The harsh winter that has befallen us has taken much. It’s taken our patience from us, our warmth, and our ability to stay sane in the hands of the MBTA.
And if there’s anything it’s given us, it’s an appreciation for the times when a solid new neighborhood joint rises up to sate the thirst of the weary commuter, cocktail enthusiast, and restaurant industry toiler alike.
Enter: Moonshine 152, the new incarnation of the former Franklin Southie location. As bar manager Jesse Dupuis puts it, its arrival (along with its “industry brunch” for restaurant workers) is well timed.
“We wanted to give Southie a solid, reliable spot for well-crafted cocktails in a relaxed setting,” he says. “And we also wanted to bring in a roster of drinks crafted by bartender friends of ours from great spots across town, made by people that don’t always get written about.”
That roster can be found on the “here in spirits” portion of the drinks menu, featuring novel creations like the “Channel Boston” by Mike Rose of Pastoral using rye, Montenegro, and Campari, or the gin-, lime- and bitters-fueled “Southie Yacht Club” by Moira Horan of Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, the latter of with features Dupuis’ house-made orgeat.
But naturally, given the name, you’d expect there to be some ’shine love on the menu. And there is, in the form of the seasonal moonshine offerings. The winter-themed version Dupuis created for the opening uses Tennessee 100-proof moonshine that he “washes” in 72 hours with heaps of fresh Grand Gala apples (“the sugar in the fruit takes a bit of the alcohol bite out, but keeps the ’shine noticeable,” he says), finished with house-made cinnamon syrup, lemon, and a touch of cider.
“When [I heard] the name I knew I was going to have to put a little thought into how we were going to do [moonshine],” says Dupuis. “It’s not the most approachable spirit, so I wanted to do a seasonal drink, let the apples mellow it out a bit.”
If you’ve ever had a bender on white lightning, you’ll appreciate someone attempting to add some mellow to a moonshine mixer.
Even if it just makes you drink twice as much.
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.