25 drinks every Bostonian must sip

From Ayanna Pressley to Karen Akunowicz, locals dish on their favorite beverages.

The Jungle Bird at Yvonne’s.
The Jungle Bird at Yvonne’s. –Studio B

If you were to believe the stereotypes of Bostonians portrayed on shows like “Saturday Night Live,” you’d think this city’s residents drink nothing but Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

We all know that’s a load of hogwash — this area is so filled with fantastic beverages, no self-respecting city dwellers would limit themselves like that.

But suppose for a second you did have to choose just one Boston-area drink as your favorite. What would you pick? Would it be a juicy New England IPA from one of the area’s many craft breweries? A tart cocktail from a new, hip restaurant? Or maybe a caffeinated delight from your neighborhood café?


We reached out to prominent Bostonians, ranging from acclaimed chefs to TV anchors, and asked them to name that one special drink they think every Bostonian must sip. Here are their answers.

Every Bostonian must sip…

1. A Jungle Bird at Yvonne’s
“You get a bunch of friends together and you go and get the Jungle Bird at Yvonne’s. It comes in this crazy, fantastic vessel with, like, fireworks and unicorns jumping out. It’s really fun.” —Amy Traverso, food editor at Yankee Magazine

2. A glass of 2017 Onward Pinot Noir at Nathálie
Made by this badass female winemaker, Faith Armstrong Foster. Wet stone meets fresh strawberries. Kristie Weiss poured this for me the other day, and it’s all I’m drinking until October!” —Karen Akunowicz, chef at the forthcoming Fox and the Knife

3. Espresso at Gracenote Coffee
“They are all double espressos, so don’t ask for a single or a double because it’s just a double. The space as Gracenote is elegant, intimate, and social — you’re guaranteed to meet someone interesting when you go.” Tracy Chang, chef at PAGU

4. Miami Vice for Two at The Automatic
“Usually, I’m just a whiskey on the rocks kind of guy. But there’s something about an ’80s-themed spin on a scorpion bowl that’s hard to resist.” —Dan Andelman, host of “Phantom Gourmet”

Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant. —Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

5. A Bud Light at Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant
“Best drink? A Bud Light at Lincoln’s.” —David Andrews, New England Patriots center

6. A Tom and Jerry at Drink on a snowy winter day
“It’s got this stick-to-your-ribs quality of thickness. It’s a warm blankie as it goes down. If it doesn’t on the first try, you keep drinking them until you feel better about winter.” —Tiffani Faison, chef at Fool’s Errand, Sweet Cheeks, and Tiger Mama

7. An Imperial 11°Rosé cider, made by Eden Specialty Ciders in Newport, Vermont, at Bisq
It’s amazing and everybody has to drink it. There’s lots of great cider makers in and around the city and state. But what Vermont can do, because of the kind of heirloom apples they have, is really special.” —Jackson Cannon, bar director at Eastern Standard, The Hawthorne, and Island Creek Oyster Bar

8. The Da Nang at Tiger Mama
“It’s a drink that reminds me of my visits to Haiti. I love passion fruit. It just has this amazing flavor, but it’s real acidic and tart. In Haiti, it grows everywhere.” —Jody Adams, chef at Porto, Saloniki, and Trade

9. A frozen gin and tonic called a California G&T at Toro
“Yes, you need to have it in your life.” —Douglass Williams, chef at Mida

10. A coffee-flavored thick shake at Sullivan’s
“I went to Sullivan’s and did a story and I got hooked on them. When I was pregnant with both of my kids, I craved coffee frappes. It’s sort of a nostalgic thing. It reminds me of my mother.” —Maria Stephanos, WCVB anchor

Eastern Standard. —Eastern Standard

11. The Old Cuban at Eastern Standard
“The Old Cuban is one of Eastern Standard’s original cocktails, along with the Whiskey Smash, that’s a delicious and deceptively intoxicating rum champagne cocktail. The Old Cuban is no longer on the cocktail menu, but don’t worry — they’ll make it for you upon request.” —Tom O’Keefe, founder of Boston Tweet

12. A dirty martini with blue cheese olives at Smith and Wollensky
“I’m a dirty martini guy, and they consistently, in my opinion, have the best. I like it really dirty. My fiancee jokes and says, ‘You really want olive juice with a splash of vodka.'” —Jason Santos, chef at Abby Lane, Buttermilk and Bourbon, and Citrus and Salt

13. The chai tea at Barrington Coffee Roasting Company
“I imagine it sounds a little ridiculous to not get coffee when you walk into Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, but they make an awesome chai tea, which I prefer for afternoon sipping. Get it poured over ice and enjoy it while strolling the Harborwalk.” —Christine Koh, founder and editor of Boston Mamas

14. A Falerno! at Sycamore
“Anything that bartender Scott Shoer shakes — or stirs — is refreshing, but I especially love the smoky-spicy-citrus in this drink. It’s dangerously good. My husband and I love sitting at the bar at Sycamore.” —Lisa Hughes, WBZ-TV anchor

15. The One in a Grapefruit at Little Donkey
“It’s a hollowed-out grapefruit that has a punch inside of it. I just think it’s a great punch, a great way to kind of start a meal off and hang out with friends. And it’s definitely a conversation starter.” —Will Gilson, chef at Puritan and Co.

16. A Woodford Reserve Manhattan served up, from the upstairs bar at Grill 23 and Bar
“The bartenders magically roll the glasses somehow in crushed ice, to the point that the crushed ice sticks to the glass. When they pour you your drink at the bar, it’s just this beautiful presentation where the crushed ice is just hanging onto the glass, giving you the coldest, most beautiful drink. They also make a very delicious one. It’s both the presentation and flavor that makes me come back to this, time and again.” Michael Schlow, chef at Alta Strada and Tico Boston

17. The Old Fashioned at Steel and Rye
“This classic old drink is taken to a different level here, with a perfect mix of Old Overholt whiskey, gomme syrup, angostura bitters. And citrus. And the restaurant and bar is located in an old garage so it has loads of atmosphere.” —Marc Hurwitz, founder of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants

Trillium Brewing Company. —Trillium

18. The Pittsburgh Street IPA at Trillium Brewing Company
“I am a beer person. I like that it has great flavor; it’s always a little bit unique. All of their beers tell a story. There’s always a little bit of information beyond just naming a beer, which I think is cool.” —Sarah Wade, chef at Lulu’s Allston

19. A Cape Codder at Oak Long Bar + Kitchen
“I love Cape Codders. And the whole place just has incredible style. That is such a cool spot.” —Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV anchor

20. A Bloody Mary with everything in it at Cask ‘n Flagon
For the most part I usually get a sauvignon blanc, but if I actually had to grab a drink, I would grab a Bloody Mary at the Cask ‘n Flagon. You can build your own, so I put everything in there. Olives, pickles, celery, peppers — I load it up. When it comes to Bloody Marys, I’m adding the kitchen sink.” Billy Costa, co-host of “Dining Playbook”

21. The chocolate milkshake at The Scoop N Scootery
“They’re known for crazily topped sundaes, but I love a plain old chocolate frappe — rich and incredibly thick. It got me through my most recent pregnancy.” —Kara Baskin, Boston Globe food reporter

Caffe Vittoria. —Suzanne Kreiter/ Globe Staff

22. The cappuccino at Caffè Vittoria
“It’s just spectacular. Our son used to live in the North End, and every time we’d go to visit him, every night was a stop at Caffè Vittoria. Whatever we did, we stopped there. Even if we went out of the neighborhood for dinner, we’d go back there.” Ed Harding, WCVB anchor

23. The pear ginger martini at Tavolo Ristorante
“I love the pear component because I’m sure you know Boston’s history with pears. I think in many ways it’s an ode to what was the most dominant fruit tree in Boston, and Dorchester, specifically.” Ayanna Pressley, Boston city councilor and Democratic nominee for the 7th Congressional District

24. The Art Basil at Towne Stove and Spirits
“I’m not a gin person. I would typically go to vodka or tequila as my spirit of choice. But there was a great bartender there a couple of years ago who got me to try it. It’s Hendricks, lime juice, a little bit of simple syrup, and then it’s rhubarb bitters, muddled strawberries, and basil leaf. It’s so refreshing. I have to mention that I’m eight months pregnant, so this is something I’m definitely looking forward to once I can enjoy cocktails again.” Jenny Johnson, co-host of “Dining Playbook”

25. A PK Negroni at Hojoko
“They take coconut and essentially infuse the coconut in the compari. Negronis are always something that anyone can get behind if they’ve never had one. This is kind of a fun approach to it.” —Diego Pena-Herrera, bar manager at Eastern Standard

Responses have been edited for clarity and grammar.


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