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Get a free margarita bowl on your birthday at this NYC bar

What's the point in having a birthday if someone else isn't buying the drinks?
A bowl of margarita awaits the birthday boy or girl who books their party at Bar Hugo.
A bowl of margarita awaits the birthday boy or girl who books their party at Bar Hugo.

Having a birthday means there are certain things you shouldn’t have to worry about. Chief among them is who’s buying the drinks.  

Enter Bar Hugo, the rooftop lounge on top of SoHo’s Hotel Hugo where birthday girls and boys are treated right.

With your floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of Lower Manhattan — the bar is perched on the 20th floor, which is a skyscraper by SoHo standards — comes The Hugo Bowl.

Calling it a “bowl” doesn’t do justice to its sheer size; we’re talking a tureen of Código tequila mixed with a whole bottle of Yes! prosecco, triple sec and fresh-squeezed lime juice. It's even glammed up with a sparkler so no one in the place misses that it’s your special day. Maybe someone special will catch your eye and buy the next round? If you can even handle more than one.

The Hugo Bowl is your complimentary gift for turning another year older with a birthday reservation for parties of 15 or more. Find yourself there on a very happy UNbirthday? Happy hour's got decent deals (specialty cocktails are $9 until 9 p.m.). The place is spread out over two levels, so wear your drinking boots rather than your super high heels for safety's sake. 

While no one else will serve you a group-size cocktail for free, Bar Hugo’s tequila tureen is just the latest in a growing trend of gigantic cocktails.

Once the weather warms up, there’s the 114-ounce marvel known as the Siren’s Call, served in a mermaid-shaped, err, vase, at the Watermark Bar in the Financial District. Or head upstairs to Cienfuegos, the casual Cuban lounge that’s been serving punch bowls for five since it opened — and they’re half off during happy hour (5-7 p.m. daily).