Ingredients: Bols Barrel-Aged Genever, Carpano Antica, Luxardo Maraschino, toasted almond-infused Dolin Dry
Background: Dutch distiller Lucas Bols uses an 1820 recipe for this malt spirit, considered the OG gin before Londoners got their hands on it. “Depending on how you work with it, it can be more gin-forward or whiskey-forward,” says Explorateur bartender Ian Swindlehurst, who steeps torched almonds in a sweet vermouth for this Manhattan-slash-martini variation, named after a band of privateers and a notorious Netherlands native who commandeered a Moroccan island—and whose descendants can be traced to Jackie Kennedy.
Gin City: Bar manager Gina Goyette rolled out a gin-centric section for the spring menu, which features another “gin converter”: the PGP ($13). The color of this fizz with a housemade lime sugar led to the abbreviated name, which is inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “Pale Green Pants.”
Orange You Glad: “You’re definitely not going to recognize most of the labels on our wine list, but that’s for a reason,” says Goyette, who enjoys finding small producers for by-the-glass pours (ask her about her sparkling options sometime) like Caliptra’s trebbiano ($15). “I call this a gateway orange,” Goyette says, adding that the light nut notes would pair with braised lamb shank and roasted chicken, dishes that also would play well with the Salé Rovers.
A new chapter: The nine-month-old restaurant and cafe recently debuted its dimly lit Library Room, which has hosted special Tiki and sparkling cocktail menus. “We are still kind of figuring out what the library wants to be,” Goyette says. “I know the two of us really want to have a cool, swanky lounge on Friday and Saturday nights.” Studious cocktail lovers are invited for a more intimate experience with nine of “the most comfortable bar stools you’ve ever sat on in your life” where Goyette, Swindlehurst and the rest of the team cook up “things that are a little more exotic.”
Explorateur 186 Tremont St., Boston (617-766-3179) explorateur.com