Where to Drink Draft Cocktails Around Boston
We know what you’re thinking: draft cocktails? Why settle for a pre-mixed drink when I could have one made right before my eyes? While watching a bartender toss tools around makes for a great show, cocktails on tap offer benefits for both parties.
They encourage an adventurous attitude by letting you try before you buy, not to mention they cut your time waiting for a drink in half. And since bartenders don’t have to toil over your Manhattan while nine other patrons bark orders at them, it makes the staff’s lives easier. These libations don’t cut quality by hitting draft lines, either.
“Carbonation is a key element,” says Area Four Boston bar manager Dan Lynch. “It gives us the ability to carbonate the entire beverage rather than one component, as is the case with your traditional vodka-sodas or gin and tonics.”
Taste the difference yourself at these eight local bars, where your favorite drinks are pouring without any hassle.
Alden & Harlow
The Harvard Square outpost has two draft lines devoted to cocktails. One always pours a house bitter, while the other cycles cocktails like a barrel-aged Martinez, with gin, sweet vermouth, and orange bitters.
Alden & Harlow, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-864-2100, aldenharlow.com.
Area Four Boston
At the South End pizzeria (sorry, Cantabrigians), pick from two draft choices: Swipe Left, with gin and blood orange-cardamom shrub; or Swipe Right, a herbal and spicy concoction with apple brandy. Lynch introduced the drinks to jab at the surge of Tinder dates packing local bars. Much like those fleeting meetups, he often tweaks the recipe of each cocktail without changing the name.
Area Four, 264 E Berkeley St., South End, 857-317-4805, areafour.com.
At the Union Square bar, the Toki Highball is currently on tap, featuring Japanese whiskey, soda water, and ginger syrup. Beverage director Paulo Pereira rotates the draft offering seasonally, or whenever inspiration strikes.
Brass Union, 70 Union Sq., Somerville, 617-623-9211, brassunion.com.
Beverage director Kevin Mabry recently tapped an Old Fashioned in the Southie restaurant’s new Supper Club event space. The drink features bitters, and spiced demerara sugar brought in from New Orleans.
Capo, 443 W Broadway, South Boston, 617-993-8080, caposouthboston.com.
Citizen Public House
The Double In cocktail combines double-barrel Irish whiskey with sherry and French liqueur—if you say the name fast, you might also catch one of the reasons bar director Kayla Quigley named it that. You could also opt for a dram of Fernet Branca on draft.
Citizen Public House, 1310 Boylston St., Boston, 617-450-9000, citizenpub.com.
The Brookline restaurant often pours cocktails from its draft lines, and those drinks have earned it praise from night owls and tipplers alike. If you’re set on a mixed drink on tap, just make sure you call ahead—the bar staff likes to give Jack’s Abby the floor every once in awhile.
Fairsted Kitchen, 1704 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-396-8752, fairstedkitchen.com.
Four draft lines are devoted to cocktails at this Somerville spot, and they’re all poured from a fridge-turned-kegerator that chef and owner Daniel Bojorquez bought off eBay. Current choices include the Dark & Stormy, with house-made ginger beer and rum; a classic Mai Tai; and a classy, bubbly Aperol Spritz.
La Brasa, 124 Broadway, Somerville, 617-764-1412, labrasasomerville.com.
Little Big Diner
The ramen hub of greater Boston has your draft cocktail needs covered, too. Choose from the alluring rum and cinnamon in the Face Palm; the stiff mezcal, tequila, and sake present in the Cold Tea; or the reliable trio of vodka, lime juice, and triple sec in the Kamikaze.
Little Big Diner, 1247 Centre St., Newton, 857-404-0068, littlebigdiner.com.