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Pouring Ribbons is a project from the Alchemy Consulting team, including Joaquín Simó and Troy Sidle. Cocktails are arranged in an innovative matrix and measured by two scales: "refreshing to spirituous" and "comforting to adventurous."

Mixologist Jim Meehan, deputy editor of Food & Wine Cocktails, obsesses over obscure classic drinks at this excellent reservations-only lounge, whose name means Please Don't Tell. The (unmarked) door is in a phone booth inside the hot dog joint Crif Dogs.

Located above Central Kitchen restaurant, this industrial-cool space features exposed brick, a copper bar and innovative cocktails like the Sentimental Gentleman, made with Scotch and walnut liqueur.

Frenchmen Romée de Goriainoff, Olivier Bon and Pierre-Charles Cros are at the helm of this outpost of the Paris-based Experimental Cocktail Club.

This bartender-owned supper club was originally intended to be a late-night gathering spot for fellow bar and restaurant workers.

Elite bartenders Sam Ross and Michael McIlroy are behind the bar at this little Lower East Side cocktail joint in the former Milk & Honey space. 134 Eldridge St., Manhattan; no phone.

Modeled after an 1890s saloon, this bar co-owned by Richard Boccato serves classic cocktails made with hand-cut ice. Live jazz and ragtime bands play throughout the week.

At this subterranean lounge owned by Milk & Honey's Sasha Petraske and cocktail expert Joseph Schwartz, the sharply dressed staff mixes drinks with ice custom-made for each glass.

Joaquín Simó and the other bartenders at this East Village destination have an encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails.

Led by an eccentric barman-proprietor known only as Lêe, this speakeasy has strict house rules: no cell phones and no photos. Concoctions include the Henry "Box" Brown, made with fresh red grape juice and aged rum.

Hidden in a building that fronted the largest alcohol-smuggling ring in the U.S. during Prohibition, this lounge maintains a speakeasy feel. Dapper bartenders serve spot-on classics, plus tasty new inventions like the Peckinpah (mezcal, rum, lime juice and blackberry-habanero syrup).

A rotating list of barrel-aged cocktails and seasonal punches anchors the menu at this cozy mid-20th-century-style parlor.

Todd Thrasher makes the cocktails at this chandelier-lit speakeasy (there's no sign outside, just a blue light). It's owned by the team behind the terrific Restaurant Eve.

Inspired by the Pantone guide, Trick Dog offers a color wheel–themed cocktail menu. The white-hued Polar Bear, for instance, is made with mezcal, Dolin blanc and crème de menthe.

The Houston brothers' (Harvard & Stone, Pour Vous) newest project has a hidden entrance, a gift shop selling candy and nostalgic items and 12 of L.A.'s most talented mixologists behind the bar. The menu is gin-and whiskey-forward. 1727 N. Hudson Ave.; 323-465-1902

The Varnish is accessed through a secret door at Cole’s, the destination French Dip restaurant.

Located in a former brothel behind an unmarked door, this reservations-only lounge from Alamo Drafthouse beverage director Bill Norris (P.118) focuses on tableside cocktail presentations to encourage customer interaction.

With chandeliers and a fireplace, this lounge is modeled after early-19th-century English clubs and French salons. Floor-to-ceiling curtains define three rooms, where guests enjoy concoctions like Baron's Brew (tea-infused gin, lemon juice, neroli-violet syrup and house-made tonic).

This speakeasy-style parlor specializes in gin cocktails; mixologist and owner Danny Shapiro, formerly of the Whistler, is at the helm.

Guests pass through a door disguised as a bookcase to reach barman Sean Kenyon's speakeasy-style cocktail haven. Kenyon's signature drinks include the Blackberry Sage Smash: fresh blackberries, sage and Williams & Graham Select Single Barrel Knob Creek bourbon, bottled from barrels specially chosen by Kenyon.

Star chef Barbara Lynch’s bar dispenses with menus; mixologist John Gertsen and his team custom-make drinks like the Golden State for each guest.

With wood accents, cocktails served neat and a cigar-friendly patio, this retro lounge harks back to the hotel's opening in 1941.

To find this tiny, speakeasy-like bar, look for the neon tarot card signs for the fortune- telling parlor next door. Dapper bartenders make drinks like the Thug: bourbon, honey liqueur, lemon juice and habanero-infused bitters. 370 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-854-1300


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