A Mezcal Master Turns to the Martini

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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.”

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.

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