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Main Shot-RooftopsImage via Flickr; Patrick Shyu

It’s summertime in the city and there’s no better time for maxin’ and relaxin’ after a long day of work with a cocktail and some friends! These off-the-beaten-path rooftop bars hidden high above buildings around the boroughs offer the chance for some breathtaking views of the sunset and skyline along with the requisite craft mixed drinks, beers and bites.

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With over 18,000 alcohol-serving establishments spread throughout the five boroughs, New York City is regularly in a state of good ol’ drunken merrymaking. Still, many of these locales may be just a bit too banal for the average bar hopper. Why sip at the ordinary surface-planted saloon, when you can go to a discreet subterranean spot?! For those who just imagined themselves bragging about their experience with the latter, here are 10 subterranean bars and lounges to satisfy the underground explorer within you!

1. Little Branch, 22 7th Ave South

little branch-west village-underground bars-manhattan-new york-untapped cities-brennan ortizGuests delighting by the bar counter at Little Branch. Photo via My Odyssey Years.

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NY Distilling Company tour Williamsburg Brooklyn NYC Untapped Cities

The New York Distilling Company in Williamsburg recently celebrated its second birthday. It was founded by Tom Potter, who also co-founded the Brooklyn Brewery, and Allen Katz, Director of the Spirits Education & Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of New York. The distillery was opened on the symbolic date of December 5, 2011—the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

“In a way, we’re still suffering from Prohibition,” our guide Diane explained when we visited the distillery on Saturday. It wasn’t until 2002 that New York State lowered the price of a distilling license from $50,000 to $1,450, thanks in part to numerous appeals from Hudson Valley distiller Tuthilltown Spirits, which we visited previously(more…)

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Installation at the “Imagining the Lowline” exhibit in 2012

What happens when a  team of urban entrepreneurs partners with several bars in the Lower East Side? They come up with a new way to engage small businesses and residents to support the construction of New York’s first underground park known as the Lowline. If you order an “Absolut Lowline” cocktail from any of the participating bars, one dollar goes toward building the Lowline park under Delancey Street in the Lower East Side.

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Image provided by New-York Historical Society

Image provided by New-York Historical Society

The New-York Historical Society’s summer-long Swing Time exhibition has stirred up such excitement that even Caffè Storico, Stephen Starr’s Italian restaurant within the museum, has taken part in the hype. Caffè Storico, inspired by the exhibit, concocted a refreshing cocktail, known as the Juniper Julep. The exhibit (and the drink) are only available until September 1st, so catch it before it closes.

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What an authentic martini glass looks like, at Milk and Honey Flatiron

The original Milk and Honey speakeasy on Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side ushered in the global trend with Prohibition-era style “secret” bars (many of which we rounded up in our guide to New York’s hidden bars). We recently shared a booth with owner Sasha Petraske at the new Milk and Honey location on 23rd Street in the Flatiron, picking his brain while imbibing some of the best drinks in the city.

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