By Elle McLogan

[EDITOR’S NOTE 8/29/2020: This venue is closed.]

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Turning waffles into cocktails and muddling herbs with liquid nitrogen have some people calling Dave Arnold the mad scientist of the cocktail world.

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A sculptor and designer of bar equipment, he’s using a centrifuge and a hydraulic press—along with more traditional tools of the trade—to create innovative drinks at Existing Conditions, the Greenwich Village bar he owns with partners Don Lee and Greg Boehm.


Existing Conditions puts uncommon ingredients to imaginative use. The team harvests salty mineral water from Saratoga Springs and adjusts the acid in grapefruit juice.

The Waffle Turkey 101 cocktail features bourbon soaked in buttermilk waffles.

In addition to creativity, precision is key for Arnold.

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“I have a database where I calculate the exact sugar alcohol and acid percentages of our drinks,” he said.

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Despite the elaborate processes behind the menu, Arnold hopes to create a relaxed and unpretentious bar experience.

“Our goal is, anything you order here, you shouldn’t have to know anything about it to think it’s delicious,” he said.

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“If you want to be alone and brooding, we want you to feel like you can do that. If you want to have an awesome first date or an anniversary or a time out with your friends, we want you to feel comfortable and happy doing that. We want you to feel your best self.”

Existing Conditions
35 W 8th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 203-8935

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Elle McLogan