Spa Night

A t Anchor Spa yesterday, a chilled-out reggae playlist became richer as the evening did. An ocean’s horizon on the wall and the juxtaposition of dark wood details with white surfaces—stamped ceiling, marbled bar, tiled floor, wabi-sabi mirrored windows opposite the bar—offered upscale but unpretentious island vibes. The light actually got brighter as the clock approached seven, with a low sun reflecting more directly off the ivory Taft Apartments across the street.

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Along the way, the Honey, I Dew (pictured above) glowed a very pale yellow-green in a svelte coupe glass, with a light, cool aroma of sweet fruit foreshadowing the drinking. Tequila usually has a harsher upper edge I don’t like, but not in this cocktail, where just the bass and mid were present. Honeydew drinks are generally a risk, because the melon flavor is subtle even when it isn’t competing with others, and, meanwhile, the fruit’s high water content can dilute everything else. Here it was kept at just the right level—present but not thin or, on the other hand, too concentrated. A fine and frothy head of aquafaba presided over this unlikely but eminently natural wedding, offering a symmetry you could savor all day if the DJ (the alcohol) weren’t charging by the hour.

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Speaking of alcohol, I also ordered a San Jarocho, which came in a larger coupe and a stronger yellow more like a margarita, with a deliciously salted-and-peppered rim a quarter of the way around. It was a really smart touch to do it just part of the way, letting the drinker calibrate any way they want.

Like a margarita, the drink starred tequila and lime juice. And it tasted like a margarita, too—for about half a second. Then the smoke of the mezcal wafted through, curling smoothly across my palate, and I understood that this was a different thing entirely.

The Anchor Spa
272 College St, New Haven (map)
Mon-Thurs 4-11pm, Fri 4pm-1am, Sat 3pm-1am, Sun 3-11pm
203-821-7065 |

Written and photographed by Dan Mims.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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