The dining experience doesn’t always begin and end at the table. A great meal may start at the bar — where an aperitif can excite the appetite — and end with an after dinner drink, rounding out a fun night. Boston’s cocktail scene is burgeoning, and several places have distinguished themselves on the strength of their bar programs. Here are a few awesome spots to enjoy a spirited beverage:
What to drink: Beet & Thyme Pisco Sour, with Chilean Pisco, beet puree, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, egg white, fresh ginger root and thyme
The use of pristine, raw beets preserves the bright color of this refreshing drink, while a sprinkle of Maqui berry (a super fruit that grows wild in southern Chile) adds another dash of health-friendly nutrients. At Comedor, small plates inspired by the cuisines of America and Chile fuse bold spices and flavors with the freshest seafood, meats and vegetables. Regional craft beers are on offer to complement the inventive food, all served in a chic, inviting dining room.
What to drink: The Roscoe Pound, with notes of fennel and purple flowers balanced by gin, dry vermouth, creme de violette and absinthe
At The Hawthorne, creative director, proprietor and muse Jackson Cannon has crafted a space for cocktails and conversation that feels like a Frank Lloyd Wright living room with better drinks. With bespoke cocktails, dips and spreads, salumi and cheese, and sandwiches and salads, the low-key spot makes for a great date night or an easy way to catch up with friends. For larger parties, their Stone Room is the perfect gathering place before a big dinner or show.
What to drink: The Montpelier, a Vermont inspired cocktail of whiskey, amaro and smoked maple syrup
Head down an alley and through a set of unmarked doors to discover the secrets of backbar, where craft meets creativity. The bartenders at this intimate spot are among the most talented in the city, just as skillful with classic Manhattans as they are with futuristic cocktails full of foams and fruits you’ve never heard of. Their menu of tasty bites is served around the clock.
What to drink: Reiko Greene, a blend of gin, chartreuse and lime over cucumber ice that’s easy on the eyes — and on the palate
Step inside Shojo and you’ll be greeted with the scent of Chef Mark O’Leary’s cheeky take on Asian cuisine including Big Mac Mantou, Bang Bang Bolognese and Tiger Style Ribs. Next, you’ll probably find yourself bobbing your head to hip-hop while watching the bartenders stir, shake and swizzle great original cocktails as well as new takes on classic tiki drinks. Finish your evening with a Japanese whisky – Shojo has one of the most extensive lists in town.