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World's Best Bar

New York City-Lower East Manhattan

  • Great food
4.79 / 5 2 / 5

May 11, 2018

Once a neighbourhood strewn with dives, punk clubs and yes, more dives, Alphabet City has become a go-to drinking destination for the mainstream over the past decade. Craft beer bars, cocktail emporiums, themed bars focused on specific spirits or regional drinks are typically packed, with Mace being both a local favourite and destination drinking spot.

Opened in March 2015 by a locally renowned team including Greg Boehm, Zach Sharaga and mixologist Nico de Soto, the cocktail lounge has been in vogue since it first started slinging its spice-themed cocktail menu. Like many spots in the East Village, the bar is small and narrow with the best seats arguably by the windows, which open and welcome a breeze and excellent people-watching on warm days. A seat at the bar, however, is essential for those of us who want to quiz the bartender du jour on what the unique and lesser-known ingredients – puxuri? Moringa leaf? Sunflower milk? – featured in each cocktail.



A soundtrack combining old school hits, hip hop and party anthems keeps the attitude relaxed and the cocktails, though seemingly serious and clearly incredibly well conceived and executed, are also playful. A tea-like lemongrass drink mixed with mace-spiced liqueur, pineapple juice, lemon juice, coconut water and foamy coconut lemongrass sabayon is remarkably served both hot and cold in the same glass and a recent take on bubble tea combined booze with tapioca balls in a plastic takeaway cup. The cocktails are rife for discussion and a low noise level on most nights makes conversation easy and ample. Mace is the type of place you can comfortably take a date, a colleague or a friend, to catch up and indulge in high-quality drinks.