Stepping into the Boston outpost of Serafina, the international chain of Italian eateries with a flair for killer pizza and fresh-made pastas, is a little like entering the Italian cousin to Fort Point’s Bastille Kitchen. And that makes sense.
Serafina has come to town in partnership with Boston nightlife impresario Seth Greenberg, also involved in Bastille Kitchen (as were Serafina’s designers). GM and bar manager Roberto Porsia also helped steer the cocktail program at both spots.
“There’s definitely some overlap from [Serafina’s] list and the cocktails that work here,” says Porsia. “But I’d say 40 percent of the cocktails are theirs, and the rest we create here. I build the list for females who get out of work at five and want to go to a bar for refreshing, fun cocktails that aren’t overly sweet. I’ve said before that I look at myself as the anti-mixologist. I like things that are good, simple and quick. Nothing too expensive, or takes a long time to make. ”
Overall the list is aimed squarely at young professionals and post-work tippling, and if you look at it as such, the cocktails fit the bill. There’s the Passion, a cheery twist on a typical mojito with fresh passion fruit syrup and fresh lime and mint. And the 5 O’Clock, a strangely appealing take on a flavored martini with pear vodka and Merlet pear liqueur and pear puree. The whiskey-based Rye International, already a big seller with the younger office crowd, uses a French aperitif Dubonnet Red to soften up the rye and bitters with an herbaceous finish. The standout though is the S.P.Q.R—a spin on a classic Pimm’s cup using Domain de Canton ginger liqueur and ginger beer, which will likely be a crowd-pleaser when the summer months hit and the patio opens.
“This whole place is all about being fun,” says Porsia. “We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, or change, or promote, or give kickbacks. Just have drinks that are affordable and approachable for people without jiggering, infusing, shaking, and burning. None of that. Just simple and fun.”
SERAFINA. NOW OPEN. 10 HIGH ST., BOSTON. 617-426-1234. SERAFINABOSTON.COM
Dan is a freelance journalist and has written for publications including Vice, Esquire, the Daily Beast, Fast Company, Pacific Standard, MEL, Leafly, Thrillist, and DigBoston.