Cameo isn’t your average cocktail bar. The level 80 haunt – which adjoins Atria in The Ritz-Carlton – showcases antique cocktails with genuine golden era spirits, liqueurs and other ingredients.

The elegant 30-seat space is by Michael and Zara Madrusan (who also own The Everleigh, Heartbreaker and Bar Margaux). The bar centres around a portable, tabletop stainless steel unit, which the Madrusans designed and called the “Everleigh Station”. It’s surrounded by chairs, creating an intimate, chef’s table-like experience, but for cocktails. Despite the unorthodox setup, this is a destination bar, as good as any other in town.

At Cameo there are a handful of antique cocktails to try. The oldest might be a 1917 Sidecar, using Calvet Grande champagne cognac made in 1917. The 1930 Old Fashioned uses Hiram Walker’s fine bourbon made in 1930. And the 1931 Manhattan uses Barclay Gold rye made in, yes, 1931.

Spirits this old go for up to $3000 a bottle – something naturally reflected in Cameo’s prices, which are as high as $350 a drink. Besides beer and wine, more affordable cocktails appear in the secondary “Fine & Rare” list, which still use premium spirits, rather than those typically found in a bar’s speed rail. But if you truly want to taste a bit of history, the headline antique cocktails are also available in half serves. Be aware, though: the menu changes regularly as bottles run out.

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Updated: February 13th, 2024

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