As you may be able to tell from this post’s title, we’ll be chatting a bit about Boston, and the cocktail culture that seems to have sprung up there, really out of nowhere.
There’s real talent in bean-town. I’m not only talking good bartenders who sling quality drinks – I’m talking enthusiastic, warm bar professionals who create some of those trend-setting cocktails we see spanning across this fine country of ours. Jackson Cannon was one of the first to spring onto the scene. His beverage program at Eastern Standard is tight…I mean TIGHT! Dozens of classic drinks, new innovations, egg drinks, variations on classics, adorn his cocktail list. And they just celebrated their four-year anniversary (Congrats Jax & the crew at ES!)
John Gertsen and Misty Kalkofen are two others who have enlightened Americans on the scene in Boston. With the opening of Drink, a sub-terranean menu-less innovation of a bar, they mix up drinks based on what you’re interested in at that moment in time. Love it! You tell them what spirit, ingredient, etc. you’d like to imbibe in, and they create it.
I had the honor of hosting a lunch for some of Boston’s top bartenders and enthusiasts earlier this week at Eastern Standard. It was a jam of sorts, with (ri)1 Rye Whiskey being so kind as to fascilitate this mad scientist laboratory of an afternoon. I noticed the closeness of the bar community here, the openness, and willingness to learn new things. We came up with some really tasty drinks, and I think I’m not alone in saying that we could have spent several more hours (or days, really) experimenting with rye whiskey cocktails.
The neighborhood surrounding Eastern Standard is quite pleasant. From my hotel room at the Hotel Commonwealth (conveniently located in the same building as ES) I could see bustling Commonwealth Ave, and some of the 19th century buildings surrounding the Boston University campus. Oh yeah, did I mention you can see Fenway Park from the hotel. Well, you can’t actually see a game, but the top of the big green giant is in full view. This hotel is perfect for those Sox fans, and this New Yorker found it just fine for himself, too.
I’ve got so much more to say and so little time to say it in…so I’ll leave you with this:
(a true original Boston drink, created to commemorate the 1898 election of stage legistlater Martin M. Lomasney)
2 oz. (ri)1 Rye Whiskey
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. home-made grenadine*
Directions: Shake all ingredients very well in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish: maraschino cherry
*home-made grenadine: over the stove top, dissolve 2 parts POM pomegranate juice and 1 part sugar. Chill thoroughly before serving.
A good rye cocktail brings Bostonians and New Yorkers together…
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