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Boston Bartenders Reveal Their Go-To Cocktail Orders

Lots of negronis. Cocktail Week 2015 continues.

Shutterstock/Andrew Pustiakin

Alex Homans

"Daiquiri, old fashioned, gin martini." —Alex Homans, owner and beverage manager of The Frogmore

Image credit: Courtesy of Caitlin Cunningham/The Frogmore

Naomi Levy

"You could ask any single one of my bartenders, and they will all tell you Campari and soda." Naomi Levy, bar manager at Eastern Standard

Image credit: Lisa Richov for Eastern Standard

Nicholas Mansur

"I drink a lot of gimlets and daiquiris. Any three-part sours." Nicholas Mansur, bar manager at Shepard

Image credit: Emily Phares for Eater

Angela Lamb

"Couple of different scenarios: After a long hard night at work, I go for the negroni — Plymouth gin, down with a twist. Out with a bunch of friends? Craft beer or cider in a can with a shot of amaro." —Angela Lamb, bar manager at Coda Bar & Kitchen

Image credit: Provided

Fred Yarm

"A sazerac or a Hanky Panky (if there is not a new-to-me cocktail on the their list that I want to write about for the CocktailVirgin blog)." —Fred Yarm, bar manager at Loyal Nine

Image credit: Provided

Nino Nunziante

"Kentucky Mule made with Maker's Mark, a dash of bitters, and mint!" Nino Nunziante, bartender at Tico

Image credit: Provided

Kayla Quigley

"It would depend on the bar and the type of evening that's ahead, honestly. Out for a classy night? A French 75 or a Rye Manhattan on the rocks. After work? A shot of Overholt and a cold High Life." —Kayla Quigley, bartender at Sweet Cheeks

Image credit: Provided

Tyler Wang

"I don’t often go out for cocktails because I make them enough, and I understand them enough that I don’t generally want other people to make cocktails for me. If I do go out and get something that I don’t already know how to make, it’s because I want to either support my friends who are doing something cool or just see what the bar’s doing. My go-to is still probably a negroni. I order that more than anything else when I do order cocktails, because it’s difficult to mess up, and because it’s hard to have a bad negroni. It’s always comforting; it’s always lovely." Tyler Wang, bar manager at Audubon

Image credit: Emily Phares for Eater

Will Thompson

"I had a great talk with a friend about this recently; I think a lot of us, if we're ordering a cocktail to check out a restaurant or bar, like to go with a relatively 'naked' drink, like a dry martini or a daiquiri — one where you can figure out a lot about the program because there isn't much to hide behind, flavor-wise (i.e. pretty easy to tell if a spot is using old juice in a three-ingredient cocktail). My friend pointed out those drinks are great on some level, but that they're both kind of industry handshakes and give away the fact that you're paying attention to what you're drinking, which may entitle you to a different type of service that isn't reflective of what the venue is normally offering. Her suggestion was to order a mojito, which is going to give you all the same information a daiquiri would, with the added benefit of testing the restaurant's capacity for technical service or hospitality, which I think is a great move. Also, mojitos are delicious. If I'm just out to have a good time, I drink a lot of wine and Tequila Ocho." Will Thompson, beverage director at Yvonne's

Image credit: Provided

Emmet Kelty

"My go-to cocktail if I'm out and about is a negroni, but, being a snob, I ask if they have Carpano. If not, I stick to beer." —Emmet Kelty, bar manager at 51 Lincoln

Image credit: Provided

Thea Engst

"I usually go for a bourbon Manhattan." Thea Engst, bar manager at River Bar

Image credit: Provided

Will Isaza

"Daiquiri." Will Isaza, spirit whisperer at Fairsted Kitchen

Image credit: Provided

Todd Lipman

"Plymouth negroni, Carpano Antica Formula, rocks." —Todd Lipman, head sommelier at Bistro du Midi

Image credit: Provided

Michelle Raye

"I love to order a great bourbon cocktail, something aromatic and strong." —Michelle Raye, general manager of Vida Cantina in Portsmouth, NH

Image credit: Provided

Shawn Westhoven

"Negroni." —Shawn Westhoven, beverage director of Papa Razzi Trattoria and Papa Razzi Metro

Image credit: Provided

Joe Fisketti

"I love a cocktail when I first arrive for a meal. My go-to is a Last Word. For me, it's such a refreshing combination that's easy to put down and get ready for a meal." —Joe Fisketti, beverage manager at Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

Image credit: Provided

Aquitaine cocktail

"Old fashioned." —Ludgie Beauvais, bartender at Aquitaine Boston

Image credit: Provided

Dave Miller

"Negroni on the rocks. It’s delicious, and it’s user-friendly for the bartender." Dave Miller, lead bartender at Clink and The Liberty Bar in The Liberty Hotel

Image credit: Provided

Gabriela Garcia

"Lately, I’m in love with Manhattans. My favorite vermouth is Punt e Mes; I find it to be very intense in flavor. It gives you the sweetness you need in a Manhattan, but it also adds a different definition of body to the cocktail. With a basic vermouth, it doesn’t add enough personality to the drink. With Punt e Mes — the flavors and colors are both intense. When I go out now, I always ask for Punt e Mes, sometimes with just a few drops of lemon juice on the rocks." —Gabriela Garcia, bar manager at Taj Boston

Image credit: Provided

Michael Boughton - BNV

"Cooked, non-distilled, fermented mash with a lower alcohol content and crisp, carbonated, lightly hopped, and sometimes sour" —Michael Boughton, corporate beverage director of Boston Nightlife Ventures

Image credit: Provided

Tony Romano

"Depends on the night and occasion. If I'm out with friends, it's a bourbon on the rocks or a craft beer. If I'm out for dinner, then it's usually a true old fashioned (no fruit) or a Manhattan." —Tony Romano, bartender at BOKX109

Image credit: Provided

Kaylee Platt

"Tito's dirty martini — extra dirty, extra cold." Kaylee Platt, manager of City Bar Westin

Image credit: Provided

Dagan Migirditch

"I don't walk into a bar with a plan A, only a plan B should things go awry. Lists these days always seem to have something intriguing, and if they don't I'll have a Manhattan." —Dagan Migirditch, general manager of Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth, NH

Image credit: Provided

Kevin Khem

"Manhattan, negroni, or a Ketal soda." —Kevin Khem, restaurant manager at ArtBar at the Royal Sonesta

Image credit: Provided

Wolfertz horizontal

"Anejo tequila over a big rock or a negroni." —Owen Wolfertz, general manager at Moxy in Portsmouth, NH

Image credit: Provided

Aaron Brooks

"My go-to cocktail is a Zyr (vodka) and soda." —Aaron Brooks, bartender at Zebra's Bistro and Wine Bar in Medfield

Image credit: Provided

Rob Hoover - La Brasa

"A Manhattan. Or beer. Usually lots of it." —Rob Hoover, bar manager at La Brasa

Image credit: Provided

Sean Barney

"My go-to cocktail order when I go out is a mezcal gimlet. No sugar. Down. It has to be fresh lime juice and just a little. It helps the flavors of the mezcal come out. If I trust the bartender/establishment, I'll get a rye Manhattan up with an orange peel." —Sean Barney, bar manager and cocktail chef at il Casale Lexington, as well as cocktail chef for il Casale Belmont and restaurant Dante

Image credit: Provided

Chris O'Neill

"Añejo tequila Manhattan." Chris O’Neill, bartender at Deuxave

Image credit: Provided

Vincent Conte

"Boulevardier. Substitute cynar for vermouth." Vincent Conte, lead bartender at Posto

Image credit: Provided

Rob Ficks

"Last Word." —Rob Ficks, lead bartender at Craigie on Main

Image credit: Provided

Peter Szigeti

"Rum on the rocks." —Peter Szigeti, beverage director at Committee

Image credit: Provided

Kerem Benyamini

"Michter's Manhattan — and please do not shake it, ever." —Kerem Benyamini, general manager at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille and Rowes Wharf Bar at the Boston Harbor Hotel

Image credit: Provided

Mike Thomas 2

"Maker's Mark Manhattan on the rocks, no cherry." —Mike Thomas, bar manager at Gather in District Hall

Image credit: Provided

Lindolfo Silva

"Plain and simple, a good añejo tequila neat." —Lindolfo Silva, lead bartender at The Painted Burro

Image credit: Provided

Davide Crusoe

"Once the sweaters are out, bourbon cocktails are the mainstay, although a negroni to start the evening never hurt anyone!" Davide Crusoe, beverage director at Chopps American Bar and Grill in Burlington

Image credit: Provided

Eric Cross

"I'm all over the place and try to go with what seems right at the time. Could be a sazerac, tiki, or a High Life and Montenegro." Eric Cross, beverage director at Five Horses South End

Image credit: Provided

Mike Wyatt

"Always try out a cocktail off the menu at a new spot. Then I think I can say my go-to cocktail would be a daiquiri." Mike Wyatt, bar manager at Ward 8

Image credit: Provided

Joe Cammarata

"Mamie Taylor: Glenfiddich 12 year, ginger beer, and lime. It’s a classic that works all year long." —Joe Cammarata, co-bar manager at Hojoko

Image credit: Kristin Teig for Hojoko

Daren Swisher

"Daiquiri or Toronto." —Daren Swisher, co-bar manager at Hojoko

Image credit: Averil Lowry for Hojoko

Jarek Mountain

"Old fashioned." —Jarek Mountain, bartender at Back Bay Harry's

Image credit: Provided

Dave Spielberg

"I love a classic, well-made daiquiri when I go out. Just rum, lime, and sugar; simple and delicious." Dave Spielberg, bartender at The Salty Pig

Image credit: Provided

Tim Kotkowski

"Variations of negroni." Timothy Kotkowski, Pastoral

Image credit: Provided

Jared Sadoian

"A negroni when I'm at cocktail bars or cocktail-centric restaurants. Always delicious! If I'm somewhere else, it's more than likely going to be a Campari & soda." —Jared Sadoian, bar manager at The Hawthorne

Image credit: Provided

Chuck Guterl

"Bourbon sidecar." Chuck Guterl, beverage manager at Scampo

Image credit: Provided

Justin Lipata

"When I’m not drinking a beer, my go-to cocktail has to be Aviation. Our prohibition-era ancestors knew many things, and one was how to make a good gin cocktail." Justin Lipata, bar manager at Bukowski Tavern (Cambridge)

Image credit: Provided

Nick Giannotti

"Any sort of classic. A Toronto or Last Word, mainly because I like fernet and green chartreuse." Nick Giannotti, bar manager at The Tip Tap Room

Image credit: Provided

Patrick Foley

"Low ABV IPA and a shot of fernet, or an Aperol Spritz." Patrick Foley, bar manager at The Independent

Image credit: Provided

Patrick Sullivan

"Old fashioned" Patrick Sullivan, executive director of bar operations for the Legal Sea Foods brands

Image credit: Provided

Paulo Pereira

"This time of year, a perfect rye Manhattan." Paulo Pereira, beverage director at Brass Union

Image credit: Provided

Schuyler Hunton

"I love just a classic daiquiri or a rye Manhattan, both simple and delicious." Schuyler Hunton, beverage director at Foundry on Elm & Saloon

Image credit: Natasha Moustache

Casey Furtaw

"Negroni." Casey Furtaw, head bartender at Osteria Nino in Burlington

Image credit: Provided

Vikram Hegde

"The negroni is the king of all cocktails, the one to which all others is compared. It’s incredibly simple, but also incredibly simple to mess up. It’s the great equalizer of cocktails." Vikram Hegde, general manager at Island Creek Oyster Bar

Image credit: Provided


"I usually drink beer and whiskey, but my favorite cocktail is an Armagnac sazerac or Hanky Panky." Seth Freidus, bar manager at Alden & Harlow

Image credit: Emily Phares for Eater

Todd Maul Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

"I always drink negronis. I am a big fan of that drink, and if you make that drink well, you typically can make any drink well." Todd Maul, bar director and partner at Cafe Artscience

Image credit: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater

Ryan McGrale

"Old fashioned with rum." Ryan McGrale, beverage director at Tavern Road

Image credit: Provided

Kyle Powell

"My go-to is the Mamie Taylor. It’s a highball with scotch, lime, and ginger beer. It’s refreshing on hot summer days and has enough character to stand up to cold winter nights." Kyle Powell, bar manger of State Street Provisions (opening in November 2015)

Image credit: Provided

Tainah Soares

"Margaritas." Tainah Soares, bartender at Trina’s Starlite Lounge

Image credit: Provided

Corey Bunnewith

"Bourbon Manhattan, rocks, twist." Corey Bunnewith, co-founder and proprietor of Boston Harbor Distillery

Image credit: Provided

Adam Avelar

"An old fashioned. Every bartender knows how to make one, and I'm a big fan of consistency." Adam Avelar, bar manager at The Sinclair

Image credit: Provided

"I'm split. If there's an interesting sherry cocktail, that's always my first stop; if not, I ask the bartender for their favorite mezcal drink. " Yuri Bredbeck, beverage director at Tres Gatos

"Manhattan with bourbon." Erin Mahoney, bar director at Row 34 (Portsmouth)

"Manhattan, down." Adam Lantheaume, owner of The Boston Shaker

Scampo at The Liberty Hotel

215 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114 857 241 1150 Visit Website

Bistro du Midi

272 Boylston Street, , MA 02116 (617) 426-7878 Visit Website


371 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02115 (617) 517-5915 Visit Website

Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle Street, , MA 02138 (617) 864-2100 Visit Website

BOKX 109 American Prime

399 Grove St, Newton, MA 02462 617-454-3399 Visit Website

Il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar

1727 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420 (781) 538-5846 Visit Website


345 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617 345 0005 Visit Website

Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

381 Summer Street, , MA 02144 (617) 629-9500 Visit Website

Boston Harbor Distillery

12r Ericsson ST, Dorchester, MA 02122 (617) 533-7001

The Frogmore

365 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (857) 203-9462

State Street Provisions

255 State St., Boston, MA 02109

The Liberty Hotel

215 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114 (617) 224-4000 Visit Website


1926 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 Visit Website

Sweet Cheeks

1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215 617 266 1300 Visit Website

The Painted Burro

219 Elm Street, , MA 02144 (617) 776-0005 Visit Website

Posto (Somerville)

187 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02140 Visit Website

Tres Gatos

470 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130 617 477 4851 Visit Website

Tavern Road

343 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 617 790 0808

Fairsted Kitchen

Beacon St, Brookline, MA (617) 396-8752

Foundry On Elm

255 Elm Street, , MA 02144 (617) 628-9999 Visit Website


40 Edwin H Land Boulevard, , MA 02142 (617) 806-4200 Visit Website

Zebra's Bistro And Wine Bar

21 North St, Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 359-4100 Visit Website


569 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118 (617) 424-8577 Visit Website

Boston Harbor Hotel

70 Rowes Wharf, , MA 02110 (617) 439-7000 Visit Website

La Brasa

124 Broadway, , MA 02145 (617) 764-1412 Visit Website

Craigie On Main

853 Main Street, , MA 02139 (617) 497-5511 Visit Website

The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth Street, , MA 02116 (617) 536-6200 Visit Website


446 South Coast Highway, , CA 92651 (949) 494-5469

Eastern Standard

528 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-9100 Visit Website


75 Northern Avenue, , MA 02210 (617) 982-7220 Visit Website

Taj Boston

15 Arlington Street, , MA 02116 (617) 536-5700 Visit Website

Loyal Nine

660 Cambridge Street, , MA 02141 (617) 945-2576 Visit Website

51 Lincoln

51 Lincoln St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461


1271 Boylston Street, , MA 02215 (617) 670-0507 Visit Website

Osteria Nino

19 3rd Ave, Burlington, MA 01803 (781) 272-1600

City Bar

65 Exeter Street, Boston, MA 02116-3505 617-933-4801 Visit Website

Island Creek Oyster Bar

500 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-5300 Visit Website

Back Bay Harry's

142 Berkeley St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 424-6711 Visit Website


838 Beacon Street, , MA 02215 (617) 421-1910 Visit Website

Brass Union

70 Union Square, , MA 02143 (617) 623-9211 Visit Website


50 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02110 Visit Website


1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Independent

75 Union Square, , MA 02143 (617) 440-6022 Visit Website

Five Horses Tavern

400 Highland Avenue, , MA 02144 (617) 764-1655 Visit Website

Papa Razzi

159 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116 (617) 536-9200 Visit Website


3 Winter Pl., Boston, MA 02108 Visit Website

The Hawthorne

500A Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02215 (617) 532-9150 Visit Website

The Tip Tap Room

138 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 857 263 7614 Visit Website

The Sinclair

52 Church Street, , MA 02138 (617) 547-5200 Visit Website

Trina's Starlite Lounge

3 Beacon Street, , MA 02143 (617) 576-0006 Visit Website

Row 34

314 Main Street, , MA 02142 (617) 819-1120 Visit Website

Ward 8

90 North Washington Street, , MA 02114 (617) 823-4478 Visit Website


329 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116 617-536-2632 Visit Website

Cafe ArtScience

650 East Kendall Street, , MA 02142 (857) 999-2193 Visit Website

River Bar

661 Assembly Row, , MA 02145 (617) 616-5561 Visit Website

Bukowski Tavern (Inman Square)

1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 497-7077 Visit Website