HOW Design Live: 11 Top Cocktails from 11 Boston Influencers

After a hard day of networking and attending sessions at HOW Design Live, you may be ready for a little break in the evening. We asked our Boston nightlife connection,  Adri Cowan, Boston Community Manager for Google+ Local,  for some recommendations and she went to the best in town for some ideas about where to find the best drinks.

HOW Design Live Boston

Boston, as a collective, has never denied being an enthusiastic drinking town – which is why elaborate craft cocktails and the bars that make them have even become travel destinations. But where to start? We asked ten city-hopping influencers in Boston, including bloggers, PR people and events organizers, what their favorite cocktails (and mocktails!) are, where to get them and why they love it.

1) Jacki Morisi of’s ChowDownBeantown and JustAddCheese

The Drink: Envy

Where to Get It: Church of Boston

One of the seven deadly sins, the Envy at Church of Boston is made with Reyka Vodka and freshly-diced kiwis. That’s it. Simple, a little sweet, and ridiculously dangerous, it’s easy to throw a few of these back while basking in the sun and glory that is patio season. Appropriately colored and undeniably refreshing, it’s name was clearly a no brainer.


2) Michelle Zippelli of’s ChowDownBeantown and JustAddCheese

The Drink: Pho

Where to Get It: Catalyst

The Pho from Catalyst is is one of the most interesting and well-balanced cocktails I’ve ever tried. It incorporates all the traditional toppings of Vietnamese Pho noodles–cucumber, sriracha, lime, basil and cilantro–and the flavors work surprisingly perfect together in a drink. It’s a light and crisp summery cocktail that can definitely take Catalyst’s already bomb brunch to the next level.


3) Rebecca Millette of GirlsPintOut

The Drink: Bell de Jour

Where to Get It: EasternStandard

My drink, Bell de Jour at Eastern Standard. “Elixer of lemon, benedictine, and grenadine. A perfect summer night ends at Eastern Standard and for some reason, always with a drink from their Sparklers list. A little bubbly never hurt a girl, now did it? Pairs well with the late night menu and a late evening breeze off the patio.”


4) Clay Fernald, General Manager & PR for MiddleEastRestaurant & Nightclub

The Drink: Pina Colada

Where to Get It: AlgiersCoffeeHouse in Harvard Square, Cambridge

There are plenty of places to get a frozen mocktail in Harvard Sq., but Algiers is my favorite spot to pop in by myself or with a close friend or two. Algiers is an octagonal dreamscape of a coffeehouse with a great view from the second floor or roof deck. My frappe selection is the frozen pineapple and coconut drink. It’s paleo, non alcoholic and exotic. Feel like Albert Camus and watch the Square go by at Algiers.


5) Sara Steele-Rogers, Boston Event Evangelist at Eventbrite

The Drink: The Tequila Mockingbird

Where to Get It: Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro

The Tequila Mockingbird (house-infused lime tequila, orange simple syrup, and a sparkling float (served up)) was made for people who don’t like tequila, as told by bartender and creator, Joe McHale. Not only is this slightly sweet, slightly tart, and incredibly refreshing cocktail one of my all-time favorite beverages in the city, but the intimate atmosphere of BHB (with fellow bar-mates ranging from local Beacon Hill-ers to residents of the hotel) and great Charles Street people-watching make it a top cocktail experience.


6) Sean William Donovan Genius designer, and of @BostonMo Twitter fame

The Drink: Maine Squeeze

Where to Get It: Island Creek Oyster Bar

The Maine Squeeze is a refreshing concoction of agave, grapefruit and maple, served over crushed ice with orange zest. This cocktail is what summer dreams are made up, and will become your favorite fling during these warmer months. Island Creek Oyster Bar, located in the heart of Kenmore Square is also the best place to go in town for seafood – make sure to kick things off with a bowl of their clam chowder, and order a side of fries!


7) Eric Rollo, co-creator/editor/blogger of the BoozeinBoston blog

The Drink: The Deauville

Where to Get It: jm curley

Jm curley provides an amazing craft cocktail experience in a laid back and comfortable atmosphere (complete with bubble hockey and popcorn! We had garlic bread flavored.) The bar is low-lit, with wood tones and brick. Not a fan of cocktails? Come here for some craft brews and other hard to find beers as jm curley has a wide variety of them. You should also check out their menu, which features a number of items made fresh in house, including milk ‘n cookies and “Drunken Ice Cream.” My drink of choice here is The Deauville — it is a wonderful blend of traditional brandy and calvados, a French brandy which is apple-based, and plays perfectly of the combier – a traditional version of the well-known Triple Sec.



8) Valerie’s Recommendation, co-creator/editor/blogger of the BoozeinBoston blog

The Drink: Von Otto Express

Where to Get It: 6BLounge

6B is a great mix of a pub and lounge. While they offer dancing and martinis on the weekend (90s night, karaoke, etc.), they also offer the opportunity to grab some apps, watch a game, and have a few beers. The best night of the week to visit is by far Mondays as they have free trivia with great prizes. My drink of choice here is the Von Otto Express, a concoction made with vanilla vodka, Kahlua, white Godiva liquor, espresso liquor. As a dessert martini it is very sweet but the chill of the drink from being shaken over ice makes it go down smoothly.


9) Graham Wright, creator of the OpusAffair cocktail events for the arts

The Drink: Sazerac Cocktail

Where to Get It: Drink

There’s no question about it: if you’re looking for craft cocktails in Boston, you need to go to Drink. Sure…they’ve won nearly every award a bar can win, but what’s most important is the fact that want to craft a beverage personalized for you, right now. Since there aren’t drink menus, be ready to spend some quality time chatting about what spirits move you. Don’t worry, I’ll get you started with your first round: a Sazerac, a classic cocktail made from rye (or cognac, if you’re old school), sugar, Peychaud’s bitters, and a splash of absinthe. You won’t have a better one outside of New Orleans. Cheers. PS. Tell ’em a bald opera singer sent you.


10) Tom O’Keefe, of the famed @BostonTweet

The Drink: Moscow Mule

Where to Get It: Russell House Tavern

Everything from the food to the beers to the cocktails is great at Russell House Tavern and any cocktail that mixes vodka with [ginger] beer is always tops on my list.


11) Sean Weymouth, General Sales Manager at The Phoenix/STUFF Magazine

The Drink: *Special* Manhattan with Makers 46, Made by Bartender Sean Frederick

Where to Get It: Citizen Public House  & Oyster Bar, Boston

If you know me, you know I’m likely the first one at the bar and ready to go and because of that truthfully I like my Whiskey (and Bourbon and Scotch) neat as it is the quickest way for me to indulge.  However often times I would find myself at say a wedding and one of my go-to Whiskeys would not be on the bar and so in these situations I would go with a classic whiskey cocktail – a Manhattan. However, I could never convince myself to order one when in less-formal situations, that is until Makers Mark released the Makers 46 Bourbon and Citizen opened up around the corner and I happened to befriend a talented bartender named Sean Fredrick – yes, it was a perfect storm. Citizen does have a Manhattan on the menu, but if you ask Sean for a special one made with Makers 46, well you’ll know why I now no longer think of Manhattans for ‘weddings only’.

2 thoughts on “HOW Design Live: 11 Top Cocktails from 11 Boston Influencers

  1. Derrick

    Wow, Brick and Mortar should be on this list. Any drink off their menu; but really, the perfect summer cocktail on their menu is The Temporary Fix. Crushed ice, citrus, some fruit notes, and a little herbaciousness from some gin. It’s fun to drink and deceptively harmless, but don’t go knocking back too many. They pack a wallop.