existing conditions

As a fan of the shuttered Booker and Dax (shared space with Momofuku Ssäm Bar), I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Existing Conditions. My high expectations of creativity and deliciousness were completely met.

Our first round leaned towards the vegetal with a Carrot Vodka Soda, a carbonated blend of vodka, carrot juice, orange syrup, and clarified lime juice and the OG Celery, a riff on gin and juice with celery, parsley, orange syrup and lime. My Turkish friend couldn’t turn down the Edessa, a rye drink with Benedictine and sherry infused with urfa biber, a Turkish chile. There aren’t enough savory cocktails, and I applaud bars like this one and the George Washington bar for proving that vegetables are a worthy mixer. Each of these was the perfect blend of savory and sweet without being muddled.

OG Celery, Carrot Vodka Soda, Edessa at Existing Conditions

OG Celery, Carrot Vodka Soda, and Edessa at Existing Conditions

The theme of the next series of libations was fun with fruit, with a Strawberry Carborita, a carbonated margarita with all of the fruits – lime, orange, and strawberry – clarified; the Joy of Mango, consisting of mango rum and clarified Jamaican pepper sauce; and a Canary, saffron-infused gin combined with fino sherry and yellow Chartreuse (so I broke the fruit theme). Tangy and sweet, each went down almost too easily

The planning and precision that go into these cocktails come out in distinct and well-balanced flavors. Our server, which I’m pretty sure was one of the owners, told us that each potion had to pass two tests to make it to the menu – one, would you drink three of them in a row, and two, will the beverage hold up to 30 minutes of sipping.

We didn’t try the food, but I am anticipating it to be prepared with the same imagination and care as the drinks. Will definitely be back soon.

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