Some people prefer to keep their cocktails to themselves, while others truly appreciate the joy of sharing a giant drink with friends. For those who enjoy sharing, here are some of the most fun Boston-area cocktails meant to be split among two or more drinkers, from classic Hong Kong and Kowloon scorpion bowls to Howl at the Moon’s boozy buckets. Drink responsibly — and don’t let your eyebrows get too close to flaming rum.Read More
20 Giant Boston-Area Cocktails to Share With Friends
From scorpion bowls to mai tai buckets
It’s a bit of a geographic outlier on this particular map, but Kowloon out in Saugus is a necessary scorpion bowl destination on the North Shore. The decades-old kitschy landmark is a palace of tiki drinks, fountains, parties, and comedy, with a humongous menu of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese food. You can even buy your own bowl for making giant cocktails at home.
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Variety Bar is part of the Comedy Studio at Somerville’s Bow Market, supplying tasty beverages to those attending a show at the Studio as well as any other Bow Market goers wandering in. The two scorpion bowl options are priced at $25 and $30, with the former nodding to the Hong Kong classic (check that out elsewhere on this map) and made with “rums, juice, and nostalgia.” The latter adds cognac and orgeat. For anyone craving the fun of a scorpion bowl without the booze, there’s also the pseudoscorpion for $14 — citrus shrub, orgeat, and sparkling water.
It’s always a party at Inman Square’s home for tiki drinks and fried chicken, Highland Fried. The restaurant’s scorpion bowl ($30), with the standard flaming center, promises to “rock ya like a hurricane.”
The Hong Kong is an experience. Open in Harvard Square since 1954 and at Faneuil Hall since 1988, the two family-run venues are a rite of passage for area college students and anyone else who likes karaoke, dancing, ultra-cheap Chinese-American appetizers, and — most importantly — scorpion bowls. (The Hong Kong even calls itself “home of the bowl.”) Curious about the ingredients? It’s “a secret family recipe of alcohol and juices.” Comes in a personal size, too.
Allston’s newest rum bar features a couple cocktails geared at groups of four or more people ($72). There’s the mambo Italiano (Bacardi Cuatro, Redemption Rye, Zucca, lemon, honey, bubbly, mint, blackberries) and the hotel nacional (Havana Club Classico, apricot, pineapple, lime, bubbly). Cozy up inside the brightly colored space on a cool night, or take advantage of nicer weather on the spacious courtyard patio.
Cambridge’s fun cocktail-bar-meets-arcade, A4cade, offers an extra-large version of several of its cocktails, including the “beach better have my mango” (a mango rum blend with vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, citrus, and bitters) and “land shark!” (Privateer Tiki Gin, apple brandy, aged rum, sherry, blue curacao, passionfruit, and lime), $28 each. Grab some friends, play some games, and share some booze.
Tiki Rock, one of Boston’s most overtly tiki-themed bars, has a couple of big, shareable drinks to go with its colorful, energetic space: a painkiller and the Ohana punch, $60 each for a four-person serving.
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Howl at the Moon
Sing and dance at this boisterous piano bar while drinking literal buckets of cocktails — including hurricanes, mai tais, mules, and more — with your friends.
Swanky Downtown Crossing cocktail den Yvonne’s serves a couple of large-format cocktails ($95 apiece) meant for groups of four or more, including the “lil’ Sebastian” (a spicy tequila and grapefruit concoction) and the “Miami vice” (rums, pineapple, coconut, strawberry, and lime).
It would be a bit of a missed opportunity if a club called Scorpion Bar didn’t serve scorpion bowls. Part of the Big Night Entertainment Group, the giant Seaport District nightclub and Mexican restaurant (and its siblings at Foxwoods and Patriot Place) serves three varieties ($55), including a giant margarita and a cocktail that combines Grey Goose and ginger beer with Lejay Blackcurrant Liqueur and sour. Two other Big Night Entertainment Group venues, Red Lantern and Empire, also serve a few oversized cocktails apiece, including the Samoan shipwreck at Red Lantern (Avion Silver, Bacardi Pineapple, lime, and fruit juices; $70) and the big kahuna at Empire (Grey Goose, watermelon punch, mint, and ginger; $80).
Kings Dining & Entertainment
Scorpion Bar isn’t the only Seaport destination for giant cocktails. Kings Dining & Entertainment, which features bowling and lots more, knows that pitchers of cocktails pair well with games. While it has offered a few different options in the past, Kings is currently keeping it simple with a one-and-a-half-gallon mai tai ($70).
In a wink to the tradition of “cold tea” — restaurants serving booze later than they’re supposed to by hiding it in a teapot — Shōjō serves up a cocktail called cold tea for two (during legal hours, of course) in a classic Chinese restaurant teapot and little cups ($20). It’s oolong tea-infused vodka, Peche de Vigne, oolong syrup, and lemon.
At Ming Tsai’s Fort Point restaurant, diners can share a couple of different cocktails with friends ($28 apiece): the scorpion bowl-like dragon bowl and a painkiller.
Dinner at Bootleg Special is already going to be sloppy — you’ll be digging into saucy, spicy seafood with your hands — so why not add a big, shareable bowl of booze to the mix? Two to four people can share the South End restaurant’s hurricane bowl (passionfruit and lemon rums, juices, and pomegranate liqueur), yellowhammer bowl (Kalani Coconut Rum, Effen Blood Orange Vodka, pineapple, El Dorado Spiced Rum), and more at $28 for the two-person size or $58 for four.
One of several tiki bars on this map, Shore Leave — from the team behind Bar Mezzana across the street — serves cocktails in creative glassware, topped with colorful garnishes, making for a festive night out. The current large-format cocktail selection includes a drink for two ($28), served in a volcano, and a couple options for larger groups, including the “rule 35,” a variation on a Trader Vic’s fog cutter for four people ($70).
O Ya’s funky younger Fenway sibling, Hojoko, is a great spot for a noisy group outing — share some karaage fried chicken, robata grilled chicken tails, and crispy nori tacos with your friends; try the wasabi roulette, if you dare; and wash it all down with one of the “for the band” drinks, which are filled with rum and built for parties of four or more. Prices range from $75 to $95, topping out with the royal waioli punch: Plantation O.F.T.D., Plantation Barbados Rum, guava, lemon, pineapple, cherry, almond, coconut, Angostura bitters, and champagne. There’s also a two-person scorpion bowl for $28.
While the food menu at Tiger Mama looks toward Southeast Asia, the cocktail menu goes tiki, and there are a few large-format options at a range of prices and sizes. For example, there’s the “Sanka, ya dead?” — it serves four or five people ($60) and includes rums, hibiscus cordial, cinnamon, allspice, pineapple, and lime, but there’s also the galleon for $120, containing rum, passionfruit, guava, amontillado, chartreuse, and cava, serving six.
At Ginger Exchange’s Symphony location, diners can share scorpion bowls, mai tais, and more by the bucket ($26, meant for three or more people). There are also two-person versions for $19. Try them out in conjunction with the restaurant’s happy hour food specials at the bar and high-top tables, available between 3 and 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close every day.
If there’s one reliable genre of restaurants in which to find scorpion bowls, it’s old-school Chinese restaurants. The decades-old Golden Temple is no exception. The Brookline restaurant — which turns into a club on weekend nights — serves up a long list of boozy, fruity cocktails, including scorpion bowls (which also come in an individual size).
South Boston’s adorably named Fat Baby — which has ties to other neighborhood hot spots Lincoln Tavern and Capo — serves plenty of sushi, alongside a cocktail menu that includes a scorpion bowl ($45), meant for two to four people. (There’s also a porron of sake available for $40.)