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.
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.