The highly technical, experimental bar from science-y cocktail guys Dave Arnold, Don Lee, and Greg Boehm won’t be opening for a few weeks — but Existing Conditions in Greenwich Village is previewing the drinks on Wednesday for one night.
Tickets for the event cost $85, and about half the opening menu and some appetizers will be offered at 35 West 8th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
Arnold, formerly of Booker and Dax, and Lee, of PDT, have put together a list of cocktails that are already shaping up to be super specific and made with obsession for technique and ingredients.
The Helicopter, for example, includes aquavit that’s been milk washed — a technique that’s frequently used for other liquor but difficult to do for aquavit. Grapefruit juice in the beverage has been “acid-adjusted,” creating a bitter-sweet-sour shaken drink. The team employed a similar level of experimentation and sourcing for non-alcoholic drinks: One called Horse and Carriage includes granny smith apple and carrot juice that’s been carbonated and clarified, paired with a Tasmanian pepper berry. It’s supposed to evoke “the sensation of a sparkling white wine.”
A total of 12 drinks and three bottled cocktail will be available at the preview, including the above drinks, a bottled Manhattan, and a shaken beverage called OG Celery that’s intended to taste truly like celery. Once open, all of the cocktails will cost $15 a piece.
Existing Conditions is one of the most anticipated cocktail bar openings this year. Booker and Dax closed in 2016 and was considered one of the city’s most interesting bars for Arnold’s “mad genius” methodology. Lee similarly has impressive creds as the beverage director of PDT. He’s also considered a trailblazer in the fat-washing trend in bartending.
Despite the amount of time that goes into producing the drinks, Booker and Dax was known for unpretentious vibes and ultimately accessible drinking — an ethos that Arnold and Lee say they are bringing to Existing Conditions as well.