In the past year, some pretty excellent new bars have opened up here in Boston.
These are places that take their cocktails seriously.
Places to savor the perfect martini, or a new take on an Old Fashioned. The mixologists behind these bars are using house made infusions, top quality spirits, hand chipped ice and crazy molecular gastronomy techniques to give you a taste of something you won’t get at home.
I spent this past Sunday adapting recipes from some of the best new bars for your home kitchen.
First I made Spicy caramel popcorn, from Backbar
Backbar gets points with me because it is literally across the street from my apartment. It’s by the same folks as Journeyman, and while the food pricing is a bit precious for my taste, this popcorn is stellar. It’s sweet and salty caramel corn with a smoky heat from chipotle, cumin and smoked paprika.
They also served me the best martini of my life
The real deal. And they have an ever-changing milk punch of the week, which just makes my heart pitter patter.
This and the following photos were taken on my phone, so please forgive the quality. Just embrace the yumminess.
Next are two recipes from The Hawthorne. Just love this place. It’s one of the treasures in the Commonwealth hotel, which I wrote about for a Globe New Year’s dining guide.
The Hawthorne is a super comfortable, impeccably decorated lounge, that feels like a cozy but upscale living room.
The drinks are killer and the service is great. After adapting Chef Jeremy Sewall’s recipes, I know the snacks are delicious too.
First up, deviled eggs
These are your classic Deviled eggs, but there is a squeeze of lemon in the mix that adds brightness, and the garnish of crispy prosciutto and briny cornichon is fantastic.
Also from The Hawthorne, Reuben toasts pack all the flavor of a full sandwich into a snack-sized bite. These are heavenly, with kraut, Russian dressing, pastrami and melted Gruyere.
Sadly, I didn’t snap a photo of the Devils on Horseback from Saloon, the newly opened underground speakeasy with over 100 types of whiskey that just opened in Davis Square.
But don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe – dates stuffed with feta, wrapped in bacon -I mean anything wrapped in bacon really…and drizzled with a balsamic gastrique (sounds fancy but don’t let that scare you it’s just boiled vinegar and mint jelly). These are all creamy and crisp, salty and sweet. yum.
I hope you don’t mind that I’ve linked to the recipes rather than typed them out. I adapted these recipes, so I didn’t want to put them here until I have explicit permission from the fine folks who thought up these dishes.
My advice is to check out these bars if you can, and then throw yourself a little cocktail party to try out the recipes. They are very easy, and very good.
You may not have house-made bitters, or the finest vintage glassware.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t mix one helluva martini and share some delicious bar snacks with your friends.