“Secret” passwords at the door and reservations-only and tired speakeasy rules are old news for die-hard cocktail fanatics. But Bourbon & Branch still excels, being one of the country’s pioneers since 2006 and eventually housing five bars, including a book-lined library bar and Wilson & Wilson, a detective-themed bar-within-a-bar. It’s still as transporting and magical as ever, like stepping straight into the jazz-tinged 1920s with time for conversation thanks to reserved booths, the chill setting and a blessed cell-phone-free zone.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: The extensive cocktail menu changes regularly, with pages of booze-forward cocktails, often a Champagne/sparkling cocktail section and rare rums and whiskies poured neat.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The full menu is only available with a reservation in the main bar. But if you didn’t make a reservation or don’t mind a short cocktail menu, say the password “books” to drink in the equally magical library.