Experimental Cocktail Club Comes to NYC

By Jim Allen

Pioneers in music or visual art are often termed “experimental” for following their own paths and leaving convention behind. But the art of mixology has its adventurers too, and lately they’ve been blazing some singular cocktail trails all around the planet under the stylish umbrella of the Experimental Cocktail Club. It’s a phenomenon that took hold in Europe first, with outposts established in both Paris and London, but in retrospect, it was inevitable that the ECC would take root in New York City, where the pursuit of the perfect drink is a quest as intense and ongoing as that of almost any other artistic endeavor.

Now that the Experimental Cocktail Club has come to Chrystie Street on the Lower East Side, New Yorkers can avail themselves of the same sort of imbibing adventures Parisians and Londoners have been enjoying. But be advised that the ECC NY isn’t the sort of bar you simply stumble into. You’ll need a reservation first. Once you enter the establishment’s rarefied atmosphere, though, you’ll quickly come to understand what all the hubbub’s about. Anyplace where coconut milk, pineapple juice, cinnamon bark syrup, green tea, and Yamazaki whiskey are everyday ingredients on the menu is a place where only serious cocktail mavens belong. A DJ playing an equally intoxicating mix of dance music and suave old-school sounds doesn’t hurt matters either. Early reports indicate that the experiment is an unqualified success.