New York City has some of the world’s best craft cocktail bars and most experiential cupcake shops (seriously, make your own artisanal cupcake at Molly’s Cupcakes or partake in beer/wine and made-from-scratch cupcake pairing at Sweet Revenge and then you’ll understand). While for a long time my mind never thought of the two at the same time, Prohibition Bakery in the Lower East Side has changed that.
Brooke Siem, a classically-train chef, and Leslie Feinberg, a baker and bartender, started the business on a whim, as they were bored and thought it sounded like a fun idea. Apparently, customers did too, as the business quickly took off, allowing adults to get in touch with their inner-child in a grown-up way.
While the concept itself is creative, what’s truly amazing about this unique establishment is the quality. These cupcakes don’t just resemble their namesake drink, they embody them, featuring the same ingredients — void of artificial flavors — but reconstructed.
Brooke Siem and Leslie Feinberg. Photo courtesy of Prohibition Bakery.
There are a lot of innovative varieties to choose from: an “Old Fashioned” made with whiskey, bitters, orange and whiskey-soaked cherry; a “Dark & Stormy Cupcake” featuring Gosling’s Rum, ginger, beer and lime; and a “Sangria” combining orange, Pinot Noir and pear brandy, to name a few. There are also a number of more conceptual cupcakes, like “Pretzels & Beer” featuring pale ale, Nutella, pretzel and white truffle and a “Scotch & Cigar” with molasses, tobacco and Laphroaig scotch.
“We love to challenge the idea of a cupcake, or a cocktail, or a candy, and to give people something to talk about,” explains Feinberg. “We believe that people should be able to experience innovation in food in a casual setting. But mostly, our main mission is simply to make people happy, in perhaps a new and unexpected way.”
Top Photo courtesy of Prohibition Bakery