Grab a friend and go to Cienfuegos, located above the sandwich shop Carteles on 6th Street in the East Village. The reason I suggest you grab a friend is that there is no bar—it's not comfortably designed for solo seating. But do grab a friend, or ideally more, as they fully subscribe to the philosophy of the more the merrier: drinks are available by "the finger," in portions ideal for one and ramping up to punch bowls befitting a group. Cienfuegos was created by the team behind Death & Company, Mayahuel and the Bourgeois Pig, and is Cuban-inspired—the cocktail menu has a strong focus on rum, the colors are tropical, and your check arrives in a cigar box.
The cocktail menu is designed by Charlotte Voisey, and contains, among other things, a historical section as well as a "guest" section, featuring recipes from mixologists around the country. As I perused the list searching for something fitting yet another hot evening, the Tuesday the 13th caught my eye. Although it seemed a bit fruity upon first glance, it became clear that the addition of bitters and the herbaceous yellow Chartreuse would temper the sweetness of the strawberry and pineapple. Top that with a healthy mix of Jamaican Navy strength rum (114 proof) and cachaça, a Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane, add the zing of lime, and you've got a refreshing, well-balanced, summery cocktail, perfect for washing down some ceviche and a Cuban sandwich.
Tuesday the 13th
1 ounce Smith & Cross rum 1 ounce Leblon cachaça 1/2 ounce yellow Chartreuse 1/2 ounce simple syrup 3/4 ounce lime juice 1/4 ounce pineapple juice 1 strawberry 1 dash Angostura bitters
Muddle strawberry with simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients and ice to shaker. Shake and strain into cocktail glass and garnish with a lime twist.
443 East 6th Street, New York NY 10009 (map) 212-614-6818; enter through Carteles