As you know, last Friday The Boston Shaker opened in its new, solo location in Davis Square! As a cocktail aficionado and dedicated customer of this store I’m really excited, because while the old location, in a corner of Grand, was great, it was also in Union Square – not far from my house, but not a particularly convenient spot due to being completely inaccessible to any transportation other than bike or bus. (That said, a part of me will miss being able to browse the very cool housewares of Grand at the same time as I shop for bitters.)
The new location, in addition to providing more space for product and a wonderful demonstration area (which came with the promise of new classes – possibly one on egg drinks!), is very convenient (dangerously convenient?) to my house, as it’s directly on my path home from work. I’ll need to restrain myself, lest I end up with the largest private bitters collection in Boston.
In any case, of course I made sure to visit the shop on the first day it opened. In addition to the demonstration area, I was most enchanted with the floors – gorgeous hardwood unearthed when they ripped up the old carpeting that was all the more lovely for being a bit weathered. My friends Dan and Elise accompanied me – they’d never been to the old store but were suitably impressed with the new one. They really were on a hunt to expand their bitters collection, and bought an amazing duo of cherry and chocolate that I think would be outstanding with some Gosling’s rum, as well as a set of my favorite ice cube trays and the best jigger ever.
I myself bought another set of those ice cube trays – they’re far more convenient and stackable than our old blue plastic ones, besides providing the sheer joy of a perfect cube in the glass. I also bought a jar of Luxardo marasca cherries. I’ve been coveting these dusky little jewels for some time, because unlike the atomic neon cherries of my youth these are a gorgeous purple and taste truly, deeply of concentrated cherry.
Obviously, once I had them there was nothing for it but to make a Manhattan this weekend! Alas, I’d failed to recall that I was completely out of sweet vermouth thanks a spate of mulled wine making at Christmas. Fortunately, all was not lost! For in the refrigerator I still had some Punt e Mes, that delightfully bitter Italian vermouth. Balanced with a bit of Luxardo maraschino liqueur it was a perfectly acceptable substitute for the sweet vermouth; possibly even an improvement due to the fact that I was using a bourbon that was heavily vanilla-accented. Garnished with the Luxardo cherry it made a fitting toast to the wonderful new shop in our neighborhood!