Archive for November, 2008

November 28th, 2008

Repeal Day bash at Eastern Standard

Repeal Day crowd at a bar

This December 5 marks 75 years since Prohibition was repealed, and Eastern Standard is celebrating this historic day with a blowout befitting the most extravagant speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties. (They’ve been celebrating all year, actually, with Prohibition-era cocktail specials.) The party starts on Thursday evening, December 4, and ends appropriately with a wee-hours-of-the-morning breakfast on December 5. If you’re up for a splurge, or ready to demand an early Christmas present, I strongly encourage you to get tickets for this thing.

In fact, the ticket price of $120 per person is a pretty great deal. The evening starts at 6:30 with a “juice joint” reception featuring bathtub gin, hors d’oeuvres and live of-the-era music by Miss Tess. This is followed by a six-course dinner with cocktails (see below). At 10:00 p.m., the dancing starts, courtesy of Jazz Age tunes by DJ Brother Cleve. But wait, there’s more: a 1:00 a.m. breakfast to fortify you after all that dancing and drinking. So, pull out those vintage threads you wore to the LUPEC Boston Tea Party last year and call 617-532-9100 or email for reservations. If you’re strictly a late-night owl, arrive at 10:00 for only $40 per person.

Eastern Standard Repeal Day Six-Course Dinner

First Course: Ampersand Cocktail
Buttermilk Fried Oysters with Standard Caesar Salad and Pernod Remoulade

Second Course: Waldorf-Astoria’s Perfect Martini
3 eggs, 3 styles
1) Thin, Toasted Rye Wheel, Smear of Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese, Caviar
2) White Truffle Scrambled (with shaved white truffle)
3) Deviled Egg

Third Course: Maiden’s Prayer
Maine Lobster in Pastry with a Sherry Cream Sauce, Peas and Carrots

Fourth Course: The Scofflaw
Philadelphia Pepper Pot Stew
Lamb Neck, Sweetbread, and Cockscomb, Root Vegetables

Fifth Course: The Charles Lindbergh
Roasted Karabuta Pork Chop
Scalloped Potatoes, Housemade Sauerkraut

Dessert: Corpse Reviver #3
Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Cardamom Tapioca

Hope to see you there!

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Posted in Cocktails, Events, Gin | No Comments »

November 28th, 2008

Ginger – ooh la la

Ginger Grant dreams of Domaine de Canton

Calling all Boston imbibers: This Monday, December 1, a group of Boston bartenders will compete in the semi-finals of the Domaine de Canton 2009 Bartender of the Year contest. The competition will, of course, involve mixing an original cocktail using the exquisite new French cognac-based, real ginger-infused liqueur.

The event takes place upstairs at the Beehive in the South End from 5:00-7:00 (after the judges have made their selection) and features complimentary appetizers and Domaine de Canton cocktails. It’s open to the public, but you gotta RSVP by emailing

The contestants are:

Jennifer Harvey – 33 Restaurant & Lounge
Mike Paquette – Scampo Restaurant
Bob McCoy – Eastern Standard
Josh Caron – Five Fifty-Five
Steven Shur – Boston College Club
Jeff Grdinich – White Mountain cider Co.
Clif Travers – The Beehive
Chris Whitney – Alibi Bar & Lounge

The judges (with their titles quoted verbatim from the invite) include:

John Gertsen. Cocktail Guru – No.9 Park & Drink
Liza Weisstuch. Sprits & Lifestyle Writer – Imbibe Magazine, Whisky Magazine, Massachusetts Beverage Business
Misty Kalkofen. Mixologist Extraordinaire – Drink, Founder LUPEC Boston

See you there!

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Posted in Cocktails, Events, Liqueur | 4 Comments »

November 28th, 2008

Shout-out in the Sunday Globe

An article that will appear in this Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine, “Find. Join. Learn. Go. The World Wide Hub: Sixty-four websites on Boston life that you should know,” includes drinkboston in its food/restaurant category.

There are a bunch of good sites mentioned here in categories ranging from politics to sports to commuting. A couple of these sites participated in a recent confab of bloggers: Povo (the host of the gathering), which “seeks to be an encyclopedia [of Boston] by neighborhood,” and Universal Hub, which “provides a broader slice of the city than you’ll see anywhere else” (this from the newspaper that runs!).

Thanks for the thumbs-up, Globe Mag.

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Posted in drinkboston in the news | 2 Comments »

November 25th, 2008

From here to eternity

Through the Keyhole Burlesque - LUPEC Boston USO Show

Hanky Panky & Barbara West - LUPEC Boston USO ShowAh, yes, the famous World War II novel and movie, evoked in my mind by the estimated 200 people who showed up at the LUPEC Boston USO Show Friday night dressed in 1940s costume. It’s also an apt description of the line at the bar that night!

I and the rest of the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails are exceedingly grateful to all the generous, fun-lovin’ folk who came to the party with bells (and sailor hats and swingy skirts and two-tone pumps) on, and who were patient beyond the call of duty while waiting to order cocktails. We thank you, and so do the women at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, the recipients of the evening’s ample proceeds (still being reckoned).

These pics are just a few of the many taken that evening. See C. Fernsebner’s post on the Bostonist for additional photos, and check in with the LUPEC Boston blog this week for more possible links to photos.

Drinkboston guest blogger Scott N. Howe - LUPEC Boston USO Show
Boston imbibers, we salute you!

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Posted in Events | 6 Comments »

November 21st, 2008

The Prince of ryes

Rye One whiskey and promotional boxA wonderful thing happened recently. I got whiskey in the mail. Rye whiskey. This never happens. Sure, I’ve received gin in the mail, and cachaca, and tequila. All were welcome. But whiskey — and this is a relatively high-end whiskey — people don’t just give that stuff out. But here I was, opening a sleek white box containing a bottle of … um … well, the label appeared to be some sort of mathematical equation or unpronounceable glyph, like the thing Prince changed his name to.

I had to read the promotional materials that accompanied the bottle to figure out that this whiskey, produced by Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., is pronounced “rye one.” The label and the contemporary design of the bottle could not have broadcast more clearly that this is not your grandfather’s whiskey. There’s no “old” in the name, no 1800s font.

“[Rye one] is a cutting-edge spirit for today’s top tastemakers and cocktail drinkers who are looking to expand their ultra-premium spirits repertoire,” Brand Manager Mara Melamed is quoted in the press release.

Playing the part of “top tastemaker,” I sampled the Rye One neat alongside a few ryes I bought myself: the bargain brands Old Overholt and Jim Beam, the premium Sazerac 6-Yr, and the increasingly rare Michter’s 10-Yr. In terms of complexity, depth and the spicy kick you look for in a rye, the Rye One came out ahead of Old Overholt and Jim Beam, stood about equal with (but was a bit hotter than) Sazerac 6-Yr, and was clearly not on the same plane as Michter’s 10-Yr. Later, Scott joined me in comparing Rye One to Old Overholt and Sazerac in a 3:1 Manhattan with a dash of Angostura bitters. Scott preferred the Sazerac. I was on the fence between the Rye One and the Sazerac.

Conclusions? I thought Rye One was pretty comparable in quality to Sazerac 6-Yr. But here lies the rub: Rye One is $46-$48 a bottle. Sazerac is $25-$30. What’s the deal with the high price of Rye One? I’m guessing that in packaging this rye to appeal to the Nightclub Set, Beam Global is simply borrowing a page from the vodka-marketing playbook: put your booze in a sexy bottle and charge conspicuously more for it than any of your competitors. This ploy has made premium vodka wildly profitable. It will be interesting to see if it works for whiskey.

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Posted in Whiskey | 9 Comments »