Best of Boston

BEST Bartender

2015 BEST Bartender
Photograph by Webb Chappell

Patrick Gaggiano, Vialé


There are a couple of reasons to visit a bar. One is to sip masterful cocktails. The other is to savor the charms of the bartender, a pleasure you’ll discover in less than five minutes when the lighthearted Gaggiano is… read more»

2014 BEST Bartender

Kevin Mabry, JM Curley, Bogie’s Place, Merrill & Co.

When he helped open JM Curley in 2012, Kevin Mabry did for the basic G & T what the kitchen did for Curley’s legendary burger—that is, take something familiar and make it irresistibly new (here, with the help of yellow Chartreuse and… read more»

2013 BEST Bartender

Sam Treadway, Backbar


In just a year, Treadway has taken this already exciting snack-and-cocktail spot and upped the ante even further with his unique mix of seasonally driven classics (like our favorite drink of summer, the grapefruit-and-tequila-based Paloma), modern spins on standards (barrel-aged… read more»

2012 BEST Bartender



This is the year of the cocktail bar, and the city’s top new spots are anchored by considerable talent. There’s Scott Marshall shaking and stirring at the Hawthorne, and Misty Kalkofen assembling mezcal-spiked drinks at Brick & Mortar. When it… read more»

2011 BEST Bartender

Todd Maul, Clio


While the sheer number of cocktails on the 80-drink list makes our frontal cortex twitch, it’s the list’s creator who brings it to refreshing, delicious life. With extreme attention to detail (black-lime-stuffed ice cubes, anyone?) and a downright hospitable attitude… read more»

2008 BEST Bartender

John Gertsen, No. 9 Park


Charm and meticulousness have earned this mixologist more than his fair share of props. But that’s no reason to deny him this year’s Best of Boston nod, especially as we anticipate his residence (and ours) at Drink, part of Barbara… read more»

2007 BEST Bartender

Jackson Cannon


Settle into Eastern Standard’s plush, cozy bar and let Cannon welcome you with an easy grin and quick, imaginative recommendations: an old-school cocktail he’s revived (such as his signature Jack Rose), or maybe a little-known bottling. His obsession with fresh… read more»

2006 BEST Bartender

Jason Lomberg, Plaza III


Attentive and charming, Lomberg plies his trade in the tourist-infested depths of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, where he’s developed an admirable tolerance for onerous drink orders. But it’s his particular facility for novelty frozen martinis—try the Orange Julius—that makes him worthy… read more»

2005 BEST Bartender

Lee Jennings, Union Bar and Grille


A bartender’s primary pursuits are a flawless cocktail mixed with speed and accuracy, and sensational service graciously delivered. Jennings has mastered both. Part bartender, part professor, he’ll happily take a moment to wax lyrical on a pinot noir or expound… read more»

2004 BEST Bartender

Shawn Ahern, Union Bar and Grille


Quick with the drink recommendation and the flourished bottle, Shawn Ahern is a professional in a trade too full of aspirant talk-show hosts. He pours a finely tuned martini and is brisk and responsive to eye contact, yet his friendliness… read more»