FOOD AND DRINK
Five Spots in Boston for Top Cocktails With a Twist
Forget Cheers. Even though Boston is home to the bar that inspired one of the most-beloved television shows ever, and beer-soaked Boston was admittedly ever-so-slightly late to the party when it came to craft cocktails, the city made up for lost time with the launch of several bars widely considered some of the world’s best. Here are some of the city’s top spots for when you’re looking for a tipple with a twist.
No false advertisement here, they take their drink very seriously at Drink. Its cocktail program won the highly-coveted “World’s Best” at the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards and with perfectly crafted cocktails tailored to guests’ tastes and desires, this amazing bar isn’t resting on its laurels. This aptly-named Fort Point celebrity has its fair share of food, too – small bites and big bites – as you would expect from a project associated with Barbara Lynch, chef and James Beard award-winning restaurateur. Seafood reigns with elevated New England classics dominating the bar menu and for those who want to stick to the vino, there’s an excellent small list available.
348 Congress Street, 617-695-1806
The Hawthorne Bar
With Island Creek Oyster Bar and Eastern Standard nearby, The Hawthorne is part of the Commonwealth Hotel-connected cocktail and fine dining hub run by Jackson Cannon, one of the country’s most notable drink personalities. Unlike the big and beautiful brasserie that is Eastern Standard and the bright and brilliant oyster bar, the Hawthorne is a swanky lounge seriously devoted to cocktails. It launched with an ambitious book-length cocktail menu, but has recently pared things down to emphasize rare spirits, barrel-aged drinks, and bespoke cocktails.
500A Commonwealth Avenue, 617-532-9150
Although half the appeal of Boston is its eminently walkable nature, it’s worth the drive (or uber) to Allston to visit this world-class institution. With its emphasis on exotic white spirits like cachaça, pisco, mezcal, and tequila, the cocktail program at Deep Ellum features crisp, refreshing, and punchy offerings. And brown liquor stalwarts need not be afraid, since there’s also an entire Manhattan menu (seven to choose from), a first-rate selection of single malts, pot stills and blends, and a great selection of rye and bourbon.
477 Cambridge Street, 617-787-2337
Brick & Mortar
Behind an unmarked door in Cambridge’s Central Square, lurks a beautiful copper horseshoe bar, killer tunes, and a phenomenal selection of libations. Despite its understated entrance, Brick & Mortar isn’t a terribly well-kept secret and, as such, the place is usually pretty full of young, hip, and enthusiastic cocktail aficionados who appreciate the premium drinks and relatively reasonable prices. Dimly lit, with exposed brick walls and wood flooring, this contemporary saloon is instantly comfortable and unpretentious, with approachable cocktails (Duck, You Sucka!), daily shot specials, po’boy sandwiches, and one of the city’s better hamburgers.
567 Massachusetts Avenue, 617-491-0016
“Stay hydrated” says the sign next to a pink flamingo behind the bar at Highball Lounge in downtown Boston, a serious cocktail bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Or, in fact, terribly seriously at all, given the rubber ducky cocktail garnishes, pink and green drinks, and bendy straws adorning the tiki cocktail cups. Should patrons ever get bored by the terrifically fun drinks, they can entertain themselves with hot dog and tater tot-inspired snacks, spinning the wheel to get a more-or-less random cocktail choice, or with one of the bar’s many board games, including Jenga, Battleship, or the ever-popular Hungry Hungry Hippos.
90 Tremont Street, 617-777-0202
This article was originally published on August 1, 2015