Newbie New York restaurant Nix is already make waves with the meat-free crowd, but the Southern California-styled vegetarian eatery is attracting in just as many carnivores. Chef John Fraser's (Narcissa, Dovetail) has found a sweet spot for serving a creative, animal-less menu packed with flavor—be it his tempura fried cauliflower stuffed into bao buns, or his cacio e pepe-inspired shiitake mushrooms. Behind the bar one will likewise find fresh flavors, as is the case for bartender Soraya Odishoo's Honey Bee, a simple cocktail that harmonizes honey, Thai basil, plus sake and gin.
11/2 ounces sake
1 ounce gin*
3/4 ounce honey syrup**
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
8-10 Thai basil leaves
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add ice and shake. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a Thai basil leaf.
* For this drink, use a gin with a less-pronounced juniper flavor.
** To make honey syrup, combine equal parts honey and water in pan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve honey into water. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.