Moses Laboy at Los Americanos: Downtown’s Spicy, Surprising New Latin Cocktail Destination






By Lori Simmons Zelenko, Mixology Editor

Photography by Chris Soto-Chimelis

“Venus if you will” croons a Frankie Avalon soundalike in Spanish; sweetly teasing, playfully pleading for a girl to thrill. The retro charm of the song is pitch perfectly in sync with the vintage feel of Los Americanos the Church Street “diner” – a word as retro as the song but an understatement when it comes to this casual, comfortable haven that’s serving up spicy, surprising and very tasty Latin cocktails concocted by Moses Laboy.

A mixologist whose inventiveness is hardly bound by continents, Moses was raised in Spanish Harlem but is now presiding over the bar at this pan-Latin downtown destination – bar, restaurant, after-hours hot spot with a throwback feeling languidly implying an indolent era. Yet Moses infuses the spot with a zestful energy, serving up cocktails – all made with spirits from the Americas and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean – that are memorable in any time and place much less in this cigar-band wrapped space.

He’s kept his cool, Moses has, when serving leaders of the free world from Paul McCartney to President Obama (and Clinton too!) over his decade-and-a-half career. What makes a Moses mix spectacular and sublime?  He swings with the mood of the moment – is it chill or wild and crazy? Retro chic or avant garde? Whatever – he’s got that salsa beat.


Moses says he loves all the cocktails he’s created for the Los Americanos Cocktail Menu, so to pick one over the other would be like “choosing between children.”  But favorites are there – they come and go depending on his mood and the mood at the bar. Each drink Moses makes for our Millennium tasting though has a twist, a kick that trades on Tequila’s role as a stimulant, the only alcohol that is not a depressant.

And Los Americanos is the only place in Manhattan that serves cocoa leaf infused Tequila, a spirit that does deliver a fresh, spicy taste and a jolt but not quite the same high as a hit of cocaine.

We tried Under The Volcano – lime and rosemary with Mezcal – the kicker here?  Candied Jalapeño ‘garnish’.  Next up was Spanish Stroll, lavender bitters, homemade sage syrup, lime and Espolon Blanco (Tequila) – swizzle – and top with Sparkling Wine,  Los Americanos serves up a tasty one from Mexico. This  refreshing concoction is what Moses’ suggests we sip in the afternoon – and so we do, agreeing with  him that there’s no better way to spend those pre-sunset hours than sitting outside looking at the Freedom Tower with one of his cocktails in hand.


Los Americanos
305 Church St

(between Walker St & Lispenard St)

 New York, NY 10013

Neighborhood: TriBeCa

 (212) 680-0101

Late night menu until 3:30 am – 7 days a week




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