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We Ranked All Of The Whimsical, Delicious Cocktails At The Sixth

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 16, 2016 4:36PM

Every drink at The Sixth. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.

Since The Sixth, the new cocktail bar attached to Roots Pizza in Lincoln Square, opened, it has been totally mobbed. On weekends, lines can stretch out the door and long waits are common. Is it worth the effort? I tried every single drink at The Sixth to find out.

Before you ask, no, I did not stand in line. You don't have to either—just go early. Between 5 and 6 p.m., even on a Friday night, the bar isn't full yet, and I managed to have calm cocktail dates in the charming space (and even chat with the bartenders) without any problem at all.

While I like some of the drinks better than others, let's get the "review" basics out of the way first. The atmosphere at The Sixth is lovely, the service has been perfect every time I've visited and the prices ($12 per cocktail) are reasonable for what you're getting. Now that the easy part is over with, on to the drinks. They're all good but, as with all things, some are better than others.

From "worst" to best, here are all the drinks at The Sixth. The top of the list might surprise you.

The Patina. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.


This combination of vodka, aperol and grapefruit is refreshing and easy to drink, and if I'd gotten it at an average bar, I would have been pretty pleased. However, unless you are an absolutely devoted vodka drinker, it's just not that exciting.

The Autumn Into Summer. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.

Autumn into Summer

The description (which includes apple brandy and bourbon) makes it seem like a hasher drink than it is, but this tall, refreshing drink, which also includes sherry, clove and vanilla, is a perfect drink for someone who needs an introduction to brown spirits. It's a tiny bit cloying, so if you hate sweet things, avoid it.

The Silly Rabbit. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.

Silly Rabbit
The first of the truly "whimsical" drinks on the list, the Silly Rabbit is the one you've seen on Instagram about 1000 times. That's because it's gorgeous, with bright ice cubes the color of each flavor of Trix cereal making up a rainbow tower inside your highball. It's also an interactive drink, as the liquid (a riff on a Southside, with gin and citrus) comes in an adjacent flask, and you get a little bottle of mint bitters to play with. It's a seriously fun drink. That being said, it's not as compelling as some of the others, and I've never gotten much of the fruit flavor from the ice in the drink—possibly because I'm downing it too fast.

The Spaceman Spiff. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.

Spaceman Spiff

This Calvin and Hobbes-inspired drink is freakin' adorable. The combination of Mezcal, pineapple and hazelnut is set into a triangular glass atop a fishbowl filled with fragrant cedar smoke. As you drink (and inhale the smoke), a cute little scene appears in the bowl. This definitely has the potential to be a divisive drink, with strong flavors, but it's also one guaranteed to make everyone in the bar ask "what is that?"

The Statler and Waldorf. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.

Statler and Waldorf

Based on the description, I expected this cocktail to be a fruit bomb—rum, seasonal fruit and mint? Please. But it turns out to be a complicated, sippable quaff, served in a rocks glass with a huge ice cube. This was the last drink I tried, and it rapidly became one of my favorites, probably because of the inclusion of the Amer Bigallet, a bitter amaro which almost turns it into a sort of rum manhattan variation.

The Bracer. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.


Do you want to feel like you're a character on Game of Thrones? Do you want to get totally trashed? Order one of these. It comes in a horn (literally) and combines rye, bitter liqueur, pine and Edmund Fitzgerald porter. It's dark, big and you get a bottle of beer on the side, but watch out, because it's the equivalent of an entire cocktail and an entire dark beer in one drink.

The Saturnus. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.


The closest thing to a "tiki" drink on the menu, this comes in a gorgeous copper pineapple filled with crushed ice and topped with a Swedish flag skewering a Swedish fish. Why? Because it's made with Aquavit instead of rum, giving it a complex, herbal flavor.

The Weston. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.


I once wrote that the Weston was my favorite drink in the entire city, which makes its second place finish on this list near to heresy. It's still very, very good—the combination of whiskey, coffee and pipe tobacco always makes me feel like I'm sitting in a gentleman's club in a huge leather chair —but it's surpassed by the next drink.

The Doris. Photo by Kaitlyn McQuaid.


The Doris was a total revelation, and I've probably had five of them since The Sixth opened. It somehow combines my favorite thing in the world (a salty gin drink) with a floral overlay, creating something entirely new and absolutely drinkable. Plus, it's got the prettiest ice cube in the world.