Even before going inside it's fun to wander through china town and find this strange little street. Apparently its one of only 2 streets in manhattan that are windy. It earned the nickname, "The Bloody Angle" in the first part of the century due to the amount of gruesome murders between the Chinese tong gangs (mostly by hatchet hence the term "hatchet man"). It was actually considered the the bloodiest intersection in the entire country at one point. It's also home to the considerably more peaceful Nom Wah tea parlor which has been serving tea since 1927. Further down the street in an unmarked door beneath the apothecary sign the NYC cocktail temple Apotheke is waiting to blow your mind.
Part 19th century apothecary, part absinthe den, part theatre, part bar, Apotheke is really like no other place. It's warm, sexy, dark and mysterious. I could easily get away with wearing a monacle.
To say the cocktails are amazing is such an understatement. It is fascinating to watch them being prepared by handsome fellows in lab coats pouring elixers from brown bottles. They are beautiful when finished with great care given to the garnish (more than any other bar I have been to). The garnish is functional aromatically when sipped and always interacts with the drink in a playful or surprising way. The complexity of flavor is unreal. Each cocktail is like getting a clinic on different tastes, textures aromas and how they interact with each other. The Favorite was named "Sirens Call" from the "Stimulants" portion of the large menu. Aviation Gin, Roasted Seaweed, Cucumber, Squid Ink, Ginger, Smoked Sea Salt Rim.