The only thing I knew about Silvertone before my best friend Dex Muthafukin Ter and I walk down staircase beneath the neon-blue sign and into its swanky, soulful depths is what J.Pat told me: “It’s reasonably priced and supposed to be cool.” Good enough for me. Soon I’m sitting beside Dex at the bar, looking at a cocktail list mainly of whiskey rocks drinks with the occasional squeezes of lemon, getting ready for my first 5 Drink minimum for the Dig (and probably my third that week).
“I got your ‘five drink minimum,’” Cedric the bartender says as he bats the air with a “psh” gesture and a deep belly laugh, the rows and rows of bottles glistening behind him dangerously. “And you ain’t gonna make it!”
Game on, my brotha.
DRINK I (BARTENDER’S CHOICE):
CHARTREUSE GIMLET ($9)
“This is a drink from God’s people!” Cedric chuckles as he places a martini glass filled right to the edge with green Chartreuse and a “couple squeezes of lime” before me. “Let me warn you, that happens to be 110 percent proof.” I take a sip. Hits me with spice, but finishes with cool refreshing, citrus flavor. He whips out the bottle and pours me a shot to try. “130 herbs and spices, and only three actual monks know what’s in it.” “That’s spicy as FUCK!” Dex shouts with a start as Ced hands him a High Life and a shot of Fernet, his own Silvertone signature “Happy Ending.” 30 minutes later my cheeks are burning and I’m sweating profusely. Only our first drinks….
DRINK 2 (BARTENDER’S MOM’S CHOICE):
10 WARRE’S OTIMA 10 ($8)
It turns out Cedric is from Wisconsin and came to Boston to study engineering at BU. And his mom only drinks port. “Two fucking drinks in and I’m already sending texts I regret,” Dex says when he comes back from the bathroom as I pull my hair back and sip the sweet red nectar. “Four drinks in, you’re gonna be giving me your phone!” Cedric replies, laughing. He turns on Luniz’ “Phillies” rap after I tell him I’m from PA, then stands in front of me snapping and rapping, “Drink-a-lot, never like to think-a-lot.” And the drinks go down as smooth as the beats.
DRINK 3 (DRINK THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR CHILDHOOD):
“Would’ve given you a Rolling Rock since you’re from PA, but we ain’t got that here,” Cedric says as I sip the bright orange cocktail. He asked if I liked Tang when I was little, and this one’s dangerous: tastes like Juicy Juice, but is all Absolut Madarin, “little lemon, little lime, little Prosecco and send ‘em on their way!” Cedric says. “It’s called ‘Joy’ ‘cause that just makes you happy.” Cedric offers. And I am happy, thinking about capture the flag and imaginary fortresses made of couch pillows. Dex and I are all hugs and love convos. As I suck on the orange slice as if it’s halftime of a kindergarten soccer game, Cedric turns on “Back in the Day” by Ahmed, and Dex sings as we dance with Cedric, “Back in the days when I was young I’m not a kid anymore. But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again…”
DRINK 4 (YOUR MOM’S CHOICE):
RASPBERRY VODKA AND JUNGLE JUICE IN A WATER BOTTLE ($???)
I call my mom and ask her what her choice would be for the fourth drink of my “5 Drink Minimum Assignment.” “WHAT?! You have to drink FIVE DRINKS?!” “Yes.” “I’d tell you to get a water or a diet coke—“ “No Mom! It has to be a drink!” “Well, I always tell people the story of when I took a huge gulp of a water bottle in your room and screamed ‘cause it was Vodka,” she says, laughing. “You’re not going to drive to this, are you?” “No we’re taking the T.” “You’re lying.” “No I’m not.” “Be careful!” “Don’t worry, my friend Dex from UNregular will take care of me.” “I GOT THAT MOTHER KUSH IN MY POCKET!” Dex yells. Cedric hands me an extremely strong Vodka-mystery-red-juice drink in an empty Fuji water bottle with a bright orange straw in honor of my story. The three of us are all hugs and dancing.
DRINK 5 (YOUR CHOICE):
SENOR MALO ($9)
“Hooray for Boobies” by Bloodhound Gang has just been turned on, as I keep my promise to Cedric that “my choice” will be his, since he insisted on choosing my final drink of the night when I first arrived. It’s Silvertone’s best Tequila drink, the Senor Malo. Ingredient list from menu: Illegal Mezcal (I’m going to get arrested), yellow Chartreuse (Whyyyyy???), Becherouka (Wha?), and simple syrup (a very, very small amount). Unsurprisingly, the drink tastes like straight, intensely alcoholic alcohol, or at least that’s the level of thought I’m at by this point. Dex has fallen in love with a girl at the bar named Deseree. “This one tastes like a campfire,” Dex says. “Exactly,” Cedric replies, “that’s the end of the night, baby.”
SILVERTONE BAR & GRILL
69 BROMFIELD ST.,
Read some more 5 Drinks … if you dare.