Nightlife

Existing Conditions is the Most Experimental New Cocktail Spot in Town

A Custom Carbonation Machine, Obsessed-Over Drinks and Not a Single Neon Sign in Sight

By Ilana Dadras ·
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Sitting inside this unassuming new cocktail spot, you'd never know your drink went through a custom-made carbonation system including a pump filled with an ethanol solution meant to keep drinks at a precise negative seven degrees.

Nor that your drink involves pressure cooker-condensed coconut milk and an acid-adjusted orange juice.

Nor that the snack mix on the table is peppered with freeze-dried kielbasa.

You may, however, note that it all tastes particularly delicious. And that, friends, is entirely the point.

Say hello to Existing Conditions: frankly, the most exciting new cocktail spot we've seen in quite some time—now open in Greenwich Village.

The dream team here explains a lot: Partners Dave Arnold (Booker and Dax), Don Lee (PDT) and Greg Boehm (Cocktail Kingdom) had visions of a casual, welcoming space with approachable yet low-key precise and incredibly well-crafted drinks, and that's exactly what they've done here. 

Rest assured, the mixologists have been centrifuging, clarifying, pressure cooking and fat-washing ingredients hours before you arrive.
All drinks benefit from some level of science and tech here: whether it's the carbonated strawberry margarita with clarified strawberry juice, or the Tuxedo variation for which the bartender uses cream whippers and nitrous oxide to infuse gin with saffron. Check out a menu.

Bottled cocktails also fall from an old vending machine.
Put in a token, and a drink that Dave was known for at Booker & Dax just may fall out.

If you could use a bite, they've got Bar Snacks.
Peekytoe crab dip with wonton chips, crispy latkes with pear purée and horseradish cream, that sort of thing.

If you could use more than a bite, they've got Boat Anchors.
Like shaved prime sirloin sandwiches and classic turkey clubs. You wouldn't know it, but their steak is low-temp-cooked in a sealed Zip-Lock so that it's ready in about ten minutes. 

Just like grandma used to make.

Ilana Dadras passes her days writing about good food, talking about good food and consuming good food. Occasionally doing other things, too.

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