The key to crafting a great cocktail lies in the tiniest of details. The precise placement of a single leaf of mint, carefully hand-sifting one layer of liquor from another, muddling with fervor (but not too feverishly): These are the things that elevate a simple concoction to something truly special.

Whether it’s understanding how to complement one flavor with another, balancing acidity with just the right amount of sweet, or having the creative wherewithal to reinvigorate an old favorite into a contemporary classic, the modern bartender is someone who can deliver an ethereal experience in the same way a chef—or even an artist—could. And also, get you crazy drunk.

Not your average booze-slingers, the bartenders behind Manhattan's finest drinks are craftsmen (and women), and it shows in their unyielding focus on the minutiae. It’s those details that make these cocktails look and taste so damn good, and help establish these bars and restaurants as the essential New York City watering holes that they are.

Sit back, and drink it all in: The 25 Best Cocktails in NYC Right Now, Being Made In GIFs.

Written by Shanté Cosme (@ShanteCosme)

Photography by Liz Barclay (@LizBarclay)

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