Who doesn’t like high fives? Particularly when they’re of the boozey kind?
This time, still being hot out and all, I thought five great bartenders could showcase Gin around town.
Starting things off, at Clio, Todd Maul is quietly doing incredibly creative stuff- think science meets cocktails- he’s often using a centrifuge for example. Here, he drills holes in perfect cubes of ice, and uses a pipette to insert loomi, a Persian black lime- the drink improves as it melts! This is no ordinary gin and tonic.
Photograph by Wayne Chinnock.
Bull’s Eye Gin & Tonic
2 oz Death’s Door Gin
3 oz Fever Tree Tonic
Loomi ice cubes
Long lime peel
Around the corner in Kenmore, it is a treat to sit in front of Scott Marshall, one of Boston’s all time greats, at Hawthorne. Incredibly likable, talented and can personally drink a gallon (how many bottles is that?) of Chartreuse in a sitting, he whipped up one of my summer standbys:
2 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 oz pomegranate grenadine
.75 oz lemon juice
3 slices muddled cucumber
6-8 mint leaves
(he mentions it’s also great tall over ice with soda as a Collins)
Heading across the river on Mass Ave, Noon Ithansuwan has upped the ante with her new cocktail program at Moksa in Cenrtal Square. By the way, I love that her cocktail menu states “get properly drunk with Noon.” Always on the cutting edge with tea infusions, spices, syrups and fresh ingredients, here featuring:
The Peking Sailor
2oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz Elderflower infused cider vinegar
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz Prosecco float
Cucumber and orange garnish
A bit further into Cambridge, Chris Olds has created a new bar program to mirror the beautiful new space at Park in Harvard Square. His classically styled gin drink leans to the turn of the century:
1.5 oz Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
1.5 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
Barspoon Crème Yvette
Dash Reagan’s Orange Bitters
Orange peel garnish
A bit of a U-turn to Inman Square, Beau Sturm at Trina’s Starlite Lounge, prepares a simple elegant twist on the classic Gimlet. Named after a trip to MOMA in New York where he found a cilantro infused gin on the café menu, his drink, to me, is a summer classic.
2oz Cilantro Gin
.75 oz simple syrup
.5 oz lime juice
Sweet 100 tomato garnish
Wait, that’s the High Five, but how about a night-cap? So, I’m cheating I guess, but this last one is also a terrific like-minded example, and shows how versatilie a classic cocktail can be.
Also, “High Five plus one” works for me.
Head back into Boston, slip late night into rising star Ryan Mcgrale’s bar at Storyville. His take switches the herb to basil and adds fruit with “rose” referring to a specific type of Italian fragola (strawberry).
2 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 lime juice
.75 simple syrup
Muddled strawberry and basil leaves
Basil leaf garnish
Summer cocktail time anyone?
1) A good place to start is at Coppa in the South End, where Mary Edes, the GM, mentions “our beer based cocktails are always popular for the summer (we call them Shandys for a lack of a better term even though they are technically not Shandys because they all contain spirits). The Merman is refreshing and chug-able, crisp and tart kind of like the perfect summer lemonade. Also has the best name of any cocktail ever, in my opinion.”
Yes it does.
2) Time to get to the waterfront- Sam’s. Summer day, graciously hosted by Esti, chef Asia’s delicious food, John Parsons slinging, and maybe the best waterfront view- what could be better? John has a tradition with a friend to name drinks after beloved pets; here, tongue in cheek, he honors a salty dog he once knew.
1 3/4 oz Luksusova Vodka
1 oz Thatcher's Elderflower Liqueur
1 oz grapefruit juice
3/4 oz lime juice
1/2 oz sea salt simple syrup
Shake and strain, garnish with a lime wheel
3) Next stop, just on the other side of the river, for a cool drink on the outside modern hardwood high top at West Bridge, Kendall Square. Josh Taylor has some inspired cocktails; he suggests this drink named for the first name of Governor’s Island in Boston Harbor:
1.5oz house infused cucumber Vodka
1.5oz cucumber juice
.5 rice wine vinegar
.5oz simple syrup
1 dash green Tabasco
Pinch of salt
Combine and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with a cucumber wheel.
4) Further West in Harvard Square, I love the small patio outside at Russell House Tavern. Pair Michael Scelfo’s crab cakes and Sam Gabrielli’s cocktails- a perfect summer match.
2oz Bacardi 8
.5oz lime shrub
.75oz lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters
Top with spicy homemade ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel.
5) When all the heat and sun are too much, hide out downstairs with good AC and a Boston legend- Cedric Adams at Silvertone on a Monday night. He may be a re-incarnated monk himself, pouring gallons of Chartreuse over 15 years ago when no one else did.
Ced’s Chartreuse Smash
2oz Green Chartreuse
.5oz simple syrup
.75oz lime juice (a smash most often uses lemon)
Muddle 6 mint leaves with the simple and lime juice in a shaker. Add Chartreuse and ice, and shake vigorously. Double strain through a small sieve to remove small mint bits, over crushed ice and garnish with fresh mint.