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Manhattanhenge 2019 and cocktails: The best rooftop bars to watch the sunset

Escape the crowded streets and enjoy the sunset from a rooftop bar on Friday and Saturday.

Dear Irving on Hudson in midtown offers great

Dear Irving on Hudson in midtown offers great westward views and is a prime spot to watch the Manhattanhenge phenomenon.  Photo Credit: Dear Irving on Hudson

There are only two more chances this year to see the Manhattanhenge phenomenon — and New Yorkers can experience it with a cocktail in hand.

The sunsets align with the Manhattan street grid just four times annually, and the occasions are known to draw herds of camera-wielding folks. Often, the city’s widest windows to the sunset are so overcrowded that you can’t even catch a glimpse of the descending sun, let alone enjoy its effects. So, for those who aren’t prepared to line the streets for hours to get the perfect photo and would rather experience the solstice from above, here are a few of the best rooftop bars to see Friday and Saturday's Manhattanhenge.

Dear Irving on Hudson

A second outpost of the Gramercy mainstay, Dear Irving on Hudson opened its doors on the 40th and 41st floors of the Aliz Hotel just this year. The rooftop bar is the brainchild of master mixologist Meaghan Dorman, a partner and bar director of the Irving Place predecessor and of the beloved Flatiron speak-easy Raines Law Room. The uptown spot boasts expanded space and is spread over two floors, but the focus on top-quality, inventive cocktails remains.

Dear Irving on Hudson offers unparalleled westward views and is therefore the perfect spot to watch Friday and Saturday’s sunsets, and guests can even order drinks to match the sky’s hues of pink, orange and yellow. Try the Strawberry Letter, a blend of Aperol, strawberry shrub, rosé and Perrier, or the Isla de Sol, which fuses vodka with hibiscus tea, verjus and peach liqueur. In addition to delicious cocktails, the bar has a long list of beers and wines alongside bites like Portobello Toast and Jerk Chicken Skewer. (310 W. 40th St., dearirving.com)

Loopy Doopy

Located at the Conrad New York Downtown in the Financial District, Loopy Doopy has long been known for its Instagram-worthy Poptails — boozy ice pops dipped in prosecco and rosé — but what most people don’t know is that the bar’s city backdrop is just as picturesque. With views of the lower Manhattan skyline, the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty, this rooftop bar is an ideal venue to take in magical sunsets.

In addition to Loopy Doopy’s ice pops, which come in flavors like Mango Mai Tai, Raspberry Lime Paloma and Cucumber Melon Seabreeze, there are a host of summery (and cleverly named) cocktails to choose from. For tequila lovers, there’s A Little Vanilla, which sees Casamigos Blanco mixed with passion fruit, lime, and of course, vanilla, and for those who favor vodka, try the I Can’t Even, a blend of Grey Goose, fresh lemonade, raspberry and agave. (102 North End Ave., conradnewyork.com)

A.R.T. SoHo

The recently renovated rooftop of the Arlo SoHo is the place to be every weekend, but its westside location and sweeping views make it especially great for Manhattanhenge.

The bar has both indoor and outdoor space and routinely draws a hip downtown crowd thanks to its modern aesthetic and wide-ranging menu. The A.R.T. Rooftop offers boozy classics like the Arlo Collins and the Arlo Margarita, but it also has a number of cocktail options that fully embrace the bar’s artsy name. There’s the Rembrandt, a mixture of tequila, mezcal, peach, almond, Cointreau and lime, and of course an ode to the king of pop art himself, the Jackson Pollock, which fuses a housemade rum blend with Wray & Nephew overproof rum, toasted coconut, banana, pineapple, lime and mint. A.R.T. also has two pages of wines for guests to choose from, numerous local beers, and foods like the Ahi Tuna Taco and Crispy Artichokes. (231 Hudson St., arlohotels.com)

JIMMY at The James

Located at The James Hotel in west SoHo, this rooftop has some of the best views in the city and is an ideal spot to watch this weekend’s highly anticipated sunsets.

With a large indoor area and a massive, pool-adorned terrace, JIMMY at The James is a go-to destination for locals and visitors alike. The season-specific menu includes expertly crafted cocktails like the Cucumber Switchel, a blend of Ketel cucumber vodka, Calamansi Vingre, elderflower and Thomas Henry bitter lemon; the rum-based Grilled Pineapple Mojito; and the Low Rider, which mixes tequila with Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, lime and charred jalapeño. There are also Instagrammer favorites like Raspberry Frosé and the White Unicorn, which sees vodka and coconut sake topped with coconut foam and rainbow stars. Just imagine: you and your friends, these scrumptious cocktails, and the glowing summer solstice oscillating behind. (15 Thompson St., jimmysoho.com)

The Polynesian

The tiki-themed Polynesian from the people behind Carbone and The Grill sits on the third floor of the Pod Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen and boasts four separate indoor areas in addition to a massive terrace. The beachy concept of the bar manifests itself in bamboo seating and layers of palms, but it’s also taken to heart in the cocktail offerings, many of which are served in tiki-head mugs that all but come with Captain Jack Sparrow attached.

There’s the Killer Kiwi, a blend of rums (plural), melon, cinnamon, kiwi curd, bitters, pandan and tropical juices; there’s the El Diablo, which mixes tequila and mezcal with ginger, cassis, juices and club soda; and for those in search of some good, old-fashioned Americana, there’s Elvis is Dead, which, in true-to-the-king form, is made with bourbon, rums, coconut peanut butter syrup, banana, bitters and tropical juices. There are additionally several “Large Format” concoctions designed to serve six people and served in none other than shells, treasure chests and fishbowls, as well as bar snacks like Crab Rangoon and Ahi Tuna Poke. (400 W. 42nd St., polynesiantiki.com)

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