On the most wilting summer evenings, I escape from the heat by hiding out in a low-lit, old-timey bar in Williamsburg called Hotel Delmano. This sleepy, Paris-inspired oyster bar feels like it’s from another era, with paint-chipped walls and oxidized mirrors that look like relics from a haunted house. But as much as I love the way the place looks, it’s a house libation that has really cast a spell on me.
My favorite cocktail, Devil’s Garden, is not a drink for the faint at heart. At first sip, lime juice and fresh mint refresh the taste buds, but soon the smoky and spicy undertones of chipotle-infused mezcal creep over the palate. A touch of Cynar, an unusual liqueur made from artichokes, adds a veil of mystery. On hot nights like these, it takes a little dark magic to forget about the rising temperatures outside.