Cocktail Bars


Our city is more than a frothy pint of Sam Adams; search beyond suds and you’ll be rewarded with top-notch concoctions that honor classic cocktails yet push the envelope.

The Hawthorne

Founded by legendary Boston bartender Jackson Cannon, The Hawthorne is a lounge that represents midcentury sophistication at its finest. Settle into one of the wingback chairs, order up a plate of deviled eggs, and select a cocktail from the weekly changing menu. If greater hunger strikes, you’re in the right place: Island Creek Oyster Bar is located just down the hall in the same hotel.

Woburn may be 12 miles north of Boston proper, but The Baldwin Bar has put the sleepy suburb on every cocktail lover’s map. Even more unexpected is the space: It shares a colonial mansion’s first floor with a Sichuan restaurant run by bar owner Ran Duan’s parents. The menu is split between forward-thinking originals and spot-on renditions of classic tiki drinks. Those looking for group-sized potions can partake at The Baldwin & Sons Trading Co., another, library-themed bar located on the second floor.


No cocktail menus exist at Barbara Lynch’s Drink, and none are needed. Instead, a subterranean bar employs a staff of crack bartenders who can make just about anything on the book—or in your mind. Just give them a few clues—flavors or spirits that float your boat, or even your current mood—and you’ll soon be sipping something you never knew existed but now can’t live without. Although Drink’s reputation is founded on liquid, it’s also home to a much-lauded cheeseburger.

Featuring a 60-foot marble bar and tie-toting bartenders, Eastern Standard feels like a portal into a grander, more civilized epoch. Fittingly, the menu pays homage to classic cocktails of another time while offering up its own original spins alongside them. An extensive late-night menu is served until 1:30 a.m. every night of the week, making the Kenmore Square staple one of the city’s premier night owl feeding grounds.


There are bars that announce their presence a mile away, and then there’s backbar. The eclectic speakeasy is hidden down the hallway of what looks like an empty warehouse in Union Square—and with a host ensuring everyone is properly seated, it often has a wait. But expect to be richly rewarded: The menu features some of the area’s most innovative intoxicants, and ever-changing drinks of the day and week ensure that even regulars never get bored. And though the cocktails may be second to none, don’t miss the collection of interesting and hard-to-find beers, ciders, and spirits.

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