Boston Drinks: The Local Cocktail Scene

A New England toast to mixology.

If you're in search of a great cocktail in Boston, look no further! Creative and hardworking bartenders throughout the Boston area shake and stir the best libations around. Here are some of the best spots to find great cocktails in Boston. 

The Baldwin Bar

Inside the Baldwin Mansion is a small cocktail bar that is delivering big flavor. The Baldwin Bar menu features an impressive list of house tiki creations that will transport you straight to the islands. The influence from O.G. tiki mixologists Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber is obvious and two mai tai variations are named after these titans of the cocktail world. Each cocktail comes with a brief flavor profile which is helpful since many of the ingredients exotic. Try the spirit-forward and nutty "Threepenny Opera" with rye, Ramozzoti, PX sherry and pandan. If you need your drink to be Instagram-worthy, order the "Halo Halo," a bright purple concoction with white rum, cachaca, ube milk, pineapple and lime.

 Blossom Bar

Whether you want to order cocktail kits for home or sit in an actual bar again (can you imagine?) Blossom Bar has you covered. This Brookline spot has a long, curved white marble bar and chic esthetic that matches the stunning glassware and innovative cocktails. The tropical and deeply flavorful "Pulque" cocktail uses tequila, Licor 43, soursop verde, pineapple and Topo Chico for fizz factor. Definitely order a "Gloria" because it was the winner of the 2019 Bacardi Legacy East Competition. It combines Bacardi four-year, passion fruit, lime, cinnamon, coffee and creamy mascarpone.

Creative Cocktails at Blossom Bar Boston | WhereTraveler
Creative Cocktails at Blossom Bar (©Ran Duan)

Brick & Mortar

The mixologists at Brick & Mortar know their stuff. That's probably why this Cambridge cocktail den has been on Esquire's list of best bars in America and Zagat's "16 Must Try Cocktail Destinations Around The World." Try the vegetal and refreshing "Disco Map" with mezcal, cucumber, yellow chartreuse and lime. If you're a fan of darker flavors go for the "Paradise Garage" with blended scotch, apricot and cynar (an artichoke amaro). After a few rounds, soak up the alcohol with skewers of Calabrese salami, pepperoncini, and pimento-stuffed olives. It's a salty, briny snack that pairs well with alcohol.

Variety Bar

Variety Bar serves quality cocktails without the pretentious fuss that can be associated with craft cocktail bars. Located on the second floor of Bow Market, Variety is a neighborhood, no-judgement zone with quality bites to boot. Take it back to childhood memories and order the "PB & J Flip" with whiskey, peanut butter syrup, Concord grape wine, amaro, a whole egg (yes, it's safe) and nutmeg. The house milk punch is a revelation with olive oil-infused gin, salted honey, lemon, whey and just a hint of cinnamon. The food menu is full of alcohol-friendly snacks like pickles, popcorn and cheese and crackers.

Quality Cocktails at Variety Bar (©Emily Tirella/@emilytirella) Boston | WhereTraveler
Quality Cocktails at Variety Bar (©Emily Tirella/@emilytirella)

Create Gallery and Cocktail Lounge

Part art gallery and part draft cocktail lounge, Create Gallery and Cocktail Lounge is a hip spot to sip and take in some art. The artists are creators that few know (but definitely should) and DJs spin records to add a soundtrack to your night of drinking. As winter slowly fades, order the "Miso Hot Buttered Rum" with nutmeg and cinnamon. If you're desperately looking towards spring, try the "Selfoss" with vodka, dill, lemongrass, lemon and bright rhubarb bitters. Food comes from Humaari Provisions (Middle Eastern cuisine) and desserts from La Bottega.