The five best cocktail destinations in NYC in New York: Dining Posted July 31, 2009 Not quite sure if this is the right thread to post on, but I wanted to give a few thoughts on recent visits to Mayahuel and White Star.Mayahuel: After dinner at Back Forty, my girlfriend and I headed over to Death and Co. for some cocktails. The doorman said the wait was about forty minutes so we decided to head over to Mayahuel instead. The doorman there, a British guy, was a lot more friendly than the Death and Co. guy (who, in fairness, appeared to be dealing with an awkward crowd) and found us a seat right away. Once inside, I ordered a Stone Raft and my girlfriend got the Slight Detour. While both were good, the Slight Detour was the clear winner; the mole bitters gave the cocktail a depth and richness. We followed with glasses of anejo tequila. The Don Julio was great. All in all, very impressive.White Star: I'm a big supporter of White Star on week nights. While the cocktail's aren't as quite good as they are at some of the other bars in the Petraske empire, White Star executes the classics very, very well. Considering this, our experience there on Wednesday was like none other. First, Sasha himself was there. Apparently, White Star's been fairly slow on non-weekends and he's trying to drum up some more business by being there more often. We started the night with our go to drinks: me, an old fashioned, her a Manhattan. She swears the Manhattan at White Star is the best she's had. Both were excellent. Things got interesting when we let the bartender, who's name I can't recall, experiment a bit and try out some drinks he's been working on. First he gave us a "tequila old fashioned" which was basically an old fashioned made with tequila and muddled grapefruit. It was fine, but I can't help but think it would be a better drink with the mole bitters from Mayahuel. Then he tried an (unnamed?) drink featuring grapefruit, mint, cucumber, sugar, soda, and bourbon. Interestingly, my girlfriend loved the drink while Sasha deemed it too complicated for his style of bar. All in all, it was a great night in a fairly empty bar. While I wouldn't say that White Star is one of the top five cocktail destinations, it's my favorite spot for dropping in for a great cocktail. Also, on non-weekends, it's much easier to interact with the bartenders there and try a work in progress.