Thursdays at Middlesex Lounge, 315 Mass. Ave., Central Sq., Cambridge. 617.868.6739. middlesexlounge.us
Make It New is nothing if not a sure thing. The DJs are always great … sometimes internationally famous. The people are always sexy … sometimes, you meet the right person. And the drinks—as I reaffirmed on my 5 Drink excursion—are always mixed to bump your pleasure meter to an up-tempo buzz.
Drink 1: Tanqueray and tonic ($7). It’s 10:30pm, and clusters of twentysomethings have begun filing against the tinted plate-glass window just outside Central Square. When I reach the door and challenge the two hulking bouncers to inaugurate my 5 Drink, they match each other in an eyebrow-raising contest. But as soon as I rule out whiskey, they lose all interest, waving me and my crew into the club and shouting “gin and tonic” over their shoulders as they card the next group. Oh, the ephemeral doorman, how elusive your approval.
Drink 2: Fumika ($12). At Middlesex, the whole place is one sleek, sprawling, dancefloor, and coming up on 11pm, that dancefloor is getting crowded. From vintage dresses to scally caps, from for-real breakdancing to moves I honed at bat mitzvahs (… timeless moves), everyone at this party seems to be doing their own thing, so I order the Fumika, a blend of Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain, fresh lemon and simple syrup; it’s a drink I’ve certainly never heard of, and it is indeed one of their signatures.
Drink 3: Lemon Drop ($10). Pressed up against the dimly lit bar, sharing a cocktail menu with a thirsty stranger is one great way to meet people here … lucky for me, my 6’4″ boyfriend is eyeing the beer list, probably frightening would-be suitors away. I cared five years ago. Boyfriend also has to work early, so he chooses my favorite shot, the sugar-rimmed vodka/fresh-lemon blend, to hasten the liberating of my techno inhibitions, and we take to the dancefloor … or are we already on it?
Drink 4: Federativa ($12) The rest of the Dig edit team makes a surprise grand entrance, and they are armed with … cameraphones! As it often does, MiN turns into a dizzying series of flashes, cin-cins and big basslines. But they’ve also timed their drop-in well, as the DJ/organizer of MiN is our own David Day, and he’s about to administer my fourth drink. Dave’s had every cocktail they make here—possibly all in the course of tonight—and the Federativa is his directive to J.B., the unassuming Thursday-night manager. It’s the cinnamon syrup, black currant syrup and cachaça over crushed spices that make this cocktail dangerously sweet. After sipping it down to a danceable amount in the glass, we all scoot back onto the dancefloor.
Drink 5: Bohemian shot ($10) The best part about Make It New, Dave explains, is the bartenders: They’re fast, they’re skilled and I’d totally trust them to borrow my car. When I’m torn between the Bohemian cocktail and its shot-sized little brother, J.B. decides for me. A minute later, he slides a petit glass across the bar, and I am delighted. Make It New, you are a faithful friend.
PHOTOS BY DAVID DAY