Drink This Now: #43, at State Park
We set our clocks ahead, and finally, the sun is coming out to shine longer and a little bit brighter. Spring is in sight, and the surest sign of that is the sap flowing from the maple trees.
Massachusetts Maple Weekend celebrates the sugaring season this Saturday and Sunday. In Kendall Square, State Park is in the spring spirit with a rejuvenated #43, a maple-tinged Manhattan upgrade made famous at its bygone sister restaurant Hungry Mother.
The cocktail starts with Old Overholt rye whiskey, and replaces a typical Manhattan’s vermouth with a tawny port. #43 is sweetened with Massachusetts’ liquid gold, and it’s finished with a dash of Angostura bitters and an orange twist. Classic and well-balanced, it was developed in the early days of Hungry Mother, and was the one of the restaurant’s most popular drinks.
State Park doesn’t usually stock port, a fortified wine, but they specially ordered a few bottles for this occasion. “We loved it, so we thought we’d bring it back,” co-owner Alon Munzer says.
If you’re heading out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the bar staff would be happy to make the drink to order, despite an anticipated carousing night.
“We like to keep it pretty low-key. It can get pretty crazy there, but we like people to order whatever they’re in the mood for. We love to make cocktails. We’re happy to make them any time,” he says.
But if a line of thirsty revelers is stacking up behind you, a couple batched cocktails do speed up service, Munzer says. Try the Official State Park cocktail, which adds a pre-made shot of Rittenhouse Rye and Braulio amaro to a bottle of Miller High Life, or the Champagne of Beers paired with a pre-made Toronoto (rye, fernet, simple syrup, and bitters). For a St. Paddy’s Day-festive pairing, there’s also a shot of GrandTen Distilling South Boston Whiskey and a stout regularly on the menu.
“Those are quick for guests and bartenders,” Munzer says.
#43 hit the specials board earlier this week, and it’s available through Sunday, and perhaps a bit longer if the port lasts, Munzer says. For Massachusetts Maple Weekend, State Park is also preparing maple-braised pork cheeks with creamy grits.
State Park, One Kendall Square, Bldg. 300, Lower Level, Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-848-4355, statepark.is.