This unmarked boîte is the sort of contrived hideout that might be cooked up by an overgrown kid with a chemistry set. The bar is littered with old vials, the cocktails are referred to as “prescriptions,” and the bartenders-cum-mad-scientists are in rare form—note the cinnamon-flambéed Himalayan salt that rims a margarita. But all of this hocus-pocus doesn’t translate to better drinks: An off-putting, gin-fueled Seven Herbs tasted exactly like alcoholic gazpacho. Apothéke’s $35 pyromaniacal absinthe—set aflame and passed between cups à la a blue blazer—yields a syrupy-sweet elixir. Some may revel in such silly tricks, but we’d rather take the cash and buy three less ludicrous drinks elsewhere.
9 Doyers St
|Cross street:||at Pell St|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 6pm–2am|
|Transport:||Subway: J, Z, N, Q, R, 6 to Canal St|
|Price:||Average drink: $15. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V|