The Old-Schooler: Otto’s Shrunken Head Mai Tai
This East Village dive was doing tiki before it was cool. Otto’s, the city’s first real tiki bar, is a local hangout with live rockabilly acts and campy island decor. And its Mai Tai is a classic, made with light, gold and dark rum, orgeat, lime juice and orange liquor, served in a fun, fanciful vessel. Nell Mellon, the owner and bartender at Otto’s says that the Mai Tai is one of the most popular drinks. “It is truly a classic and the one most people have heard of and associate with tiki bars. I think it's the benchmark drink that people use to judge a tiki bar. If they do a Mai Tai correctly, then the rest of the drinks will be good too,” says Mellon. Bonus: garnish includes a paper umbrella, fancy straw and plastic monkey.
528 E 14th St.; 212-228-2240