If we’ve learned anything about ourselves over the last year, it’s that we’re big fans of cocktails in to-go cups. That’s not to say we don’t appreciate showy glasses with salt around the rim, but there’s something freeing about bringing an alcoholic beverage from a neighborhood bar to an entirely new destination. If you’d like to experience that freedom in or around Prospect Park, use this guide. It’s got 10 spots offering peach-jalapeño margaritas, frozen drinks, and more to-go options that you won’t have to make yourself at home.
Weather Up is the best cocktail bar in Prospect Heights. It’s a small room on Vanderbilt Avenue without a sign outside (look for a door and push), and one of the few storefronts in the area with no natural lighting inside. They serve everything from an Old Fashioned with mezcal to 200-milliliter Negroni flasks you can take with you on a stroll to the Prospect Park Boathouse.
Parish Cocktail Bar
If you live in Park Slope and don’t have a backyard, you probably already know about Parish. This excellent cocktail spot is a popular choice in the neighborhood, due in part to its great patio area out back, along with the specialty cocktails from the bar up front. It’s also one of our favorite places to pick up to-go drinks like blueberry tonics and orange margaritas in the area.
If you’ve never had a painkiller before, order one from Bearded Lady. It’s like a piña colada, and is another great option on a summer day when the sun is trying to nudge you in the direction of a refreshing alcoholic beverage. And considering that this very good Prospect Heights bar is open until midnight every day, it’s the perfect place to pick up a drink before attending a daytime or nighttime soiree in the park.
Even if you take pride in making cocktails at home (by the way, we can teach you how), you’re probably not whipping up spiked lemonade or mai tais very often. Treat yourself by going to pick up one of each from Bar Basic in Park Slope. It’s open every day, and serves everything from tacos and margaritas to burgers and sandwiches for takeout.
Considering Olmsted has its own garden and quail coop in its backyard, it’s no surprise that their grocery store (called Olmsted Trading Post) carries lots of things you’re going to want in your pantry, like housemade aji dulce hot sauce, duck breast pastrami, and blood orange marmalade. You can check out their selection of to-go cocktails made with things like rosemary mezcal and chipotle lemon here.
This Prospect Heights spot offers groceries and provisions, as well as takeout cocktails and snacks, from a takeout window on a quiet neighborhood corner. So stop by James when you want a flask full of some delicious beverage made with Japanese whisky, and don’t forget that this place serves one of our favorite burgers in the city.
Usually, Parkside is a great place to drink cocktails until you work up an appetite for some pizza. The fact that they’re offering takeout and delivery means you can still take part in that cycle, even if it’s in your apartment or on a blanket in Prospect Park a block away. Order Neapolitan-style pies and large-format margaritas for takeout through links on their website.
If you’re looking for a place with a wide variety of options for to-go cocktails, check out Edie Jo’s. From watermelon Negronis and peach jalapeño margaritas to mimosa and bloody mary kits, this cocktail bar on Flatbush Ave has you covered. You can also order things like olives, cheese, hummus, and kimchi pineapple from their takeout menu online in case you want some snacks to intersperse with all the booze.
Located just a block away from the bottom of Prospect Park, Krupa Grocery is the best thing to happen to Windsor Terrace in a long time (possibly ever). In addition to a great backyard and top-notch brunch dishes, it’s also an ideal place to pick up food and drinks for a special occasion picnic. They’ve got a Prospect Park Picnic Box, “Negroni To-Gonis,” and Aperol spritz bottles available for takeout every day.
Risbo is a counter-service spot with a full bar and a big backyard that looks like somewhere you’d want to drink some tea, cross your legs, and try out a new meditation app. Stop by when you want to pick up a rum cocktail before you head to the park, apply some sunscreen, and run down the battery on your Bluetooth speaker.