Boston's been characterized as a beer city since before Sam Malone was pouring
pints for Norm, a cityscape of Irish pubs and discarded PBR tallboys. But
the revival of mixology sweeping American drinking culture has reached Boston.
These nominees represent the best Boston has when it comes to shaking and
stirring, from hipster dens like Backbar to tony establishments
like Eastern Standard.
GREEN STREET | CAMBRIDGE
Well-crafted cocktails can cost you an arm and a leg, but the folks at
Green Street missed that memo. The restaurant and bar's cocktail list, featuring
offbeat creations like the Fort Washington Flip (laird's applejack, benedictine,
vermont maple syrup, whole fresh egg and nutmeg) has no drink above $8.50, and
includes several below the $7 mark. Next time you shill out $12 for an
oversweetened margarita from instant mix, think about how far that money would
have gotten you at Green Street.
DRINK | SOUTH BOSTON
Drink, Barbara Lynch's foray into the cocktail biz, is as close a bar can
get to being a choose-your-own adventure book. You won't be relying on cocktail
lists or drinks-of-the-day in this fort point speakeasy, but your own creativity
to build one-of-a-kind cocktails. You can tell your sever what components you
like in a cocktail, like absinthe or egg whites, or let your left brain take the
lead and tell them how much you enjoy winters in Maine. Whatever you answer, a
you will soon be holding a drink mixed out of your own imagination.
EASTERN STANDARD | BOSTON
This Kenmore restaurant and bar was inspired by the grand train stations of
old, and its vast dining room, high ceilings, and 46 foot bar evoke the scope of
Grand Central. Their cocktail list exhumes forgotten drinks of yesteryear
alongside fresh creations, and the list features some of the best drink
descriptions we've ever read. (take the Periodista, described only as "rum for
the intrepid reporter. Once city's homage. One man's quest.") In fact, Eastern
Standard is superior to the grand terminals it recalls, as there's no train to
keep you from spending the whole day sipping.
BRICK & MORTAR | CAMBRIDGE
Brick and Mortar, which occupies the Central Square space that was once the
Enormous Room, knows what's in a name. Take the "Streets of Gettysburg" (Sherry,
Rye, Benedictine, Ristretto, Bitters), or the "Sentimental Gentleman" (Douglas
XO Scotch, Benedictine, Nux Alpina). Their tendency for awesome naming carries
over to the food menu, where you can order a "Devil on Horseback," which is a
much cooler way of saying you just stuffed dates with bleu cheese and wrapped
them in bacon. But don't think the titles are trying to make up for something -
with unique elements like lemon oil and cocchi, you'll remember what went into
the drinks just as much as the name.
BACKBAR | SOMERVILLE
We always knew a cocktail bar would be a far better Wi-Fi campsite than the
corner Starbucks. The folks at Union Square's Backbar have caught on, and offer
free wireless from 4 to 6 pm every day for aspiring screenwriters and laptop
laborers that want something stiff to finish the work day. You'll want to stick
around when genius hour ends in order to siptheir Mexican Gin (juniper-infused
tequila, aveze, and cocchi americano), or prudently imbibe with their trio of
"tradesmen" cocktails, priced at $7 each.
THE HAWTHORNE | BOSTON
in 2011 the team responsible for Eastern Standard and the Island Creek
Oyster Bar revived the Commonwealth Hotel's old Foundation Space, transforming
it into the cocktail lounge the Commonwealth always deserved. The Hawthorne is
the place to get cozy with your drinks, where you can take the paper plane
(bourbon, aperol, nonino quintessentia and lemon juice) to any of the bars,
chairs or sofas that make up its two lounge rooms. To emphasize the classic
lounge setting, there are no TVs in the Hawthorne- just cocktails and
Get drinking, and then get voting! And don't forget that if you don't see your favorite bar repped here, you can write it in!