in restaurants and bars. These spaces typically have either fluorescent or tungsten lighting, so you’ll want to set your camera for the relevant white balance to neutralize the unnatural light. And avoid using flash to fix the lighting issue. It will blow out any details of your drink!
5. Fleur de Lis at PHD Terrace
210 W 55th Street, Midtown West
Within the Dream Hotel you’ll find PHD Terrace, an indoor/outdoor lounge with gorgeous rooftop views of Midtown and Times Square. Do yourself — and your Instagram feed — a favor and order a “Fleur de Lis,” a cocktail showcasing Hennessy VS, lemon juice, maple syrup, black walnut bitters and a lemon slice for a citrusy (and photo-worthy) effect.
Tip: Another cocktail photo option is their new “Mega Mule” cocktail. Get this: it’s 164 ounces, is equivalent to 12.5 drinks and weighs 10 POUNDS. Bring friends.
6. Punch Bowls at Cienfuegos
95 Avenue A, East Village/Alphabet City
Take a trip to Cuba — specifically the coastal city of Cienfuegos — without leaving NYC. The restaurant and bar features a relaxing parlor vibe with lots of beautiful pastels, plush pink sofas, marble topped tables and bent steel furnishings. In terms of drinks the focus is rum, and one shouldn’t go without trying one of the gorgeous punch bowls accented with metal ladles and giant ice cubes. Pictured below is Cienfuegos‘ “Autumn King” made with Barbancourt 4 Year, Gosling’s Rum, carrot juice, pumpkin syrup, lime and baking spices.
Tip: They feature 50% off punch bowls during their happy hour, which runs from 5-7pm daily and all day Sunday. This means you can get more Instagram bang for your buck!
7. Shark Eye at Mother of Pearl
95 Ave A, East Village/Alphabet City
Just downstairs from Cienfuegos you’ll find Mother of Pearl, with its breezy Polynesian feel via white curtains, banana plants and pretty tiki drinks topped with dainty umbrellas. For something that will definitely catch the eyes of your Instagram followers, the “Shark Eye” (shown below) features passion fruit, lemon, maraschino, dry curaçao, bourbon, rye and tiki bitters — served in a glass resembling a shark head! Just one of the many uniquely-served libations at this bar.
Tip: Not sure which angle is best to photograph the shark glass? Give yourself a mission of snapping it 20 different ways. This is a great exercise in photography in general as you start to see just how much a slight change in angle or props can alter a picture.
9. Matcha Latte at Bibble & Sip
253 West 51 Street, Midtown West
Everything they make at this cafe, from the black sesame cream puffs to the rooster cookies, is just adorable. We particularly love the matcha lattes for a great social media photo. While latte art is nothing new in NYC, Bibble & Sip kicks it up a notch with creative and timely depictions, like Jack Skellington on Halloween, or heart-warming bunnies and bears (shown below). If you’re looking for a truly unique picture in your caffeinated beverage, this is your spot.
Tip: Coffee is an extremely popular topic on Instagram. Try to photograph your java in natural light for the best photo. Not getting enough light? Bump up your ISO, though note the higher you go the more grain you’ll see in your final photo.
10. Any Milkshake from Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
529 Broome Street, SoHo (+ locations in Meatpacking and Midtown)
No Instagram-worthy beverage list would be complete without mentioning Black Tap, a venue offering crazy milkshakes that have taken on Cronut fame. It makes sense, as their shakes come topped with everything imaginable: pretzel rods, Reece’s cups, full ice cream sandwiches, cotton candy, Nerd’s, sour gummies, chocolate brownies and more. Pictured below is the “Sour Power” featuring a black cherry shake with a vanilla frosted rim. From there, you’ll find sour gummi poppers topped with Pixy Stix, rainbow pop, a sour skewer, whipped cream and Nerds.
Tip: While the milkshakes steal the show on their Instagram feed, their “Greg Norman Burger” crafted from Waygu beef and enhanced with house buttermilk-dill, blue cheese and arugula is worth an order, as well.
11. A Brunch Bowl at The Lucky Bee NYC
252 Broome Street, Lower East Side
Don’t miss the chance to sip — and photograph — this decadent and boozy Brunch Bowl from The Lucky Bee NYC. What’s a Brunch Bowl, you ask? An uber boozy concoction featuring multiple rums, vodka, gin, grenadine, and orange and pineapple juices, topped off with a Champagne floater — served only during brunch. It pairs perfectly with their farm-to-fork Southeast Asian street food fare.
Tip: The tropical neon-hued space with sprawling pink bar will also enhance your Instagram profile.
12. Understated Craft Cocktail Touches at Death & Co
433 E 6th Street, East Village
Death & Co has been a craft cocktail mainstay in NYC since 2006. It’s the type of bar where the number of available seats equals the number of patrons let in, and where mixologists can craft thoughtful cocktails based on your tastes. What’s great for Instagrammers is the understated touches on these thoughtful drinks, like an orange peel swizzle or slices of apple (such as in the “High Noon” shown below). This drink is made with Laird’s Apple Brandy, Great King St Glasgow Scotch, Amaro Nonino, lemon, red eye bitters and soda water.
Tip: Shooting in low lit bars is hard. To add a soft (vs harsh) glow over your cocktail, hold receipt paper over a friend’s smartphone flashlight to illuminate the drink.
For more of the best drinks in NYC plus other New York tips and experiences please follow us on Instagram at @nycphototour.
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