Night Lines, Chowder-Style: Cheers! It’s a Twelve Drink Minimum!
The next time Bostonista accepts an invitation from Chowder for an evening on the town, you can bet your bile duct it won’t be a weeknight. Especially if said evening involves the bar at Eastern Standard. More specifically, an evening at Eastern Standard that entails a flight of cocktails numbering in the double digits.
(To review: Chowder, weeknight, Eastern Standard, double-digit cocktail flight, not happening again. Any. Time. Soon. Or at least not until August.)
Here’s how it happened.
We were seated about halfway down the long, low-lit bar, taking in the convivial cheer. While Bostonista kept busy checking out the crowd—the shoes (lots of metallics, lots in need of accompanying pedicures), the lipstick (in the case of our bar stool neighbor, the brightest pink we’ve seen since Kelly Kapowski), the illicit affairs, and other equally pressing issues—Chowder was attempting to figure out what was on the one-page menu the bartender was very strategically not-showcasing by tucking it away in a dark, out-of-the-way space next to a cash register.
Much to Chowder’s delight, it turned out to be a celebration (!) cocktail menu, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Or something. And because Bostonista has great manners, we too indulged in the 12-cocktail flight. You know, to keep Chowder company.
The rest of the evening was a blur, with a few (well, exactly 12) moments of clarity. Some Chowder loved, some not so much. For a foodie’s critique of the drink roster, you’ll want to get your info straight from the bowl. But if you’re more concerned with the cocktails’ more important attributes, like which beverage would best match your favorite summer dress, you’re in the right place:
(1) Hanky Panky (gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca, orange twist): Looked and tasted like the facial astringent our mom used to push on our adolescent complexions.
(2) Jack Rose (applejack brandy, housemade grenadine, fresh lemon, Peychall’s bitters): Darker than a cosmo, lighter than a Cape Codder. Hipper than both.
(3) Monkey Gland (Miller’s Finest, fresh orange, pastis, housemade grenadine): No matter the taste or aesthetic, Bostonista endorses no drink with the word “gland” in the title. Though monkeys can be cute.
(4) The Income Tax Cocktail (gin, sweet and dry vermouths, orange, angostura bitters): Like a watered down creamsicle in color and texture.
(5) The Charles Lindbergh (gin, Lillet Blanc, apricot): Almost clear, this one is spill-friendly, which, by drink number five, we were starting to appreciate.
(6) The Scofflaw Cocktail (rye, dry vermouth, lemon, grenadine): It’s magenta. Enough said.
(7) Sensation (marachino, mint, lemon, gin): The best-tasting of the bunch, like a mojito but less minty.
(8) El Presidente (light rum, orange curaçao, dry vermouth, housemade grenadine): Sweet!
(9) Maiden’s Prayer (gin, rum, Cointreau, fresh lemon, orange bitters): Take Chowder’s word for this one: “A nice palate cleanser. Like a less-sweetened Crystal Light, with more aromatics. Notes are starting to get silly and garbled. This better end soon.”
(11) Blood & Sand (whiskey, fresh orange juice, Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth): Hints of Robitussin cough syrup. Think we may have liked it…
(12) Astoria (gin, dry vermouth, bitters, olive): Gin. Vermouth. Blurriness. Taxi?