Booker and Dax
207 Second Ave., at 13th St.; no phone
As the cocktail revolution evolves, classic mixology is giving way to mad science. French Culinary Institute technology director Dave Arnold leads the charge at this drinkery-cum-laboratory in the back of Momofuku Ssäm Bar. On chillier nights, barkeeps fashion flaming drinks using a 1,500-degree “red-hot poker.” Better for warm weather are drinks made with clear, flavored spirits, including the Banana Justino ($14); the rum gets its fruitiness thanks to an in-house centrifuge. Carbonated quaffs such as the grapefruit-based Gin and Juice ($14) rely on a CO2 regulator hose attached to a two-liter soda bottle to reach their bubbly state, while other drinks benefit from strategic use of a rotatory evaporator or smoky liquid nitrogen.