Any day of a week, it’s a fair bet you can find a Dig staffer bellied up to the bar.
Twice a year, we even take notes.
It’s time again for our semiannual 5 Drink Minimum feature—five bars, five drinks, five writers showing up a bit on the late side the next morning. This time, we’re getting those bellies up off the bar for our first-ever 5 Drink Neighborhood Crawl. Was it a marathon? A sprint? A one-legged sack race? Read on and find out.
THROWING DOWNTOWN WITH BAR HAVOC
As an avid reader of DigBoston since I first moved to Boston, the 5 Drink issues were always my favorite. I loved the concept of drinking and writing and working all mashed into one eventful evening. If only I were given the chance … and then one day, Baby Liver Cirrhosis Jesus came down from the heavens and gave me the job as the Dig’s bar scene correspondent and lo and behold, it was my turn to play.
Five drinks? No problem. Except by the end of the night, my tally was actually 14. And my liver was screaming.
Damn you 5 Drink.
Northstar is primarily busy during sports games, but the place is lively for a Tuesday night. I ask the bartender Dan if he has time to whip me up a drink of his choice, and he happily obliges, sheepishly adding that he saw this on Bar Rescue and has been waiting for an opportunity to try it. Patron has been blended with muddled limes, orange juice, and Grand Marnier to make a citrusy sweet margarita without the usual overpowering tang of bar sour mix. We’re on the tequila track to success.
[222 Friend St. @NorthStarBoston. northstarboston.com]
DRINK 2: BIDDY EARLY’S, WRITER’S CHOICE
HEADLESS HORSEMAN $10
I adore Biddy Early’s. The first time I went there I fell in love with the staff, brothers who clearly cared about this place more than anything, and wanted to keep it divey as fuck. I decide that after a brisk fall evening stroll I want something seasonal, and as my choice of drinks we decide to drop a shot, half Stoli Vanilla and half Captain Morgan spiced rum, into a half-pint of Shipyard Pumpkin—something I call a Headless Horseman. It’s autumn in a glass, and I want to stay forever but there is work to be done, and after a few rounds of Keno we move on.
[141 Pearl St.]
DRINK 3: SCHOLARS, PHONE A FRIEND
SHOT OF JACK $8
Upon first glance, I decide that Scholars just makes me want to cozy up to the bar, drink fancy scotch and talk about finance. I do neither, because on the other end of my phone is WWE superstar John Cena, and he says I need to take a shot of Jack Daniels and laughs when I tell him it seems a crime to order that in a place like this. The bartender John raises an eyebrow as I order and I tell him when John Cena tells you to do a shot of Jack, you do a shot of Jack. He agrees.
[25 School St. scholarsbostonbistro.com]
DRINK 4: SILVERTONE, MUSIC PLAYING
HIGH LIFE AND A SHOT OF JAMESON $12
As I’m walking down the steps to Silvertone I instantly feel at home. The place is dark and tiny, and the owner and bar manager Josh instantly introduces himself and we start talking industry. We all get along splendidly. On the PA, somebody (whom I later find out is 3OH!3) sings, “Your kiss is like whiskey, it gets me drunk.” So down the hatch it goes. Jameson burning, the champagne of beers cooling. “Are you ever not able to read your own notes?” Josh asks, skeptically looking at my notebook, which is starting to resemble the Rosetta Stone. I say no, but I’m lying.
[69 Bromfield St. @SilvertoneBar. silvertonedowntown.com]
DRINK 5: JM CURLEY, HOTTEST PERSON
The bartender Tracy is a familiar face and I enter full-on creep mode and tell her I like her glasses and that I choose her as my “hottest person”. She is thrilled and makes me a sazerac, the official cocktail of New Orleans. Unbeknownst to me, it’s made with 100 proof Rittenhouse Rye. I sip heavily. I’m on fire. I see red. I scribble in childlike block letters, “tastes like burning” and decide that Tracy is a clever temptress devil lady. When I look up she has lined up shots of Fernet for all of us, and then I know it’s true.
[21 Temple Pl. @jmCurleyBar. jmcurleyboston.com]