FOOD: Lower East Side’s Prohibition Bakery, NYC

Prohibition Bakery is the kind of place you’d like to believe must have existed in an era when you had to disappear behind a revolving wall to drink cocktails disguised in teacups.  It’s also the kind of place you wonder how it’s just now created – with the boom in the niche culinary skills of mixology and baking (cupcakes in particular).  But the concept is original and delicious; testing your taste buds’ learned memory of every good element in traditional cocktails.  I’m only surprised (and a bit envious) that I didn’t think of it first.

Owners Brooke Siem and Leslie Feinberg are a chef and a bartender that decided to mash up their specialties on a level of accidental genius perhaps comparable only to “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter”.  Although it’s not entirely unheard of to put liquor into pastry recipes, one may wonder how exactly you can distill the taste of an entire cocktail into a mini cupcake without, say, soaking the cake in the liquor itself (like rum cake) which would be overwhelming.  But their method is to create a potent truffle inside a cake, topped with icing (in a perfect ratio by the way) and each component recalling the flavors in classic drinks.

The most successful of these that I tried was the “Margarita” as it not only tasted exactly like one, but captured its refreshing nature.  Another favorite would be the “Car Bomb”, which had its base in a surprisingly moist chocolate cake.  The “Pretzels & Beer” was a perfect mix of salty and sweet.  At the suggestion of Brooke, I also tried the virgin variety: “Nuts & Berries” available that day (their menu changes daily).  The lemon cake base and the other flavors here joined so well, I really didn’t mind that it didn’t require ID.   I liked that I could try so many in whatever combination or order I chose.  Fortunately, it’s totally legal.

Prohibition Bakery
9 Clinton St, NYC