Archive for the ‘’ Category

November 14th, 2009

Nips – 11/14/09

murry-stenson

Finally, last night, I met Seattle legend and internationally renowned bartender Murray Stenson. What a treat. As I’ve said here before, I’m one of many people nationwide who have encountered Murray’s hospitality from afar, by way of a surprise, complimentary drink delivered by a mutual bartending acquaintance. (I first heard about Murray from one of our city’s best bartenders, Scott Holliday, and was flattered to learn that Murray has been a drinkboston reader from early on.)

Acting as ambassador of the Murray Stenson Fan Club, New England Chapter, I presented him with a book on the history of Boston signed by several of our city’s bartenders — most of whom, like me, have only admired him from afar — plus a bottle of Chartreuse milk punch from the staff at Drink. Murray opened the punch right then and there and poured several shots for patrons at the bar. Then he mixed a few rounds of strong, elegant drinks — doling out some rare treats like the above — for me and my companions, West Coast drink writers Paul Clarke and Charles Munat. I’ll tell you more about Murray and my Seattle bar-hop in a later post.

johnny-bond-10-bottles» Save the date for drinkboston’s next event: Barstool Mountain Monday: Country Drinking Songs and Country Drinks, November 30 at the Independent in Union Square, Somerville. Think southern-style cocktails, shots of bourbon and Lone Star beer flowing to a soundtrack of classic country drinking songs spun by Brother “Taco Brim” Cleve. There’ll be well-known faves like “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Made a Loser Out of Me),” but also lesser-known gems like “Four on the Floor (and a Fifth Under the Seat),” and “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinking Doubles).” More details to come soon.

» Also this month, swing by the bar at Clio between the 16th and 22nd, when bartender/mixologist Todd Maul celebrates the birthdays of David Embury and William “Cocktail” Boothby. Embury, born in 1886, is the author of the biblical Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. Boothby, born in 1862, was perhaps the best-known bartender just before Prohibition. He plied his trade most notably at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and authored World’s Drinks And How To Mix Them and The American Bartender.

“We will be serving the Boothby Cocktail, the Casino and two creations from the Clio bartenders. For 10 bucks you get a drink and some rock shrimp,” says Todd, who provided the recipe for his homage to Embury and Boothby below.

Todd Cocktail

2 oz Rittenhouse 100 rye whiskey
1 oz Aperol
1 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
Dash Angostura bitters

Stir over ice, serve straight up.

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Posted in Bartenders, Cocktails, Events, Nips, Seattle | 3 Comments »

October 27th, 2009

Fernet at the Franklin 11/5

fernet-posterThe eagle has landed. Boston imbibers, you’re invited to a joint drinkboston – Franklin Southie production: Fernet Branca Industry Night.

What: A festive gathering for industry and non-industry folk alike who are curious or passionate about the pungent, dark and mysterious digestif Fernet Branca. A special drink menu will feature Fernet cocktails by bartenders around Boston.

When: Thursday, November 5, 8:00 p.m. – last call.

Where: The Franklin Southie, 152 Dorchester Ave., South Boston.

Who: On the stick — Joy Richard, bar manager and head mixologist for the Franklin Southie and the Franklin Café, and founding member of LUPEC Boston; and Peter Cipriani, longtime bartender on the Boston scene (you may also know him from Silvertone and Stella). Joy’s original Fernet cocktail recipe will be joined by recipes from:

  • Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli – Craigie on Main
  • Misty Kalkofen – Drink
  • Josey Packard – Drink
  • Jackson Cannon – Eastern Standard
  • Emma Hollander – Trina’s Starlite Lounge

What else: Fernet cocktails $7. Fernet in ice shot glasses: $5. Fernet swag (get it while you can). No tickets or reservations required. Fernet, plus appetizer specials and the company of fellow Fernet fiends and curious cocktailians, are what it’s all about.

Remember to sign up for the drinkboston email list at drinkboston (at) comcast (dot) net to get announcements about upcoming events.

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Posted in Bitters, Events | 9 Comments »

August 18th, 2009

A lotta history, a little booze

bunchofgrapestavern

Boston imbibers usually like it the other way around, which is why I’m damn appreciative of last night’s great turnout for my talk at the Boston Shaker, “A brief history of drinking in Boston.” We covered almost 400 years in an hour and a half, and we sampled Ward Eights and Maharaja’s Revenges along the way. Not bad.

From Coles Tavern (Boston’s first bar), to the Bunch of Grapes tavern (known for its punch), to the New England rum industry, to the rise of saloons and statewide prohibition (that’s right — Massachusetts was dry for roughly 20 years starting in the 1850s), to the ice trade and Boston’s role in the birth of cocktails, to Beacon Hill speakeasies in the 1920s, to the popularity of tiki bars in the 1950s, to today’s revival of mixology … Boston has a rich and often conflicted drinking history. You’ll likely hear more about it here as my book-learnin’ progresses.

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Posted in Events | 8 Comments »

August 13th, 2009

Smashing!

whiskey-smash

I just want to say to anyone who thinks they have to stay home this Sunday night to see Old Overholt’s debut on Mad Men: you know you can watch it the next day on On Demand, right? And what better thing to do when hungover on Whiskey Smashes than watch 1960s ad men sit around their office drinking all day?

This Sunday night, Eastern Standard is celebrating the fact that it has sold 21,000 (!) Whiskey Smashes since opening in 2005. These classic cocktails take, like, five minutes to make. They’re filled with lots of crushed ice, good bourbon, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and a little simple syrup muddled with mint. The delicious and potent drink has done much to introduce restaurateurs all over the city to the idea that they can put a few whiskey drinks on their clear spirits-dominated menus without scaring away their clientele. In fact, some of their clientele just might like this.

I don’t know how McDonald’s celebrated when they sold their one millionth cheeseburger, but it wasn’t as cool as this: Starting at 7:00 p.m., Eastern Standard will throw a Whiskey Smash party that features the making of the largest Whiskey Smash ever; different iterations of the drink made with Chartreuse, peach, Cognac and rum; and guest bartenders and chefs from around Boston. Tickets, which include food and one Smash, are a steal at $30 (they can be purchased beforehand at the bar). If you’ve been to an event at ES before, you know that these people do not slack off when it comes to showing their guests a good time. So, for the love of god, get off the couch and over to Kenmore Square Sunday night.

See you there!

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Posted in Events, Whiskey | 4 Comments »

August 6th, 2009

A brief history of drinking in Boston

michaeltmcgreevys-1916-bpl

Hear ye, imbibers of the Hub. I’ve been brushing up on my Boston booze history, and I thought it would be fun to lead, you know, a little salon with fellow boozehound-historians interested in the topic. So I mentioned this to Adam Lantheaume of the Boston Shaker one day, and he said, ‘Why don’t we do a class?’ And I said, ‘You’re on.’

“A brief history of drinking in Boston” will take place Monday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Boston Shaker, which resides in the Union Square, Somerville, store named Grand. Tix are $20 (includes cocktails). Topics on the agenda include:

  • Colonial taverns
  • The New England ice industry & Boston’s role in the evolution of cocktails
  • Saloons
  • Massachusetts temperance and prohibition laws
  • Locke-Ober and the Parker House
  • Scollay Square
  • The Cocoanut Grove fire
  • Tiki bars
  • The revival of classic mixology in Boston

Sure, it’ll be educational, but it’ll also be informal and festive, as Adam and I will be serving samples of both classic and new Boston cocktails, including a Ward Eight made with Sazerac 6-Yr Rye (aka Baby Saz). Whether you know beans about Boston bar history or work for a tour company called the Boston Hooch ‘n’ History Trail (in which case we need to get acquainted), reserve yourself a spot — you’re bound to learn something.

See you there!

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Posted in Books & resources, Boston bars, Events | 4 Comments »

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