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The Chai Espresso Martini by Submercer

Cocktail of the Week: A signature espresso martini from BOND Hospitality's latest outpost.

By Elite Traveler

New York City has no shortage of excellent bars, but that doesn’t mean we’re not all ears when a new one opens up shop – or, in some cases, re-opens up shop. One of the latest is Submercer, which partiers of the nineties might remember as the SoHo spot (and yes, it’s still as hard to get into a couple of decades later).

Opened with the weight of Scott Sartiano and BOND Hospitality – AKA the team behind member’s club Zero Bond and Italian-American restaurant Sartiano’s – behind it, Submercer is nestled away in the basement of the Mercer Hotel with an invitingly intimate atmosphere.

[See also: The Azul Cadillac by Casa Bond]

submercer cocktail bar
Submercer has an intentionally low-key vibe / ©Jean Claude Billmaier

Specifically designed to cater to smaller groups, Submercer has an intentionally low-key vibe. Don’t expect big rowdy groups here; instead, it’s a late-night place to retreat with your nearest and dearest, or for a cozy date. In the now-signature BOND Hospitality style, the drinks list is cocktail-heavy, with big-hitter labels mixed into inventive recipes. There are light bites too – and very fancy light bites at that: expect the likes of a full caviar service, truffle fries and dainty sliders.

To mark the return of a New York nightlife icon, we’re sharing the recipe for one of Submercer’s signature cocktails: the Chai Espresso Martini. This recipe is more labor-intensive than your standard espresso martini, but if you’re hosting, whip up a batch of the chai tea reduction in advance and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to make your cocktails – the final stage is an easy one. 

[See also: The Best Hotels in NYC]

chai espresso martini cocktail submercer
The Chai Espresso Martini / ©Jean Claude Billmaier


– 1.5oz – Chopin Vodka

– 1.5oz – Fresh Espresso

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– .75oz – Black Tea Chai Reduction

– .5oz – Cazcabel Coffee Liqueur

Black Tea Chai Reduction

–  2.5 quart containers Cane Sugar

–  2 quart containers water

–  1.5 quart containers Vanilla syrup

–  4 oz Star Anise

–  2 oz cardamom

–  1 large iced tea bag

– 10 cinnamon sticks

–  2oz espresso beans

–  750ml (1 bottle) of Ron Zacapa

–  8 oz espresso (beans for infusion)

–  1 pinch of salt

Bring everything to a boil and reduce for 10 minutes on low


Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice, shake and strain into a martini glass.

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