Setting the Bar: Baldwin Bar’s Ran Duan Shares His Favorite Things

The master mixologist behind Baldwin Bar in Woburn, Blossom Bar in Brookline, and a forthcoming concept in Boston proper shares the eats and treats he can’t live without right now. 

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Photo by Toan Trinh

Custom Knife, Skyview Forge Knife Co.

“The owner of this company, Derek Mccusker, is our bar manager, and he does this on the side. You sit down with him, tell him what kind of knife you want, and he makes it from scratch. He does everything by hand in his garage.”

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Pickapeppa Sauce

“I’m addicted to this sauce—it’s like the Jamaican ketchup. It’s super savory, and has some herbs in it. I use it in a lot of my cooking, but more important, I like to add a dash to ginger beer drinks or even bloody marys.”

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Drinking Like Ladies: 75 Modern Cocktails from the World’s Leading Female Bartenders

“Authors Misty Kalkofen and Kirsten Amann are the ladies I looked up to when I first started bartending. Their new book just came out. It’s really cool because female bartenders are underrated in our industry, and there are some killer recipes in it.”

Available at the Boston Shaker,

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Privateer Navy Yard Rum

“I love overproof rums, and Privateer, based in Ipswich, is just killing it right now. Its Navy Yard is one of my favorite rums for sipping. Whenever it comes back in stock, I tend to grab a couple of cases just for myself to drink.”

Photo by Eric Clark

Thmor Da

“This Revere restaurant has a heritage, and you can taste it. There are a bunch of Cambodian grandmas in the kitchen cooking your food. The Tiger’s Tears salad is great, and they have this ridiculous spare-rib stew. It’s gotten to the point where my friends will show the servers a photo of me and say, ‘I’ll have what he orders.’”

Photo by Toan Trinh

Curds & Co.

“They’re our neighbors at Blossom Bar, and my favorite cheese shop. My go-to is the Austrian Alp Blossom cheese, but sometimes I’ll go in and ask them to surprise me with a cheese plate of whatever we should be eating right now.”

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George Howell

“I’ve been getting into coffee in the past year or so. George Howell has an Ethiopian coffee that I’m really liking right now called Yukro Co-Op. It’s heavy on peach, cherry, and lilac notes. I tend to like my coffee not crazy bold, but with more fruit-forward notes.”