Posts Tagged ‘tiki’

May 2nd, 2010

Nips – 5/2/10

clio-menuA friend of mine told me that an old flame put the moves on him recently after plying him with drinks. Acknowledging the futility of the attempt to rekindle, the old flame apologized for her brazenness. But she offered this excellent excuse: “It’s spring, and I’m a mammal.”

Well, it’s spring, and I’m a blogger. So here’s some link love…

» LUPEC Boston reviews Todd Maul’s new bar menu at Clio, which leaves all previous bar menus at Clio in the dust.  “The 80-plus drinks … run the gamut,” say the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails, “from aperitifs ($9) to drinks for two ($25) to tiki drinks & daiquiris ($13), and feature a blend of pre-Prohibition and modern classics.” Many of the offerings are designed to pair nicely with the raw delights at Uni, the sushi bar adjacent to the Clio bar.

» Speaking of tiki drinks … doesn’t the balmy spring weather make you thirsty for the serious Donn Beach/Trader Vic-style versions of these rum-tastic cocktails? Sure, you can get them on demand at Drink, Eastern Standard and now, of course, Clio, among a smattering of other spots. But could somebody open up a REAL tiki bar in Boston, already? This city was once a tiki mecca, and, well, how ’bout sprucing up down-on-its-luck Downtown Crossing with a ridiculously fun bar? Silvertone and Stoddard’s (yes, it’s finally open!) can’t do it all by themselves. Sheesh.

» Speaking of LUPEC Boston and new joints, one of the Ladies, Jane Robertson (aka Pinky Gonzales), does an astute write-up of Harvard Square’s new Russell House Tavern for Joonbug (which reviewed drinkboston’s Bartenders on the Rise event not long ago). She pretty much echoes drinkboston’s first impressions of the place: it’s got some baggage to overcome, but its bright spots — including the cocktail list and the horseshoe-shaped, marble bar downstairs — make us root for the place.

» Congrats to these talented barmen and women — who work in some of drinkboston’s fave joints — for making the Improper Bostonian magazine’s long-running Boston’s Beloved Bartenders list: Trina Sturm of Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Scott Marshall of Drink, Corey Bunnewith of Coppa and Ned Greene of Hungry Mother.

» Dan Okrent, whose Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition was recently reviewed on drinkboston, will talk about his book at an open-to-the-public lecture at the Boston Athenaeum on May 27. So much material here for us history-minded imbibers — reserve your seat starting May 14. And by the way, yours truly will be serving a Prohibition-era cocktail at the post-lecture reception (which also features wine, beer and cheese from Capone Foods).

» Speaking of alcohol, history and lectures, I’m also attending Boston Beer: a History with Michael Reiskind at the Boston Public Library on May 12. Oh, and speaking of beer, don’t forget that the annual American Craft Beer Fest is coming up at the Seaport World Trade Center June 18-19.

dean-martin-highball» If you like to drive your car to Boston-area bars but don’t want to risk a DUI (or worse) on your way home, Boston’s Designated Driver is a good service to know about. I haven’t tried it out yet and would love to hear from anyone who has — leave a comment, will you?

» Hey, did you know that drinkboston and Trina’s Starlite Lounge are having a Highballs party on Sunday, May 9? Reserve your ticket at 617-576-0006 or info@trinastarlitelounge.com and come party like it’s 1965. See you there!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Bartenders, Beer, Booze in the news, Boston bars, Nips | 10 Comments »

December 30th, 2009

Nips 12/30/09 – the year in drink

2009-year-in-drink

In this last installment of Nips for 2009, let’s consider some of the key developments of Boston’s year in drink.

» Booming business for Boston’s best bars. Probably the pleasantest surprise of the year for imbibers. It’s usually expected that the cream of the crop will thrive, but we’re in the middle of the biggest economic downturn since the Depression, for chrissakes. I know, I know — people drink more when times are tough. But it’s not like we’re talking dive bars, here. And it’s not only existing bars that are doing well. So are some newly opened ones, such as…

» Trina’s Starlite Lounge, Lord Hobo and Woodward. These three fine establishments opened in 2009 for our drinking pleasure. The ’50s-inspired Starlite has quickly become the kind of place that’s like a second living room for denizens of Cambridge and Somerville. It has two full bars to choose from, the vibe is genuinely welcoming and easygoing, the prices are recession-proof, and if you don’t run into someone you know there, then you probably know at least a couple of the bartenders by name.

After months of wrestling with anti-bar curmudgeons from the neighborhood, and amidst much nose-wrinkling over its loony name, Lord Hobo finally opened in the space formerly known as the B-Side Lounge. With a beer list that keeps the likes of the Publick House and Deep Ellum on their toes, serious gastropub fare coming out of the kitchen, and a good-looking cocktail list (albeit one I haven’t tested enough to judge), Lord Hobo has already established itself as a place for serious bargoers.

I’ve only sampled Woodward, in the Ames Hotel, once since previewing it a few months ago. But it’s clear that the place is making a serious attempt to be, for downtown Boston, a rare combo: an upscale tavern with top-notch food; a serious cocktail bar; and a magnet for nightlife. It appeared to be succeeding on all counts when I visited. More study needed.

» Legal Sea Foods discovers real cocktails. One of the most successful restaurant chains to come out of Boston does the right thing by hiring Patrick Sullivan as a beverage czar.

» Boston bartenders get noticed. Some of our best appeared locally on NECN and Chronicle, as well as nationally in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bon Appetit. Plus, drinkboston appeared in two new books: Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails and Lonely Planet’s Boston City Guide.

» The annual Craft Brewers Conference. It convened in Boston this year, giving a boost to our bona fides as a beer town.

» BarSmarts. Dozens of bar industry people around Boston and New England received top-notch training through this fast-growing program.

» Some positive trends… Tiki. Real tiki drinks could be had regularly at Eastern Standard and Drink, the latter of which had tiki Sundays all summer long. Shared cocktails. The above two spots also raised the profile of punch, one of the most sure-fire ways to put a whole crowd in a good mood. Meanwhile, the Marliave serves FDR martinis by the pitcher. Genius. Bitters. Bitters became more available, and in more flavors than ever before. The Bitter Truth is just one example, and bars continue to have fun making their own. Mezcal. I’m talking about the artisanal stuff, which Del Maguey pretty much single-handedly put on the map around Boston and elsewhere. Look for DM’s brightly colored, folk art-inspired labels at a bar that’s serious about spirits, and order a measure. You won’t look back.

» Last but not least, drinkboston got a stylin’ new design and taught its first class on the history of drinking in Boston. What’s up this blog’s sleeve for 2010? Let’s think about it over drinks.

Happy new year, everyone!

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Bitters, Boston bars, Nips | 9 Comments »

May 23rd, 2009

Redneck Luau @ Deep Ellum

redneck-luau-deep-ellumStretch your Memorial Day weekend festivities by stopping by Deep Ellum’s Redneck Luau on Tuesday, May 26 starting at 6:00 p.m. for some down-home barbecue, hillbilly-tiki cocktails and … free glassware! Yep, if you tell the doorman that you read about the party on drinkboston, you will receive a totally random beer or cocktail glass logo’d with anything from Mahr’s Pils to Crown Royal.

No cover charge, no reservations required for the Redneck Luau — just good ol’ boys and girls hungry for barbecued pig (they’re borrowing East Coast Grill’s pig box to roast a whole one) and Dallas-style brisket, thirsty for whiskey and locally produced rum, and itching to usher in summer on the back deck of a bar in Allston. Yee-haw! A big plate of barbecue with a heap of sides (mac n’ cheese, cheddar-jalapeno cornbread, slaw, etc) and a pile of sliced watermelon can be had for $16. Drinks and beers are a la carte.

Bar manager Max Toste and his staff came up with a whole new genre of cocktails for this occasion. Imagine if Donn Beach had opened up the first tiki bar in Alabama instead of L.A. …

The Volcano: Ragged Mountain Rum, Cherry Heering, muddled orange and lime, aromatic bitters, orange tiki bitters (made by bartender Paul Calvert). Shaken and served over ice in a double-old fashioned glass, rinsed with absinthe and topped with an umbrella.

Suffering Hillbilly: rye, grenadine, pineapple juice, half a lime plus the rind, allspice dram, orgeat syrup. Shaken and served over ice in a double-old fashioned glass and garnished with mint.

The Grass Kilt: Blended Scotch, Creme de Apricot, honey ginger syrup, half a lime plus the rind, aromatic bitters. Shaken and strained over ice in a double-old fashioned glass, topped with ginger beer and garnished with lime zest.

The Shipwreck: Triple 8 Hurricane Rum, house-made Picon, Swedish Punsch, half a lime plus the rind. Shaken and served over ice in a double-old fashioned glass and topped with an umbrella.

Hope to see you there, y’all!

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Rum, Whiskey | 2 Comments »

March 23rd, 2009

Event – urban luau at Eastern Standard

Eastern Standard Tiki PartyDust off your lei, your hula skirt and your Don Ho loafers and join drinkboston and the Fraternal Order of Moai for a tiki party-urban luau at Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks on Saturday, April 4 starting at 2:00 p.m.

A roasted pig will be the centerpiece of a three-course luncheon of traditional Polynesian-American fare in the great Donn Beach/Trader Vic tradition. Three freshly squeezed, rum-soaked tiki cocktails accompany the food: a recent creation by Brother Cleve, who will program the exotica music soundtrack for the day and also give a keynote presentation on the history of Polynesia in both the U.S. and Boston; another tiki original by the Eastern Standard bar staff; and a classic recipe from tiki’s early era in the 1930s and ’40s.

Cleve points out that Eastern Standard is “within staggering distance of Boston’s original 1940s Polynesian Village, later the Aku Aku — a favorite haunt of the early punk rock crowd in the ’70s due to its proximity to the Rat. The goldfish-bowl bar railing full of dead goldfish helped create the proper vibe. And people wonder why these places died out!”

All the eats, drinks, education and entertainment are included in a ticket price of $50 per person. Tix can be purchased over the phone (617-532-9100), via email (mhopper at easternstandardboston dot com) or by stopping into Eastern Standard anytime between now and April 4. Hope to see you there!

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Cocktails, Events, Rum | 3 Comments »

March 7th, 2009

Save the date for tiki mania

South Seas menu, 1969Save this date: Saturday, April 4. Drinkboston will co-host a tiki party at Eastern Standard beginning at 2:00 p.m. There’ll be exotica and “tiki noir” spun by Brother Cleve, tiki education and artifacts by co-hosts the Fraternal Order of the Moai, and, of course, deliciously potent tiki cocktails by the bar staff at Eastern Standard.

Now, for those who think “syrupy umbrella drinks made with powdered mixes” when they think “tiki drink,” I got news for you: this event will feature Real Tiki Drinks — the kind made with fresh-squeezed juices, traditional liqueurs, and layers of aged rum. When you try a couple, you’ll understand … and you’ll turn into one of those people who run around Boston looking for all manner of hard-to-find rums.

Stay tuned for details and ticket info.

Tags:
Posted in Cocktails, Events, Rum | 9 Comments »

Web Design by Pilotmade