We don’t mean to burst your bubble, but whatever you planned on serving at your summer party won’t be as delicious as the seltzer-based cocktails a Cambridge restaurant just invented.
Viale, the ingredient-driven modern Italian restaurant in Central Square, is serving five cocktails this summer that are quintessential New England. Why? Because they incorporate Polar’s limited-edition summer flavors in bold, refreshing, and surprisingly innovative ways. For $11 each, it’s worth the change.
Co-owner and beverage director Mark Young met with the Dig to offer us a sneak peak at all of the flavors, dish some details about what is in them, and let us taste test the spread. “I was at the grocery store one day and walking around, stoned, when I saw this big display for Polar,” says Young. “Before this year, I didn’t know about the seasonal flavors. So I thought why not take it as a challenge?”
It took about two to three tries for him to nail down the mixture for each drink—the exception being the sangria, which he’s still trying to perfect before it rolls out at the end of July—which are based off traditional cocktails. After trying that sangria, and the rest of the cocktails, we feel confident in suggesting you not only go in to try them all, but you do so quickly. There will be a line, because nobody loves Polar seltzer quite like New Englanders do. Did we mention each one is named after a body of water in Worcester, the city where the family-owned business is rooted? Yeah, Viale went all out.
Green Hill Collins
The best standalone cocktail of the bunch, this Tom Collins spinoff packs an airy punch. Made with the Strawberry Sunrise Polar, gin, strawberry syrup, and fresh lemon juice, it’s a refreshing cocktail to enjoy at sunset, especially if you’re looking for that extra fizzy kick. Plus it’s topped off with a fresh-cut strawberry garnish.
Moscow mule lovers should rush for this one, which pairs the Pineapple Grapefruit Polar with vodka, ginger syrup, fresh lime juice, and hellfire bitters. The latter packs a spicy kick while the seltzer itself balances it out with a summer-style brevity. It scales back from over-sweetening itself, so consider it your pasta sidekick.
June 29 – July 12
The most alluring of the bunch, this one boasts a deep red ombre and sizeable, perfectly rounded bubble ice. Centered around the Mango Berry Polar, it mixes aperol, blueberry-infused Cocchi Rosa, and Prosecco, giving it an extra alcoholic kick if you’re trying to welcome the night faster. Polar diehards, take note: this packs the least fizz.
July 13 – July 26
Of course the Watermelon Margarita Polar gets a classic margarita treatment with tequila, mint syrup, cucumber, and fresh lime juice. The cuke gives a cooling aftertaste, so its placement in mid- to late-July will partner with the weather well, or a spicy dish you’re looking to tone down.
July 27 – August 10
Raspberry Rose Polar meets dry rosé wine, cognac, apple brandy, white rum, and orange and lemon juices. The Polar gets drowned out, but is that why you really got this? Sangria is the get-drunk-fast beverage of choice. If you want to test it, try to say this name correctly three times in a row. Just kidding; we can’t even do that sober.
VIALE. 502 MASS. AVE., CAMBRIDGE. VIALECAMBRIDGE.COM