Saloon's dark wooden room offers a brooding ambiance like few spots in the entire city…
Adventure Boston – Liquid Assets – River Bar
We need a drink but not just any drink. We are on a quest to find the most epic spirits in Boston.
Is there anything better than a well made cocktail? These days bartenders look a lot more like mad scientists as the traditional cocktail has morphed into an array of colorful creations that bring together ingredients like pear, chipotle, egg whites and have names like Paris Carver or Good-Bye & Keep Cold. Yes, today’s bartenders certainly have a few more tools in their tool box. Adventure Boston is hitting the streets to visit a few of Boston’s renowned drink makers to sample their creations and discover the inspiration behind their superior cocktails. First Stop, River Bar.
Since opening in 2014, River Bar has been wowing customers with their seasonally themed cocktails and locally sourced ingredients. The drink menu reads like a series of short stories and as bartender Matt Alvey explained, their goal was to “recreate classics with a modern twist.” Throw in outdoor seating with two fire pits, inventive food options, all along Assembly Row’s scenically reloaded Mystic River and you’ve got a highly combustible mixture.
I started my evening with the Paris Carver, a mixture of Vodka, house made ginger syrup and St. George Pear Liqueur. Pear is a pretty unique taste for a cockail and I was very happy with River Bar’s stray from norm. It was semi-sweet, refreshing and very delicious.
From there I moved on to the Near Say Die, a brave twist on the Manhattan. Made with Bourbon, Cynar [tʃi-nar] Amaro which is an Italian bitter liqueur, Allspice Liqueur and Black Walnut Bitters. As a Manhattan drinker, this one was a treat and I thoroughly enjoyed it’s complexity.
Probably my favorite drink of the evening was the Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Matt described it as their take on the “port flip.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, that term was first used in 1695 to describe a mixture of beer, rum, and sugar, heated with a red-hot iron. The heat would make the drink froth or “flip”, hence the name. It’s changed a lot since then and River Bar’s version is more on the dessert drink spectrum made with Egg Whites, Allspice Liqueur, fresh squeezed Lemon Juice and Port. It has an awesomely frothy body that I loved and was a great way to cap off the night.
Lastly, I also indulged in an order of the Wasabi Honey Mustard Chicken Wings (right) which was the perfect snack for keeping my palate honest against this crisp and semi-sweet trio of drinks.
River Bar is located at 661 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA 02145