Mother's Ruin Bar And Drinks | Nolita, New York City

Mother's Ruin has a no-frills appeal

If there's a sign that fancy-cocktail fatigue is on the horizon, it might be the slushy machine at Mother's Ruin.

One night it pumps out an autumnal blend of bourbon and apple cider, another, a tropical mix of rum, lime and banana ($12).

Co-owners T.J. Lynch and Richard Knapp (alums of the Breslin and Má Pêche, respectively) have created a dimly lit, pretense-free Nolita hangout, where one would be hard-pressed to not feel at home.

There's not an elaborate drink menu per se, but the cocktails change frequently, sometimes nightly. Right now, there's a pitcher of a soothing five-rum concoction melded with homemade spiced grenadine molasses, orange and grapefruit zest and vanilla bean ($12).

Soon, hot toddies will be on offer, and the arrival of gin, rye, and bourbon that have been macerating with fresh fruit for months (a pleasant reminder of summer!). Garam masala-dusted crispy chickpeas and a banh mi-inspired Thai burger offer fortification.

Brunch is an equally low-key affair: Late risers who stop by on Sundays after 2 p.m. can eat their smoked-trout hash and sip newfangled French 75s while DJ Kimiko Masuda drops beats.

Sometimes, you don't have to try hard to have fun.

Mother's Ruin, 18 Spring St. (at Elizabeth St.); Facebook