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Winter Warmer

When it’s cold outside, everyone could use a winter warmer, and what better way to turn up the heat than with a specialty seasonal cocktail? Beneath an unmarked striped awning at 191 Chrystie Street in the Lower East Side sits Experimental Cocktail Club, a hidden mixology bar with a taste for well-crafted drinks. While the exterior is unassuming, the inside is anything but: there is a retro atmosphere reminiscent of Paris in the 1920s (no surprise, considering owners Pierre-Charles Cros, Olivier Bon and Romée de Goriainoff opened the first location there and another one recently in London), punctuated by the bartenders, who are often outfitted in suspenders and bowler hats. But the speakeasy-esque venue touches on other decades as well, with a DJ spinning tunes by Morrissey and The Clash. The menu includes 14 rich cocktails made by Nicolas de Soto, and while most are top secret, we have the recipe for one of the house favorites below.

Black Heart

2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
½ oz Cynar
1 tablespoon Luxardo Maraschino
10 East African French dark coffee beans
2 dashes of Bittermen Boston Bittah
Laphroaig Rinse
Rinse a coupette glass with Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky. Stir all other ingredients listed in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into the coupette with the whisky rinse. Garnish with the oil from an orange zest – this can be done by simply twisting the peel over the glass. Discard the zest and promptly enjoy the drink.

Experimental Cocktail Club is located at 191 Chrystie Street between Stanton and Rivington streets.

Credits: Photos c/o Experimental Cocktail Club