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December 2014 Openings and Closings

The Rapscallion guys are often by the bar I work for we are one of their larger accounts. They brought along their chef who looked over our menus. Most of the talk was about the food program, and less about the beer.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

1 day ago
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Make your own bitters

I used to make bitters a lot before they were widely available (cerca 2008). The only kit you need are a few jars (like Ball canning ones), a tea strainer (or other mesh sieve) for coarse, and a funnel and coffee filter for fine. A scale (good for 0.1 gram) and a lab notebook, too. Recycling old bitters bottles works for the dispense or going to SpecialtyBottle online for eye dropper or dasher bottles/caps. For quicker filtration, I recommend the vacuum filtration kits (side arm flask such as a 1 liter, a B├╝chner funnel and filter paper disks, and a hand vacuum pump). Takes an hour+ process into under 10 minutes. Great for regular infusions too.

I got my herbs online from Frendzco on eBay (no clue if they're still around) and a few other places as well.

For some of my old recipes:
http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/se...

I can go into how I develop bitters flavor combinations if you'd like.

Nov 23, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Copper Moscow Mule mug?

I highly recommend the ones at Cocktail Kingdom. They have plain and engraved for $15/each and are the ones that I sport at home:
http://www.cocktailkingdom.com/catalo...

The Boston Shaker store has the unengraved Cocktail Kingdom ones and two Japanese copper varieties:
http://www.thebostonshaker.com/shop/s...

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Nov 23, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Are there any good veggie burgers to be found in chain burger joints? [in the Boston area]

Best food available at 3am though (although I wake up knowing that I ate there but I usually attribute that to the fries). Can't wait for 24 hour Clover in Central for when I work late at night.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Nov 23, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Viale in the old Rendezvous space in Central Square?

My midweek trip (I believe on a Wednesday) was much more sedate and there were plenty of other people around my age (43). Music wasn't blaring for I could have a great conversation with my neighbor at the bar.

I would recommend re-trying it on a non-Friday/Saturday night if you did enjoy the food and drink. Many places change on the weekend nights (which is why I generally go out Sunday-Wednesday or Thursday).

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Nov 16, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Aperol Spritz

Also the St. Germain Cocktail (equal parts elderflower liqueur, sparkling wine, and soda water) follows the same formula.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Nov 13, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Looking for Branca Menta?

Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville has it.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Nov 13, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

November 2014 Openings and Closings

Gracie's Ice Cream in Union Square, Somerville, is opening on Friday (11/7) in the old Sherman Market space (22 Union Square). Aaron Cohen, one of the co-owners, has done a lot of events around town with Eat-Boston. 3-9pm weekdays, noon-9pm weekends.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Nov 05, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Is it appropriate to request specific glassware when ordering a cocktail?

"Manhattan on the rocks" is all I need to hear that the guest wants it in a Double Old Fashioned. "Manhattan up" is enough to know that they want it strained and put in a cocktail glass. Otherwise I'll ask "up or on the rocks?"

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 22, 2014
yarm in Spirits
1

October 2014 Openings and Closings

Not sure of an exact date. Maybe 2010 or 2011? I based it off of one of the items that I frequently got (quality and price). It went from something I craved and enjoyed to something that made me unsure of why I ordered it.

Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

October 2014 Openings and Closings

Indeed. We were regulars due to the food... and then stopped going because of the food (the quality was dropping as the price went up, although it was the quality that changed the most). Still stop in for a beer though.

Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

October 2014 Openings and Closings

I do like some of their beers especially their IPAs. I just hope that they run their brewpub/beer garden with more hospitality than they have shown to bartenders, liquor store owners, and writers. Lashing out at the people who sling or promote their products hasn't been all that great of a strategy in my book.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area
1

October 2014 Openings and Closings

With Bukowski's across the street and Lord Hobo, CBC, and Mead Hall just down the street, it would supplement the beer bar crawl I often recommend (well, when Buk's re-opens in December).

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 19, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Beer Bribery in Boston

Wilcox denies asking brewers for a damned thing. The BeerAdvocate thread supports the concept that he asks the distributors for things, not the brewers themselves, though. And Pretty Things distributor (who does other brands) took a stand not to give out $$, free kegs, or product in exchange for business.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 16, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Speakeasy - Boston

True, but it is quiet when I usually go at the violet hour between 5-8pm. After 9 or 10pm, it can indeed be rocking.

Oct 12, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Speakeasy - Boston

Brick & Mortar on Mass Ave in Central Square, Cambridge. No sign, just go in the unlabeled door next to Central Kitchen and walk up the stairs. Solid cocktails. Program started by Drink and B-Side Alumni, and continued on by a No. 9 alumni bartender.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Alden & Harlow

There are other bar programs that are doing farm to glass cocktail programs such as Sarma, Eastern Standard, Baldwin Room at Sichuan Garden, Backbar, etc. Wouldn't call it a lead since others did it here first (and tons more on the other coast where the trend probably started), but their dedication to it is a bit more extreme than others.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 10, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

As to the orange blossom water amount, I have only straw tasted this drink and don't know what it is like from beginning to end. OBW is powerful stuff and only 3-4 drops should be sufficient for a drink like a Ramos. I don't recall which OBW we started with, but I think we are using Fee's now. All are in amber dropper bottles at this point.

The drink name I believe is a reference to the post-apocalyptic movie by the same name.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 09, 2014
yarm in Spirits

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

A Boy and His Dog just came off the menu. Generally served in a cocktail glass (especially since we don't have large ice cubes, only KoldDraft, hotel ice, and crushed ice). The recipe was created by Jay Miranda. I interpreted the dropper to be about a centimeter or so of the dropper (a dash or two) and I used a pinch of salt on top of the lime wheel. In a pinch, Green Chartreuse will work for the Genepy.

A BOY AND HIS DOG
1.5 OZ: BATAVIA ARRACK
.75 OZ: DOLIN GENEPY DE ALPES
.5 OZ: CINNAMON SYRUP
.5 OZ: GRAPEFRUIT JUICE
.5 OZ: LIME JUICE
1 DROPPER ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER
SALTED LIME GARNISH.
SHAKE/STRAIN INTO COCKTAIL GLASS. COAT 1 SIDE LIME WHEEL WITH SALT, DROP IN SALT SIDE DOWN

Oct 08, 2014
yarm in Spirits

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

First off, most places' cocktails are bad. But given the ones making good ones here, they are in restaurant-driven establishments.

There are only three bars in Boston that I go to for cocktails that aren't mainly restaurants (however, these 3 share a liquor license with a restaurant that is adjoining either next door or on the floor above or below). It might have to do a lot with liquor licenses here being so costly and requiring that food is served.

Also, as someone who works at a bar, I am glad that I can make a living off of selling food so that our drinks can be of a higher quality (instead of relying on just volume of booze being the most important part to earn a living) as well as the hospitality being higher.

Oct 08, 2014
yarm in Spirits

The craft cocktail craze has jumped the shark

In Boston, some of the best cocktails in town are served at restauarants. Eastern Standard and No. 9 Park are two that have gotten international acclaim (plus others that are solid across town). With that said, I pick and choose which restaurants I order cocktails at and which I stick to beer, but dismissing restaurant drink programs categorically is a bit too simplistic.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 08, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Your favorite nightlife spots for a drink

I've only made one Redhook this month, so I definitely remember that! Cheers!

Oct 03, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Your favorite nightlife spots for a drink

Nicest lounge with some of the best well made drinks and good beer by the bottle is the Hawthorne at the Hotel Commonwealth (500A Commonwealth Ave). You can check my blog below to see where else I haunt.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Oct 03, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

September 2014 Openings and Closings

I passed by the day or so before they opened on Friday, just as they put a "Kennedy's On the Square" stamp-like decal on the window (but kept all the other decals). Don't think the restaurant closed, and the same bartender I know who works there is still there, so probably little change in the staff?

For some reason, I thought it was going to be bought by the same Chinese business man-restaurant group who bought Upstairs on the Square, Leo's Breakfast, and other spots in Harvard Square.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Sep 30, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

The Vesper Cocktail

I know people who have visited his bar and it is the way he does it. There is one bar here in Boston that does it as well (but it is pre-batched and kept in the freezer and served in a small size).

As for not measuring the ingredients, Martinis are really relaxed in terms of proportions. And the end pour of gin is just to the wash line of the glass.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Sep 30, 2014
yarm in Spirits

Best veggie burgers in Boston?

Still frozen?

Sep 30, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Best veggie burgers in Boston?

In the interim of this post and the thread resurfacing, I tried it - thanks to your mention - and enjoyed it a lot! Cheers!

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Sep 30, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

Bogg's Cranberry Liquor?

Or keep it local with GrandTen's liqueur made here in Boston: http://grandten.com/makes/craneberry.php

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Sep 30, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area

A Tiny Cocktail Trend In America?

I've always wondered how bars can get away with price points for pouring that big of a drink and how the customers aren't toasted after two.

I've always considered the bar I work at to have rather large builds for a craft bar at 4 ounces. Many bars around town such as Drink do a 3 ounce build (before ice dilution). And one went so far as to use vintage glassware and serve small cocktails (2 oz builds for some of the proofier drinks) to match the tapas food from the kitchen.

I also don't see how the bartenders are getting weeded by making twice as many drinks from a 4 drink list. When drink tickets come in, they can prepare a few at once very quickly. Doing two 3.5 oz is the same a one 7.5 oz in the mixing glass. Perhaps the glassware doubles.

People probably treat a $5 cocktail ($5.19 in the article) with less regard than a $10 (common price around here) too.

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

Sep 30, 2014
yarm in Spirits

September 2014 Openings and Closings

I'm basing the other half of the story from the folks at the Blue Cloud art gallery next door. They were pressured into selling so that Yasir could have a big enough space with the wall knocked down. When they didn't budge on his offer, he seemed to have adapted his plan to save face.

Sep 20, 2014
yarm in Greater Boston Area