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Bottle Service for Bottle-Service Haters

The new attempt to de-cheese-ify DIY drinking.


Bottle service, traditionally more about nightclub real estate than quality drinks, has gone craft. At Fatty ’Cue (50 Carmine St., nr. Bedford St.; 212-929-5050), so-called Thai bottle service ($60 to $125 for a 375-milliliter bottle) lets you pick your spirit from a glass cabinet, combining it to taste with housemade mixers ($10 each). At the James hotel (27 Grand St., at Sixth Ave.; 212-465-2000), guests who raid the minibar can call in a $28 setup that includes bitters, simple syrup, and other accoutrements. And at the NoMad Hotel’s Library Bar (1170 Broadway, at 28th St.; 212-796-1500), you can summon a bottle of premium booze presented on a rolling bar cart with three premixed additions and appropriate garnishes—and, if you’d like, mixology lessons from the staff. Above, a breakdown of a typical NoMad bar cart.

1. The top of the cart can be raised or lowered to function as a bar or a serving table.
2. Gin garnishes include lemon and orange twists, lemon and lime wedges, and olives.
3. Double-sided jiggers measure one and two ounces.
4. A selection of straws, essential for tasting cocktails. 5. Bitters and aperitifs such as vermouth are presented in delicate Japanese bottles.
6. Choose your spirit and brand. This gin cart, for instance, comes with a 750-milliliter bottle of Plymouth ($250) and includes cart service and accoutrements.
7. Bartenders are on hand to instruct proper cocktail-spoon-stirring technique.
8. Fever Tree tonic water, soda, and ginger ale accompany the gin.
9. Every spirit comes with three prebatched cocktail mixers. Carafes for gin contain blends for Southside (mint, lemon, and turbinado sugar), Negroni (Campari and Carpano Antica), and Gin- Gin Mule (ginger, lime, Angostura bitters, and Demerara sugar). 10. Slow-melting Kold-Draft ice cubes are stored in an insulated drawer.


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