MANHATTAN — No one will know whether your cheeks are rosy from the drinks or the crackling fire in the fireplace — either way, these Manhattan bars will keep your extremities thawed and your cockles warmed even in the frostiest weather.
THE WEST VILLAGE: Tavern on Jane, 31 Eighth Ave.
From the cold and lonely street outside, open the door to reveal the hum of a true neighborhood crowd at this West Village classic. The gas fireplace adds to the warm glow, as friends unwind together over dinner and drink. You will probably see owners Horton Foote and Michael Stewart as they mingle with their patrons, beer in hand.
Recommended drink: A shot straight up of the Glen, a 17-year-old single malt and single barrel Scotch. As it is made in small batches, the Scotch has a controlled flavor that is not too smoky, according to the bartender.
HELL’S KITCHEN: Library in the Hudson Hotel, 356 W. 58th St.
If J.R.R Tolkien was alive today, he would probably dress like a hipster and drink at the Hudson Hotel, where there's a gas fireplace surrounded by leather armchairs and the room is lined with bookshelves. By way of contrast, the music has a beat and the walls are adorned with photo prints of cows in vintage Chanel hats. The bar draws a professional crowd, as locals mingle with business travelers staying in the hotel.
Recommended drink: The bartender serves a "New Manhattan" with XO Rum aged in-house, ginger liquor, sweet vermouth and bitters chilled over a single sphere of ice.
LOWER EAST SIDE: The Back Room, 102 Norfolk St.
Those who find this hidden speakeasy will be rewarded with the choice of leather armchairs, a warm fireplace and, in a nod to the Prohibition era, drinks served in teacups. Drinkers at the Back Room are chilled out and low key, and seem to be in search of a sophisticated evening.
Recommended drink: A Dirty Rascal with Cazadores Repasado Tequila, Canton Ginger Liqueur, red chili, grapefruit, lime juice and seltzer.
UPPER WEST SIDE: The Amsterdam Ale House, 340 Amsterdam Ave.
With regulars from the neighborhood and an occasional crowd from the nearby Beacon Theatre, this craft beer bar boasts one of the largest selections of brews on the Upper West Side. And the back room opens up to a glowing gas fireplace with festive lights.
Recommended drink: With a selection of more than 100 beers that are constantly changing, owner and manager Tal Lavi recommends patrons check with the bartender for an up-to-date selection of brews perfect for the fireplace.
GRAMERCY: Molly’s Pub and Restaurant, 287 Third Ave.
Sawdust on the floor, creaky wooden benches and staff with strong accents, Molly’s makes good on its claim as the most traditional Irish bar in the city. It also delivers a rare wood-burning fireplace for the mature neighborhood crowd.
Recommended drink: Naturally the bartender recommends an Irish Coffee with a shot of Bailey’s topped with cream.
GRAMERCY: The House, 121 E. 17th St.
The House, which you won’t mind making your home, is actually three storys of drinking and dining in a converted 1853 carriage house. The gas fireplace lights up the ground level as the sophisticated and suited crowd unwind from their high-powered jobs.
Recommended drink: The bartender recommends a beautifully layered Ginger Blossom with Plymouth gin, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur and lemon juice.
EAST VILLAGE: The Ninth Ward, 180 Second Ave.
This New Orleans-inspired bar in the heart of the East Village attracts a crowd of young professionals. The nautical theme, southern food and a roaring fireplace makes the atmosphere ripe for a chilled evening conversing with friends.
Recommended drink: Ginger Berry Cider, mulled with fresh ginger, juniper berries, spices and topped with a healthy pour of Sailor Jerry spiced rum.
EAST VILLAGE: Shoolbred’s, 197 Second Ave.
You could easily mistake this dark and cozy cave for the living space you once dreamed about. The leather armchairs, walls adorned with framed pictures and rugs on the floor go along perfectly with the fireplace. To get the prime seats near the fire, be quick. These always go first with the crowd of young neighborhood professionals that frequent the bar.
Recommended drink: the Hot Toddy: Green tea, honey, fresh orange, cinnamon and a shot of Scotch.
EAST VILLAGE: McSorley’s Old Ale House, 15 East 7th St.
Nothing much has changed about the oldest pub in New York — from the sawdust on the floor, to the dangling wishbones above the bar and a potbelly stove at the room’s center. In the crowd you will find everyone from middle-aged local residents, to tourists drinking the day away.
Recommended drink: Chances are the bartender will recommend either a dark or light ale because that is all they have. The brew is McSorley’s own and has been served at the pub for more than 150 years.