Posts Tagged ‘Fernet Branca’

August 31st, 2010

Silvertone Bar & Grill – Best Boston bars

Established: 1997
Specialty: Wine, cocktails
Prices: Low to moderate
Atmosphere: Retro-tinged neighborhood joint, bartender’s bar and classic downtown Boston destination, all in one. See Best Boston bars for address and contact info.

In the world of contemporary Boston bars, Silvertone is an elder statesman that’s still very much an influential player — and a faithful drinking buddy to boot.

Co-proprietor Josh Childs opened the place in 1997 in a “weird little tucked-away space” on Bromfield Street. Silvertone (named after the brand of mid-century radios, amps and guitars coveted by collectors) was an unusual and immediately appreciated concept at the time, the time being pre-No. 9 Park, pre-Mantra, pre-“ladder district” … basically pre-Downtown Crossing as a hip destination. Cheap, satisfying comfort dishes (mac n’ cheese, steak tips), a mere $10 markup on good bottles of wine, a tastefully retro diner-meets-lounge look, and a warm, competent staff beckoned the business-people, lawyers (Suffolk Law School is a neighbor) and restaurant-industry folk who were and are still key elements of Silvertone’s clientele.

From the start, Silvertone showed particular love toward that latter group — our hardworking servers, bartenders, chefs, etc — by keeping its kitchen open until 11:00 (hardly anyone outside Chinatown was doing that in ’97), hiring a solid, loyal bar staff and doing a “good last call,” says Childs, who can still be found behind the bar on Tuesday nights serving drinks right up until 2:00 a.m. (Silvertone’s other longtime bartender, Cedric Adams, and his colleague Michael Stevens, are “like bookends,” each working three nights apiece.) Before they became celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, Ken Oringer, Andy Husbands, Barbara Lynch and Garrett Harker dropped in regularly after their shifts, and before they became celebrity wine and cocktail consultants, Steve Olsen and Willy Shine were admirers.

Which brings us to Silvertone’s liquid legacy. It might not have been as influential on our city’s current cocktail scene as the B-Side, but, in addition to listing the Negroni on its first drink menu, Silvertone does have the distinction of pioneering the Boston restaurant industry’s obsession with the insanely medicinal Italian digestivo Fernet Branca. Early on, its back bar also boasted Chartreuse VEP, Blanton’s bourbon (before boutique bourbon became a staple) and a dozen single-malt scotches.

These days, says Childs, who opened Trina’s Starlite Lounge in 2009, there’s a greater appreciation at Silvertone for cocktails — e.g. sour mix gave way to fresh citrus a while back. But it’s “still a bar,” where shots and beers are regularly ordered, he says. “There’s something to be celebrated about being a good bar.”

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Posted in Boston bars | 6 Comments »

November 9th, 2009

The net net on Fernet Night


Bankers, you know what I’m talking about: the bottom line is that Fernet Night at the Franklin Southie last Thursday was a good time. As I made my way through the crowd handing out Fernet Branca swag — shirts, aprons, posters — I clinked glasses with a mix of old acquaintances and drinkbostonians I’d never met before, sprinkled with a few bar industry folk. Joy Richard and Peter Cipriani kept the six Fernet cocktails on the evening’s menu coming, along with shots in iced ponies that Joy spent days painstakingly freezing.

This was the first of several upcoming “industry” nights at the Franklin Southie. Generally, the second Thursday of every month will feature drinks with a certain ingredient. Coming up — St. Germain and Chartreuse. See the Franklin’s calendar or connect with them on Facebook for updates.

You asked for recipes? You got ’em.

Work in Progress
Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli – Craigie on Main

3/4 oz Fernet Branca
1 oz Bols Genever
1 oz St. Germain
3 dashes orange bitters

Stir over ice, serve down, flamed orange peel.

Bonita Applebum
Emma Hollander – Trina’s Starlite Lounge

1 oz Applejack
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
3/4 oz Drambuie

Stir over ice, serve down, orange peel.

Jackson’s Night Cap
Jackson Cannon – Eastern Standard

1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1 oz yellow Chartreuse
1 oz Fernet Branca
Dash of chocolate mole bitters if you have them; whiskey barrel-aged work as well.

Stir over ice, strain into a chilled glass, garnish with lemon twist.

Casey Brown
Josey Packard – Drink

1 1/2 oz Sazerac Rye
1 oz green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Fernet Branca
Dash Angostura bitters

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled glass with a lemon twist.

Improved Toxic Moxie
Joy Richard – The Franklin

1 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Fernet Branca
3 dashes whiskey barrel-aged bitters

Build in a highball glass, fill with ice. Top with Moxie. Garnish with an orange peel.

Villa de Verano
Misty Kalkofen – Drink

2 1/4 oz El Tesoro Platinum tequila
3/4 oz Jarabe de Cacao Ahumado*
1/4 oz Fernet Branca

Stir over ice, serve straight up. Garnish with grated coffee bean.

*Jarabe de Cacao Ahumado
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 tsp Mexican smoked salt

Make a “tea” with the water, cinnamon, cocoa nibs and salt by bringing to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Allow to cool and strain.

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Posted in Bitters, Cocktails | 9 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 »