Imagine you're at a crowded bar in Manhattan (I know, hard to picture), and you just wish there was an easier and faster way to get a drink from the bartender. (As a short person, this is a doubly frustrating situation as it's harder to get anyone's attention.)
Then imagine: a vending machine for cocktails. Good cocktails.
Tokyo is known for having vending machines for just about anything, with much more than just drinks and candy at your fingertips behind a glass partition but even rice bowls, electronics, and other goodies. Many of those types of machines have made their way to the U.S., and New York itself is experiencing a bit of an infatuation with Tokyo-style cocktail bars.
Mix all of the above and you get what I've already hinted at: a vending machine for cocktails. Such a wonder exists at Existing Conditions, a new cocktail bar in Greenwich Village that does not actually cater to the NYU crowd but the rest of us.
Seen above, the bottled version of the Manhattan tastes just like what you'd get from the bar. (Don't worry, I sampled both for journalistic purposes.) The drink arrives chilled and delicious, instantly refreshing when it's hot and humid out.
After talking with the bar owners, the name "Existing Conditions" refers to the fact that the new owners kept most of the interior the same, from the bar to the wood flooring.
But the menu is entirely new—for both the venue and the local cocktail scene.
In fact the "OG Celery" might be one of the best cocktails I've had anywhere, ever—to the point where it is dangerous. It's like the best green juice you've ever had, and it's so hard to taste the gin (which is a good thing for someone who isn't a gin fan), that you could keep drinking these all night. There in lies the obvious danger, so try to keep track of how many you have. (Not to mention they're not cheap. But you're getting your money's worth.)
The Manhattan has long been my go-to cocktail, with either a Sidecar or Old Fashioned as alternatives. With that said, you won't be disappointed with getting the bottled Manhattan—not to mention it's fun to try out at least once.
You can definitely order the classics from the friendly bartenders, but give the menu a once-over before ordering because you'll likely be pleased with whatever you get.