Boston is undoubtedly a city that honors its work hard/play hard philosophy, with a surplus of options for casual drinking, binge drinking, complete annihilation, and 2 a.m. “sidewalk sales” after stress-filled days of overachieving. Below are a few watering holes leading Boston’s Cocktail Revolution of 2011!
Back Bay Social Club – 867 Boylston Street, Boston, (617) 247-3200
Recreating the quintessential 1960s Manhattan social club ambiance, the late-night Back Bay Social Club revives a classy yet comfortable centralized meeting point for combining good times, good drinks, good people, and good conversation. The personality-driven resto-lounge feels like Cheers meets underground Prohibition rebellion, a place to come as you are and celebrate a love of great spirits. Kick-ass cocktails, like the “Gin Somethin” – millers gin, St. Germain, grapefruit bitters, fresh grapefruit juice, simple syrup, muddled limes, cucumbers, and soda water – are the perfect recovery for overachievers’ remorse. Back Bay Social Club is steps away from the Lenox Boston.
Russell House Tavern - 14 JFK Street, Cambridge, (617) 500-3055
Bringing the New American gastro-tavern trend to Harvard Square, the Russell House Tavern pays homage to the locale’s history, ethos and culture, lining walls with local vintage photos from Harvard Square circa 1950s, using only local farm-to-table products, landing at a price point suitable for students while presenting food and drink options that easily warrant the short trek to Cambridge. Patrons are quick to raise their glass to Bar Manager and cocktail historian Aaron Butler, formerly of “Drink” fame, for bringing the city’s most extensive menu for alcoholic indulgence across the Charles, including an insanely vast wine list with two regional wines on tap (yes wine on tap), a locally-driven craft beer selection, and the fruits of Boston’s cocktail revolution like the Battle of Trafalgar (Pimm’s No. 1, St. Germain, Batavia-Arrack, Lime Juice and Honey Simple) and the Crimson Crow (Rain Vodka, Aperol, Lemon Juice, and Raspberry Simple Syrup). Russell House Tavern is located near the Harvard Square “T” stop or just a 15 minute walk from Le Meridien Cambridge, Boston.
Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks – 528 Comm Ave., (617) 532-9100,
Under the lights of the iconic CITGO sign, this Kenmore Square newbie resides as the chief commanding officer in Boston’s raging cocktail revolution. Occupying the space of what was once the iconoclastic punk-rock, leather and chains, bondage bonanza bar, Rathskeller, the now upscale Eastern Standard unites the die-hard drinker vibe of its predecessor with the sophistication of modern Boston and an advanced conceptualization of mixology. Bar tenders and patrons here view their alcoholic ingenuity as skillful works of art rather than vehicles for quick and easy inebriation. (Truth is they’re a bit of both). With hundreds of options, it’s impossible to drink down the house in a single night, but you can sure as hell try! My favorites – the “Corio Coupe“ with tart passion fruit and 888 Vodka from Nantucket, the “Pink Lady” with gin, lemon, apple brandy, and grenadine, and the pitcher of Late Rubus Harvest with raspberry, St. Germain, lime, and ginger. Eastern Standard is located below the Hotel Commonwealth, Boston.
–Paul Rubio of AmazingGayTravel.com
[Photo Credit: Flickr/twintermute]