Because you shouldn't have to limit your Summertime imbibing to just beer, or just booze, we scoured the city to find our five favorite cocktails mixed or finished with refreshing warm-weather suds.
Blue Beer'd, Backbar
Despite the name, there's really no need to talk like a pirate when ordering Assistant Bar Manager Joe Cammarata's latest Summer concoction, a shaken mix of Amaro Nonino, lemon juice, and blueberry syrup, all of which is double strained into a champagne flute, topped with Palm Belgian Amber, and garnished with blueberries "on a pick". No arrrgh-uing about the garnish either. Sorry, WE COULDN'T HELP OURSELVES!
Wait for it. Wait... for...
In Fashion, JM Curley
… boom! Kevin Mabry's take on the Old Fashioned replaces muddled oranges/cherries with Kasteel Rouge, an 8% ABV, dark Belgian ale brewed with sour cherries, which he mixes with sugar, Amaro Averna (in place of the Angostura bitters), and bourbon. For the fireworks, Mabry ignites the orange peel, which imparts some of its bitter oils into the drink.
Porter My Bag, Clio
Looks like a simple cocktail, right? Yeaaaa… no. The most intricate of the lot, Todd Maul at Clio's going so far as to slow-roast a red beet for 24hrs before blending it with pink peppercorns, moonshine (yes, moonshine), and Mayflower Porter. From there, he may as well walk across the Mass Ave Bridge and enroll at MIT, because he's spinning it out in a centrifuge to capture the hop/coffee notes of the beer (essentially turning it into an Amaro) before mixing it with Canadian whiskey and vermouth and garnishing with a lemon. Amazingly, yes, he can mix this drink for you any time.
Son of Dad, Brick & Mortar
Kenny at Central Square's upstairs cocktailery B+M likes to keep it cool in the Summer with this refreshing rye, St. Germain, and Campari 'tail mixed with bitters, a little lemon, and Waltham's finest Portico Chroma Ale.
Suze-E-Q, Trina's Starlite Lounge
Doubly named for both their Chef, Suzi Maitland, and the bitter French liqueur that serves as its base, Suze Gentian, this tasty 'tail is mixed with Lazzaroni Amaretto, orange/lemon juice, and your favorite local Harpoon IPA.
The seasoned 'tailsmiths at Backbar concoct a myriad of alco-creations while the kitchen serves up sumptuous comfort food, in a space that feels like your garage if it was trendy and full of strangers.
"Just don't be a douchebag," reads one of the etiquette guidelines on the wall at this hip Downtown Crossing eatery, setting the scene for its no-nonsense approach to enjoying yourself over brews and burgers. An all-brick outfit reminiscent of a Prohibition speakeasy, JM Curley dishes out chef-driven takes on charcuterie boards, duck poutine, and -- most notably -- the house burger featuring homemade "pop's Russian" dressing. Prices run cheap for the tourist-heavy part of town it resides in -- and that goes for the specialty cocktails and domestic craft beers on tap, too.
Stop in for truffle pot pie with a soft poached egg; duck drummettes with cocoa pimente in an XO sauce; fried chicken w/ kimchee & ginger mustard, pork belly, and crispy yuba buns; and a late-night ramen menu (avail Thurs-Sun).
The exterior of Trina's Starlite Lounge looks like your typical dive (could it be the Miller High Life sign?), but once inside, you'll discover a hip, retro-style diner and bar that's serving up killer takes on American classics like hot dogs, burgers, and chili, plus craft beer and seasonal cocktails. Come at night for the local brews, chili-cheese fries, and double-patty cheeseburger, and on weekend mornings for Bloody Marys and the Good Ol' Breakfast Sandy: a buttermilk biscuit with cheese, two eggs over easy, and your choice of bacon, sausage, or chipotle-tomato jam.
B&M's a 50-seat cocktail haven in the same space tricked out with a giant oval copper bar and a Tetris-like chain of mahogany high-tops/drink ledges. Drink and be merry on draft/bottled suds (CBC Amber, Notch Pilsner, Pacifico), select shots like the Double Wide, and creative 'tails like a Scotch/ Benedictine/ Nux Alpina "Sentimental Gentlemen".