Greg Boehm, proprietor of bar accessories retailer Cocktail Kingdom, teamed up with Zach Sharaga to create Mace, a cocktail den serving up drinks focused on individual spices. In the space formerly occupied by Louis 649, in Alphabet City, they’ve lined the shelves above the stainless steel bar with mason jars full of cardamom, cumin and other spices. A large window looks out onto the Ninth Street Community Garden. The drink menu, from third partner Nico de Soto, previously of Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris and NYC, is brief—just 12 options—but exciting. Don’t miss the namesake Mace—a vibrant garnet blend of aperol, aquavit and beet juice, shaken and strained into a coupe—or the Paprika, a Castelvetrano olive-colored sipper based on Tequila, verjus and snap pea shrub, a splash of Champagne amplifying its complexity. Food options are minimal, but the crab toast is a satisfying snack, topped with an avocado cream that provides a cooling counterpoint to the drinks. And the bar nuts, seasoned with cumin and cayenne are enough to hold you over while you order another round.
April 2016 Update: There are just 12 options on Mace’s cocktail list, but each drink is worth the trip to the East Village. Nico de Soto, previously of Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris and NYC, uses spice as his inspiration, creating drinks as complex and exotic as an Indian market. —Tara Q. Thomas
This review appears in the print edition of the August 2015 issue. Like what you just read? Subscribe now.
Caitlin Griffith knew her future career would entail food and drink when, at the age of six, she munched an anchovy from her father’s Caesar salad thinking it as a small strip of bacon—and was more than pleasantly surprised. While enrolled in New York University’s Food Studies program, she learned the secrets of affinage in the caves of Murray’s Cheese.
This story appears in the print issue of August 2015.
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