Barkeep Phil Ward focuses on tequila and its cousin, mescal, at this East Village haute cantina. His wonderful menu features a cool-as-marble Cinquenta Cinquenta—a pairing of chamomile-infused reposado tequila and white vermouth that goes down like iced tea. The Slynx cocktail is a liquid campfire of aged tequila, applejack, bitters and a smoky rinse of mescal. The craftsmanship in the drinks is equaled in the bar menu, featuring shareable snacks like crispy plantain tostones and popcorn dolled up with cotija cheese, ancho chili and lime. Despite its many strengths, Mayahuel wears its ambitions lightly. With so many of today’s top-tier cocktail bars lousy with vanity, that humility is a welcome departure.
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