Ingredients: Mezcal, wine, peaches, lemon and spice. “Definitely conversation pieces,” says Townsman bar manager Silas Axtell.
Flavor profile: “I want to have something for the person who asks for something fruity,” Axtell says. “We’ve built the cocktail around that component.” It’s echoed in the notes of dried fruit and fig in the Catalan rancio wine. “Essentially, it’s a barrel of grapes that just gets totally oxidized and fermented,” which makes it similar to a sherry. “I like working with wine because it makes cocktails more accessible from a food perspective.”
Pair it with: The earthiness of the hanger steak served with Romesco and artichoke ($32), or fried dumplings with spinach ($11).
Origins: After the kitchen staff was playing around with the peaches and Axtell’s girlfriend brought home a chaat masala fruit salad from a co-worker, he was set on finding a nice combination of sweet and spice. One cook offered a curry spice mix—including cumin, coriander, pink peppercorns and a little bit of cayenne—while another suggested throwing in the smokiness of mezcal.
Kitchen Aid: Elsewhere on the drink menu, chefs have also lent a hand with the Medford Kid—“one of my favorite Tiki-ish drinks I’ve ever made,” Axtell notes. The bar staff was making an orgeat with the traditional ingredient, almonds, when the kitchen staff chimed in. “They’re like, ‘You can make that out of anything,’ ” Axtell recalls, so they gave cashews a go and eventually landed on wheat berries, which add a touch of buttered popcorn flavor.
Tap That: Another new addition to the cocktail menu is the 1919, available on draft. Named for the year of the molasses flood, it’s got whiskey, rum and mole bitters. But pull up a bar stool soon to try it. Of the constant menu changeup, Axtell says: “Nothing is safe.”
Townsman 120 Kingston St., Boston (617-993-0750) townsmanboston.com