I've never noticed this sleek little cocktail bar on Avenue C and 9th Street. Maybe I'm always distracted by the festive folks outside Esperanto or too busy gazing at the plants in the park across the street, but this is certainly not a place to overlook. In fact it just might be the best cocktail bar in the city.
Imagine my surprise when this arrived. I almost thought the bartender had given me straight bourbon; but once I took a whiff the sweet aroma of bananas and vanilla came rushing off the top. I took a big sip and that tropical goodness was all there; sweet bananas, silky coconut and a touch of Thai chili that hit that spicy spot in the back of my throat perfectly.
Barman Nico de Soto has created a cocktail list that focuses on the flavor profile of the drink rather than the spirit. The menu reads like a beautiful journey into someones spice cabinet with colorful pictures and detailed descriptions of each offering.
I'm obsessed with anything banana and coconut based so the Kewra was an easy choice. However as soon as the words were out of my mouth I had immediate order regret. It was such a hot day the last thing I wanted was a rich milky tiki drink.
The almond milk had been clarified making it silky and smooth rather than rich and frothy. The bartender went though the whole process with me but I'm afraid I would miss one of the intricate steps in retelling so best to just go and enjoy on your own.
In addition to the incredible cocktails Mace Bar plays some awesome music (Run the Jewels was the main favorite that day) and serves beer, wine and a small array of snacks. This place has already been named on the Worlds 50 Best Bars list for this year so get there soon or you may never be able to get in again.
649 East 9th Street at Avenue C
New York, NY 10009