The New York bartender Phil Ward assisted usher in the tequila and mezcal renaissance when he opened Mayahuel in 2009. That East Village bar was one of the 1st in the United States to concentration on agave spirits and cocktails designed with them. By the time it closed eight yrs afterwards, there were being mezcalerias across the country, and drinkers everywhere you go have been contacting for mezcal margaritas and mezcal Negronis.
Considering the fact that Mayahuel’s passing, Mr. Ward has been biding his time mixing beverages at other people’s bars, notably Very long Island Bar in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. But afterwards this thirty day period, he will open a new bar in the borough’s Crown Heights section. It will be referred to as Altar, and he’ll be serving … martinis?
“Obviously, I appreciate agave spirits,” Mr. Ward, 45, explained. “But I have to be truthful, I’m so ill of generating beverages with them. I don’t even like to drink agave that way. I like to drink it by alone. So I’m really enthusiastic to be ready to make beverages with no matter what I sense like.”
And so, in the identify of assortment, Altar will have a particular martini menu. “I’m just obsessed with gin martinis,” he reported. “It’s just a genuinely entertaining box to enjoy in, if you are likely to keep the integrity of it, with gin and vermouth and a minimal something further.” Among the the variants will be the Beefsteak Martini, a combination of gin and both bianco and dry vermouths that is subtly infused with shiso.
The principal cocktail menu will be compact, comprising just 10 or so beverages. Each will embody Mr. Ward’s belief that “there’s almost nothing as advanced as simplicity.”
The Chrysin Martini will be a 50/50 martini produced with Plymouth gin, Lustau Blanco Vermut and a chamomile-infused gin. The L’Overture will be a mix of pineapple-infused Jamaican rum, lemon juice, Angostura bitters, glowing wine and a misting of Chartreuse. (Cocktails will price tag about $13.)
Mr. Ward, whose small business partner is Arturo Leonar (an operator of the Mexican cafe Chavela’s, subsequent door), is participating in with a number of other new tips at Altar. There will be significant-format beverages, served in a variety of vessels of glass, metallic and ceramic. Some cocktails will be accompanied by a little bite, these types of as chocolate or pickles, intended to compliment the flavor of the consume. And there will be a each day dealer’s-decision consume, which clients order with no trace of what it could possibly be.
“You really don’t know what it is,” stated Mr. Ward. “You just get it.”
One point you will not uncover on the menu are nonalcoholic cocktails, 1 of the largest consuming fads likely. But then, Mr. Ward has hardly ever been a person to comply with tendencies. “We’ll have items essential to make a mocktail if anyone does not want to consume and desires to be part of the enjoyable,” he explained. “But I really don’t assume you need to have them on a menu. People appear to bars to consume.”
Apart from the Palomino No. 2, a riff on a mezcal-grapefruit highball that was served at Mayahuel, there will be no echoes of the agave bar that built Mr. Ward’s popularity.
“This thing in which individuals are opening McBars, the place they open up the very same bar in diverse areas — I just sense each bar is quite certain, and the room is certain and it has a soul,” he mentioned. “You must just open a new bar somewhere and simply call it a thing else.”
Altar, 645 Sterling Position, Crown Heights, Brooklyn. No cellular phone or web site but.