This time of year, the dark insides of a bar don't seem like the most appealing place after you've been in the office all day and you're leaving work and hoping to enjoy a little bit of the fading daylight. That's why outdoor and especially waterfront bars are key.
If you're in the Financial District, there is a choice spot for drinks right in Battery Park, across from State Street and not far from South Ferry. Formerly known as American Park, it's been renamed Battery Gardens and the patio bar out back is just a few feet from the waterline and gives you full unobstructed views of New York Harbor, with the ships and pleasure boats scuttling about in clement weather. I haven't eaten there, but the food is supposed to be very good as well, though I don't know how expensive it is.