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Amor y Amargo (Love & Bitters) - Exclusively Bitters-Based Cocktail Tasting Room in Alphabet City

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But my favorite place to drinks-geek in Manhattan is Amor y Amargo. No juice. No shaken drinks. Just amaro and other aromatic wines/spirits, simple cocktails, vermouth on tap. Yes, it gets crowded. But it's bloody awesome.

...Amor y Amargo is a little too claustrophobic for my liking (I know, strange coming from a New Yorker), but the drinks and the bitters are awesome. I was even able to buy a copy of beta cocktails here...

I need to try out Amor & Amargo, and I completely forgot about your post on the Experimental Cocktail Club while planning out this trip. Next time . . 

Tried Amor y Amargo last night (Friday).  Yes, it's very small, and I'm glad I was there early when it wasn't crowded.  It's a narrow space with only about 6, 7? (not sure exactly how many) seats at the bar plus standing room.  I got there soon after it opened at 5pm, and I thought I was too early, but by 5:20pm, the bar seats were all taken and a couple of people were standing.

I enjoyed the Diamonds and Guns (going by the menu online:  Atsby Armadillo Cake vermouth, chartreuse, genever, white rum, celery bitters).  Boozy but balanced so you weren't overwhelmed.  Based on the menu, the cocktails seem to be pretty strong in alcohol so I only had one cocktail (pacing myself because I was going to Booker and Dax and Pouring Ribbons next  :)

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This is my favorite bar in the world.  Its a routine stop every time I'm in NYC.  I've been quite lucky to have always managed to snag a seat at the bar too.  Their selection of amaros is so deep.  I tried a Mexican Fernet last time, really good.  

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On Sunday night we were trying to grab a drink before dinner at Prune, and attempted to get it at Death and Co only to be told that there would be at least a 30 minute wait. We didn't really want to stand around in the freezing cold for 30 minutes, so we walked down the block to this place, which I'd read a little about here and in other places. It was a great decision. Amor y Amargo is a very small bar (very narrow building, probably ten seats at the bar with a few more at a ledge against the wall opposite the bar) that specializes in bitters and Amari. When we walked in (around 7:30 pm) we were able to easily grab seats at the bar, but by the time we left the place was absolutely packed. The drinks were fantastic, heavy on different bitters and Amari, many of which I'd never had before. Were you to arrive early I think you could learn a lot (they have some different flights, like of Chartreuse, etc), but with only one bartender and a packed house we just sat back and enjoyed our drinks and the atmosphere.

It's awesome. We'll definitely be back.

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On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2013 at 4:11 PM, Nathan Anda said:

This is my favorite bar in the world.  Its a routine stop every time I'm in NYC.  I've been quite lucky to have always managed to snag a seat at the bar too.  Their selection of amaros is so deep.  I tried a Mexican Fernet last time, really good.  

This is also my favorite bar in the world.  The vibe is perfect, the bartenders are great, the drinks are outstanding and bitter, and the standing-only vibe is perfect for a night cap.  Did the bar inspired by this place in Smoke & Barrel survive?  We went there once and found quite sweet drinks--the opposite of these.

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20 hours ago, funkyfood said:

This is also my favorite bar in the world.  The vibe is perfect, the bartenders are great, the drinks are outstanding and bitter, and the standing-only vibe is perfect for a night cap.  Did the bar inspired by this place in Smoke & Barrel survive?  We went there once and found quite sweet drinks--the opposite of these.

Question, f.f. - Is Amor y Amargo stand-up only, like a corner pizza joint? Are there any chairs at all, or places to lean? It sounds amazing, but this damned sports injury of mine is going to take awhile longer to heal. :(

Is this place without pretense? I can see it going either way - if it's unpretentious, it sounds "deadly serious, without being uppity," and that's my type of place (not just for bars, but for anything). I don't mind "dressy," but I mind any type of "look down your nose" attitude towards everyday people. This place sounds like it *doesn't* have it; just making sure because I want to go the next time I'm in NYC.

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Yes, good analogy: it is standing only like a corner pizza joint. That said, I found the staff to be kind and professional.  I wonder if they could accommodate you somehow.

This place takes its drinks very seriously and the bartenders know their stuff inside out and backwards, but it is decidedly NOT pretentious (you'll realize this the second you walk in). I went with some people who were wholly unfamiliar with bitters and asked some silly questions, but the bartender was happy to talk then through their options.  The same bartender got into the weeds with me equally smoothly.  All the drinks were fantastic.

Edit: some of the photos of the place online (and indeed a post in this thread) show/reference barstools but I could swear there weren't any when I was there

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