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Toast of the town: 6 Boston-themed cocktails and where to try them

Posted by Alex Pearlman  November 6, 2011 05:41 PM

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bostoncocktailsbars.jpgBy Karen Chretien

In a city known for its “dirty water,” why wouldn’t you play around with the phrase and associate it with alcohol? While some extra ingredients can turn a dirty martini into a “Dirty Water Martini” -- something that looks like the bottom of the Charles River but tastes a whole lot better -- the fun doesn’t have to stop there.

You don’t have to be a local to drink like one, as these Boston-inspired cocktails prove. Use the recipes to make them at home, or try them at your favorite local bar. A note to our male readers: These aren’t all frou-frou drinks, either, so you shouldn’t feel judged if you order one -- but we understand if you want to stick to a good ol’ Sam Adams.

The Green Monsta. This drink goes best with some Popeye’s chicken (kidding!). A popular version consists of two parts Pernod Absinthe, one part simple syrup, and a splash of soda water, served in a martini glass and topped with mint leaves. You can try it at Red Sky Restaurant and Lounge (16 North St., Faneuil Hall/Government Center).

The Boston Cooler. According to The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks author Dave Embury, this drink is “a Horse’s Neck with a kick.” Mix 2 oz. rum, 1/4 oz. simple syrup, 1/2 oz. lemon juice, and soda water or ginger ale. Shake the first three ingredients, and serve in a highball glass garnished with a spiral of lemon or orange peel.

The Ward Eight. Also known as The Ward 8, this most famous Boston cocktail “originat[ed] in 1898 in Boston at the bar of the Gilded Age restaurant Locke-Ober,” according to San Francisco-based bartender Jennifer Colliau, and is still served there, too (3 Winter Place, Downtown Crossing). Combine 2 oz. rye whiskey, 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice, and 1/2 oz. real pomegranate grenadine. Shake and strain into a (preferably chilled) cocktail glass.

Boston Sour. Drink (348 Congress St., Fort Point/Innovation District) is menu-less, but the bar serves the best kind of its namesake. Their Boston Sour recipe first appeared in Burke’s Complete Cocktail and Tastybite Recipes in 1936: Pour 2 oz. rye or bourbon, 1 egg white, 1/4 oz. simple syrup, and 1/2 oz. lemon juice into a Collins glass and fill with soda water.

The Bostonian. It’s a drink for both gin lovers and haters. “I’m not a huge fan of gin, but when this is done right, it’s delicious,” said Boston resident John Galvin. It’s made from 1 1/2 oz. gin, 3/4 oz. Italian vermouth, and 1/2 oz. lime juice, and typically garnished with a pickled onion.

The Boston Mule. This cocktail varies from location to location, but it’s always sweeter than the name makes it sound. Woodward's (1 Court St., Faneuil Hall/Government Center) makes an attractive version with Absolut Wild Tea, AJ Stephans ginger beer, and spearmint leaves.

Whether you want to venture into the streets of Boston to sample these city-themed cocktail or DIY at home while watching The Departed, these distinctive drinks might even turn a die-hard Yankees fan into a Beantown lover.

What's your favorite Boston-themed drink?

Photo by Cayusa (Flickr)

About Karen -- Since being able to make yourself burp isn't socially acceptable as a talent at age 22, I learned the Donald Duck voice. I'm a sucker for anything Boston, and I find hipsters to be fascinating. Every birthday, I wish that Sam Adams Noble Pils wasn't just a seasonal brew.

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