I love Drink, Barbara Lynch’s cool, hip, underground cocktail spot on Congress Street in Boston. It is located beneath her Sportello restaurant…you have to know where you are going as there is no signage showing you the way. But people know where to find it. On a recent visit, I arrived at 5 o’clock to find only a handful of people sitting at the bar. Within thirty minutes, every seat was taken, cocktails were being crafted and consumed and there was an electric buzz to the place….
When walking down the stairs, one is immediately hit with the scent of citrus wafting through the air. This is due to the pyramids of grapefruit, lemon and lime that are artfully arranged behind the bar. There is no set menu to speak of, which is one of the fun things at Drink. The bar staff will ask you what you like – flavors, liquors, food – and from there, create a cocktail for you on the spot.
I was in a summer mood to start, and after being quizzed by the bartender, was offered a classic St-Germain Cocktail (St-Germain, Champagne & Soda). My guest was in a tequila mood, and was given a fantastic red grapefruit margarita. The drinks were served in vintage cocktail glasses – loooking around the bar, there was a wide array of glassware. I asked the bartender how they decided what drink was served in what glass, and she answered “Whatever is clean and cold!”
It is fascinating to watch the bar staff at work. There are no bottles on the back bar, they have lots of containers with house made syrups, mixers and infusions, and they use the aforementioned pyramids of fruit to make beautiful peels and garnishes to enhance the drinks.
We also ordered food – delicious grilled cheese rectangles that were part of the bar menu, which were so good they were devoured before a photo was taken!
Our second round called for something different…I tried the “Mary Pickford” as it seemed appropriate in such a setting…a delicious concoction of light rum, pineapple juice and grenadine served frothy and cold. My companion chose to relive memories of Bermuda by ordering a Dark & Stormy – served tall, strong and delicious.
The atmosphere was fun – couples, groups of friends, a few singles – and a lot of enthusiasm as people were interacting with the bar staff, watching & asking what other patrons were having, and deciding whether to go upstairs to Sportello or to another of Barbara Lynch’s fantastic restaurants for dinner. Cheers!