Ingredients: Cocoa nib-infused Campari, Bols Genever and sweet vermouth
Taste: Emma Connolly—lead bartender at Fairsted Kitchen’s reincarnate, Grassona’s—isn’t much of a chocolate fan, though she can get behind this take on the classic Italian aperitif that’s infused with dried, fermented cocoa beans, lending a bitterness. “It has this really, really lovely chocolate flavor to it without being sweet,” Connolly says.
Pair it with: The spiciness of the mussels fra diavolo ($11) starter, made with Calabrian chili.
Chocolate crush: Another Night in Brookline features crème de cacao, Four Roses, lemon and wine-based aperitif Cappelletti (think Campari, but with a touch of sweetness). The Fairsted team kept this version of its signature No Sleep Till Brookline tipple, which was on the menu at the Washington Square restaurant for its entire four and a half years, before the new concept was turned around in less than three weeks after the New Year.
Don’t be bitter: If sugary sips are more your thing, go for the Dancing Daisy, a Tiki-inspired reposado drink with falernum, Gran Classico and grapefruit that’s topped off with ginger beer.
Elsewhere: The refreshed spot upped its beverage offerings, from nearly doubling the number of cocktails to more draft and canned beers as well as wines by the glass, including Brunello di Montalcino ($25). Connolly’s favorite addition, however, is from Fattoria Mani di Luna. She likens its all-natural, funky, earthy sangiovese to “a hippie Chianti.” Not only are the fruits destemmed by hand, says Connolly: “The grapes are actually stomped in the production.
Grassona’s Italian 1704 Beacon St., Brookline (617-396-8752) grassonasitalian.com