Looking to create some post–literary conference drama in the name of legendary writers like Poe, who whacked his head with a bottle of whiskey in front of a mirror? These three bars, all located within a quick cab ride of the Javits Center, are where spirit sommelier Heather Greene says she will “order something brown while I’m out on the town.”

Best Place to Whack Your Own Head

The Flatiron Room: You’ll be so excited by the sheer number of whiskies available that your only response will be to knock yourself out. Live music, classic cocktails like the old-fashioned, and decor that harkens to the days of an uptown supper club drive fans from all over the world to this brown-spirit shrine. On Wednesdays, a classic French chanteuse takes the stage and on Thursdays a toe-tapping Cuban dancers will keep you happy. Reservations recommended, dress is upscale casual, and there’s plenty of food to order from small bar bites to full course dinners. Oh, and look for me, I’m the whiskey director there (37 W. 26th St.; 212-725-3860).

Best Place for a Little “Death in the Afternoon”

The NoMad: While more upscale than a typical Hemingway haunt, here’s where I ask the bartender to create a bespoke concoction based on my bad mood and not be bothered by anyone else sitting in the dark and sexy bar. The Nomad is renowned for some of the most talented bartenders (ahem... mixologists) in the business, which puts this place on top lists in just about every magazine. After 6 p.m. watch out—you’ll be rubbing shoulders with grade B model types and maybe Leonardo DiCaprio. But maybe you’re into that sort of thing. Dress like you’re aiming to land a part in a Hollywood film or score an afternoon tryst (1170 Broadway, at 28th St.; 212-796-1500).

Best Place to Not Drink 18 Whiskies in a Row

The Brandy Library: The Brandy Library is so chic and hushed that you’ll be encouraged to nurse your slightly peated and elegant single malt scotch in a contemplative manner and very slowly. Shelves of fine rum, tequila, cognacs, and whiskey line shelves in neat rows around low, leather banquettes that mute sounds of Wall Street wheelings and dealings (25 N. Moore St.; 212-226-5545). Still, if pounding booze is more of a sport for you à la Dylan Thomas (who actually died of pneumonia, not whiskey), take a cab from there up Eighth Avenue to his preferred drinking joint, the White Horse Tavern (567 Hudson St.; 212-989-3956) and pound a shot before going home..

Heather Greene, a spirit sommelier, is the director of the Whiskey School at the Flatiron Room and the author of Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life (Viking Studio, Oct.).