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Apotheke is an alluring, dimly lit bar with some of the best cocktails in NYC. When it comes to cocktails, they are up there with mixology elites like The Nomad, Dead Rabbit and PTD. But what makes Apotheke deviate from the pack is its unapologetic pretentiousness.
A former opium den, Apotheke is nestled inside of a narrow, windy street in the center of bustling Chinatown.
A secret password is apparently required on Wednesdays. But they can get away with this bit of contrived roleplay because once you are inside, you’re promised magic–and they do deliver.
The owners, Christopher and Heather Tierney, were inspired by European apothecaries and absinthe dens; and they executed their vision perfectly. Inside the stunning bar, no detail is left unattended.
Upon entering, you’re immediately transported into a glamorous setting of decadence and sexy vibes. The high ceiling with scented lights, the marble bar, the bartender in his smart frock, the velvet overload; it’s all there to make you forget about your miserable life and start feeling desirable and important.
The menu is extensive and made up of multiple categories; it oozes of ultra seriousness. Each drink is served in an Austrian Crystal glass.
I tried the Silk Road under the category Painkillers. The drink consisted of Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Oolong Tea, Ginger, Egg White and Lime. It was a bit strong and made me brave enough to chat with the handsome bartender, Chris.
My friend tried the Professor Plum, under the Euphoric Enhancers category. It contained Denizen Rum with Kombucha and Plum, Hemp Milk, Honey, Orange Blossom Water, Absinthe, Lime and Agave. She said it tasted, “balanced with a woodsy, bright acidity and a delicate finish that evokes notes of wet leaves.” This is the same girl that, only a week prior, described a vintage port by saying that, “it tastes like old shoe.”
Clearly Apotheke had inspired her to tap into some latent sophistication that was previously unrealized.
At Apotheke, they mean business. The staff is professional, good looking and curt. The only thing I managed to muster from Bartender Chris was that he’d worked there for 5 years. After telling me so he promptly, and rightfully, ignored me. Apotheke employees appear to have great retention and style, but apparently not much patience for nonsense.
Apotheke–if you want to be both sexy and serious.