• Cocktails

A Cult-Classic Strawberry Cocktail from Nantucket Hits Boston

By Eric Twardzik · 08/05/2021

The Nautilus Pier 4 may have only opened in April, but a memorably named cocktail on its menu, Blackout Barbie, goes way back. The summer seasonal debuted in 2014, during the original Nantucket location’s first year in business. 

Co-founding partner and beverage director Clinton Terry traces the drink’s origins back to a family-owned farm on Nantucket, which provides produce to many of the island’s restaurants. Terry was picking fresh strawberries at Bartlett’s Farm, he explains, beside a tequila-appreciating pastry chef at The Nautilus who went by the self-selected moniker “Blackout Barbie.” He was inspired to make a cocktail with their fresh fruit and borrowed her nickname in the process, he says. 

Blackout Barbie—the drink, that is—starts with fresh strawberry juice infused with a touch of thyme; a house-made sour mix prepared with lemon and lime juices; and a touch of simple syrup. The boozy component comes via blanco tequila and a final top-off of sparkling wine. 

“It’s lush and juicy. It’s got some natural sweetness, a little bit of citrus, and then the bubbles help lighten it up,” Terry says, adding that tequila provides an agave-forward backbone. 

Terry—who proudly notes that he picked all the strawberries used for making Blackout Barbie cocktails during The Nautilus’s first five years in business—says that the Seaport location also relies on local growers for this fruity element. 

To complement the acidic drink, Terry suggests pairing it with some of the restaurant’s raw fare, such as Spoon Tuna Chips & Dips or the Japanese Hamachi Crudo, whose spicy koshu chili vinaigrette may be tempered by Blackout Barbie’s fresh sweetness.

Plus, it’s always a good idea to pair a boozy tequila cocktail with something to eat.

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