Posts Tagged ‘eastern standard’

September 23rd, 2009

Kevin Martin


Bartender profile
There’s young Kevin Martin, looking urbane behind the bar at Eastern Standard, placing a white napkin down for your appetizer and effortlessly shaking you a gin flip. Such a gentleman. Then he hands you your drink and, while making some pleasant small talk, suddenly grins the grin of a 10-year-old who just got away with a world-class prank. That’s when you picture him wearing a grass skirt and slinging blender drinks at Cheeseburger in Paradise on Maui. Or at least now you will.

Yes, Martin spent his formative years in the business as a “blender ‘tender,” serving tourists (and a few celebs) frozen daiquiris on the beach in Hawaii, being a surf bum and generally having a blast after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. Though trained as a cook, it didn’t take him long to realize he didn’t want to work in a “hot, muggy, windowless box.” So, he donned the grass skirt and quickly learned a thing or two about speedy drink service, which came in handy when he returned to New England and started working around the corner from Fenway Park.

Why did he leave paradise? It was time to put his education to use, he says, and to “learn the finer points of service and hospitality.” Not to mention the fact that, bless his Connecticut Yankee heart, he loves Boston. Martin has, in just a short time, put his stamp on the already talented staff at ES, and is now advancing that tradition as a manager. But what else would you expect from a guy who had the only frozen-lemonade stand in his neighborhood and who catered his first wedding at 16? Experience, confidence and genuine politeness, all wrapped in a boyish smile. It’s hard not to be in a good mood around this guy.

Glastonbury, CT.

First drink you ever had
My dad used to give me a sip of his Manhattan, followed by letting me fish out the maraschino cherry to eat.

Most touristy bar in Boston that you like
Does Fenway count? Nothing like a warm Miller Lite on a hot day.

The difference between bar-goers in Boston and bar-goers in Hawaii
When most people head to a bar, they are either looking for fun or to get something off their chest, no matter where you are. But the difference between Hawaiian drinkers and Boston drinkers is patience. This phenomenon of waving your hand or, worse, your credit card, in Boston must stop. It’s just rude. It’s the bartender’s job to know who needs a drink. Trust us, we know you’re there, we just told you we’d be right with you, and now you’re waving at another bartender. Stop it!!!

Your guiltiest-pleasure drink

Since the LUPEC girls outed me on this drink a few months back in a Boston publication, I’ll have to admit it’s a Miami Vice: half Piña Colada, half strawberry daiquiri. As a former blender ‘tender myself, I admit it’s a pain because it take two blenders to make it, but ooohhhh soooo gooood.

Best cocktail to introduce vodka drinkers to other spirits
If I don’t think that they’re going to be able to get away from the look of a “pink martini,” it would have to be a Jack Rose, but if I can get them into a Bees Knees with Miller’s Gin, I’d be stoked.

Describe the most insane Red Sox crowd you ever experienced
There’s nothing like opening day in Kenmore Square. You are five people deep from 9:00 a.m. to midnight, serving countless oysters and plates of calamari, with an occasional omelet, to people eating standing. The music is blaring, you’re slinging gallons and gallons of Bloody Marys and wishing that Bloody Mary mix could somehow come off the soda gun. Managing what seems like a million tabs. And then, of course, there’s dealing with people that wave, but for the most part Bostonians are in good spirits on this day and just want to feel the camaraderie of the city. It’s a great time!

A bartender’s best friend is…
Wine bottles with a screw top.

A bartender’s worst enemy is…
Mint fragments in a drink that weren’t meant to be there.

Best or worst pickup line you’ve ever witnessed
“Do you think if I flex hard enough I could rip my shirt?” Response: (laughter) “Nope.”

A famous person you’ve served
Since I worked in one of those bars that everyone knows about and wants to visit when you go to a tropical location, I’ve actually waited on numerous famous people: Pauly Shore, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake, Jesse James and Sandra Bullock, Pete Carroll, Ming Tsai, Jimmy Fallon, Sean Greenhalgh, Rick Lyle and, of course, Peter Wolf.

Most beloved bartending book
The Craft of the Cocktail [by Dale DeGroff], also the first cocktail booked I’ve ever owned.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Bartenders | 9 Comments »

August 13th, 2009



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!

Tags: ,
Posted in Events, Whiskey | 4 Comments »

April 6th, 2009

They turned me into a Zombie

Eastern Standard tiki party - Bob McCoy

It’s always interesting when you have evening plans to start drinking Zombies at 2:00 in the afternoon. Yes, Zombie Punch, resurrected from a 1934 recipe once thought to be as swept away by the sands of time as Donn Beach’s original Beachcomber bar in Hollywood, was the first drink served at the Taste of Tiki party at Eastern Standard on Saturday. This is a remarkably delicious and potent drink containing a full four ounces of rum, one ounce being 151 proof!

Eastern Standard tiki party - Cactus Flower

The other drinks on the menu were the exotic Cactus Flower, created by Brother Cleve for last year’s Tales of the Cocktail tiki block party, and another original, the Flying Dutchman, created by Eastern Standard bartender and tiki enthusiast Bob McCoy. (Oh, and let’s not forget about the welcome tipple, Trader Vic’s punch.) Cleve and McCoy took turns speaking to the 50+ guests about the origins of the tiki phenomenon, and the cocktails, music and sometimes fabulous but often kitschy restaurants that were part of it.

Eastern Standard tiki party - Cleve & Jackson

Luckily, there were egg rolls, coconut fried shrimp, roast pig and beignets to soak up some of that hooch. Many thanks to McCoy, Jackson Cannon, Molly Hopper and the rest of the Eastern Standard staff for putting together a terrific party. Thanks also to Mike Sullivan (aka Bargoyle) of the New England chapter of the Fraternal Order of the Moai for co-promoting this shindig with drinkboston. (Check out this group’s plans for a weekend-long tiki bash in Lake George, NY.) And a special thanks to Lorna Wilkerson, a Boston cocktail enthusiast who thought up the whole idea of having a tiki party at Eastern Standard in the first place.

Eastern Standard tiki party - pig roaster

The Zombie Punch (1934)
By Donn Beach

1 ½ oz. Appleton Estate V/X Rum
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Gold Rum
1 oz. 151 Lemon Heart Demerara Rum
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. Donn’s Mix (2 parts grapefruit juice to 1 part cinnamon syrup)
½ oz. falernum
1 bar spoon grenadine
6 drops Pernod
Dash Angostura bitters

Build in a mixing glass and dry shake. Pour in a chimney (tall) glass filled with crushed ice and stir. Add more crushed ice to fill and garnish with a mint sprig.

The Cactus Flower
By Brother Cleve

1 ½ oz. Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum
1 oz. Cruzan Estate Light Rum
¼ oz. Cruzan Estate Blackstrap Rum
½ oz. Bols Orange Curacao
1 oz. prickly pear puree
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. pineapple juice
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 oz. club soda

Build in a mixing glass and dry shake. Pour into a double old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice, add club soda, and stir. Garnish with an orange slice.

The Flying Dutchman
By Bob McCoy

1 oz. citrus- and spice-infused Batavia Arrack*
¾ oz. St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram
¾ oz. crème de cacao
½ oz. pineapple juice
Dash Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Build in a mixing glass, add ice, and shake. Strain into a chilled lowball glass, no garnish. *For the infusion: Combine the peels of 20 lemons and 5 oranges with 1 1/2 liters of Batavia Arrack in a glass jar. Toast 20 cloves, 10 green peppercorns, and 5 cardamom pods over medium/high heat, tossing frequently until the aromas are released. Add to the jar, cover, and infuse for 14-19 days.

Eastern Standard tiki party - me and Bargoyle

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Cocktails, Events, Rum | 12 Comments »

February 10th, 2009

Cocktail classes

How to make a molotov cocktailOne question I get a lot is how and where one can learn to mix cocktails (though not the kind pictured here). How about attending a cocktail class? A few places around town offer instruction for making serious drinks. While these classes won’t turn beginners into professionals, they’ll at least have you hobnobbing for an evening with the experts and picking up some good techniques and recipes.

I’ll probably have to start an ongoing list at some point, but here are the classes I know about so far.

Craigie on Main: They have already had two cocktail classes, which sold out very quickly. More are in the works. To get the latest announcements, sign up for the newsletter at the Craigie on Main website. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the link.) $45 per person.

Eastern Standard: I don’t know if any are coming up, or how much they cost, but I know ES has offered some in the past. Again, the newsletter will help here.

Sel de la Terre (State St.): I was pretty blown away to hear about a series of cocktail classes at the original Sel de la Terre (there are now three), which Frank McClelland and Geoff Gardner of L’Espalier fame opened in 2000. Head bartender Ted Kilpatrick is leading classes with titles like “Prohibition Era Cocktails — What the Cool People Were Drinking from 1920-1933” and “History of the Martini … and Why that Bright Green Apple Thing You are Holding is Not One.” Seriously. I don’t know Ted, and I’ve never had a cocktail at Sel de la Terre, but now I’m forced to investigate. $21 per person with a 21% discount if you stay for dinner.

Stir: It’s worth going to a cocktail class at Barbara Lynch’s teaching kitchen at least once, even if these classes are the most expensive in town.  Stir fits no more than 10 or 12 people, so you get to spend some quality time with your instructor, who is likely to be John Gertsen, Ben Sandrof, Misty Kalkofen or — soon enough — any of the other talented bartenders at Lynch’s bar Drink. $95-$125 per person.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Books & resources, Cocktails | 8 Comments »

January 25th, 2009

Cannon on Chronicle

Hey all, in case you missed it, mixmaster Jackson Cannon of Eastern Standard was profiled on Chronicle HD on January 14. (The segment appears after a short piece on chef’s knives, featuring chef David Punch of Ten Tables in JP.) Cannon demos a Frisco and ES’ own Harvest Cocktail while throwing out some historical tidbits and showing off his cocktail-shaking technique. My favorite moment: As the show’s host, Mary Richardson, gingerly gives the shaker a try, Cannon instructs, “A little harder, Mary.” Hoo-hoo!

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Bartenders, Booze in the news, Video | 4 Comments »