New Yorkers never need an excuse to raise a glass, but a good reason – like an expert-led tour – is always welcome. Throughout Manhattan, there are drinking-themed tours that explore the craft behind brewing beer or shaking cocktails. Whether you want to raise a glass of champagne on a yacht or learn about the secrets behind your favorite cocktails, the following tours all provide a fun and unique environment for a toast.
1. Jazzy Champagne Brunch Cruise with Hornblower Cruises
Weekend afternoons are for brunch, and brunch isn’t truly complete without a glass of something bubbly. Board a luxury yacht from Hornblower Cruises for a two-hour scenic sail on the Hudson River and spend a sunny afternoon sipping mimosas as the boat moves past iconic landmarks including the George Washington Bridge, the Intrepid, and the Statue of Liberty. In addition to a stocked bar, this cruise also includes a brunch buffet (with both breakfast and lunch options) and a dessert station. For entertainment, there’s a live jazz band and DJ that will get the mimosa-drinking crowd on their feet. Meets at Pier 40 on the Hudson; from $80/person; get tickets to Jazzy Champagne Brunch Cruise.
2. New York Craft Cocktail Tour with Urban Adventures
The craft cocktail is booming in New York, with sleek new cocktail-centric bars opening their doors in every neighborhood.
These are not just watering holes, but destinations where drinks have a creative and artistic spirit, both in their conception and their preparation. This 2.5-hour walking tour in Manhattan’s East Village will visit three cocktail bars. At each stop, you can enjoy one of the bar’s signature cocktails alongside some snacks, and have the chance to chat with the bartender about the secrets behind their concoctions.
In between stops, the Urban Adventures guides will share their favorite picks for where to eat, drink, and shop throughout the East Village. Meets at Tompkins Square Park, 500 E. 9th St.; from $74/person; get tickets to New York Craft Cocktail Tour.
3. Clipper City Craft Beer Tasting Sail
Where to raise a pint in the sunshine? The open waters of the Hudson River and the New York Harbor are ideal for toasting with a frothy mug of craft beer with friends. The Clipper City – a 158-foot long schooner that dates back to the 1850s – offers a one-hour and 45-minutes sailing that combines sightseeing with a sampling of craft beers. As the boat cruises past New York landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Lower Manhattan skyline, onboard beer experts will detail the process of making beer and the differences between varieties. There will be cheeses and charcuterie for nibbling, plus an open bar before and after the official beer tasting. If you have an interest in having a hand at sailing, tell a crew member, who’ll invite you to hoist the Clipper City’s impressive sails. Departs from Battery Park; from $68/person; get tickets to Clipper City Craft Beer Tasting Sail.
4. Shearwater Champagne Brunch Sail
Raising a glass of champagne is all the more fun on a boat, especially when that boat is an 82-foot yacht inspired by the glamorous 1920s. A two-hour brunch sail aboard the Shearwater features an open Champagne bar (plus, other beer and wine available for purchase), in addition to a generous brunch bar, stocked with bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon; yogurt and granola; quiche with spinach and mushroom; brioche sandwiches stuffed with ham and brie; and assorted fruit. The schooner sets sail from Brookfield Place in the shadow of the World Trade Center on Lower Manhattan’s west side and sails down the Hudson River and out into the New York Harbor for gorgeous Statue of Liberty views. Departs from Brookfield Place; from $88/person; get tickets to Shearwater Champagne Brunch Sail.
5. Sex and the City Hot Spots with On Location Tours
Anyone who is a big Carrie Bradshaw fan knows that cocktails are at the core of just about any Sex and the City episode. During this 3.5-hour bus outing with On Location Tours, you will not only have the chance to see landmarks from the award-winning HBO show (including the Plaza Hotel and Carrie’s charming brownstone front stoop), but you will follow in the footsteps of the four gal pals and throw back a Cosmopolitan (or three) at the very bar that the characters Steve and Aidan open in the show. The tour also includes fun Sex and the City trivia, a stop at a West Village cupcake bakery, and a peek into designer shoe shop Jimmy Choo. Meets at 57th St. & 5th Ave.; from $39/person; get tickets to the Sex and the City Hot Spots Tour.