Ingredients: Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin, honey hibiscus, lemon juice, Tangerine Fruitation
Taste: “This is so refreshing that you wouldn’t know that it’s gin,” says Envoy Hotel head bartender Brian McDougall. The liquor—distilled the same day its ingredients are gathered by a full-time forager—is the cornerstone of the new cocktail, but gin haters shouldn’t shy away from this riff on a Bee’s Knees that also features a fruity, all-natural, Massachusetts-made mixer. Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Says McDougall: “The conversation after you’ve had a few sips is the conversation I love to have.”
Pair it with: Grilled Spanish octopus ($16) or fried plantains and guacamole ($14).
Barrels of fun: The barrel-aged cocktail program is two-and-a-half years strong, with 30 casks of McDougall’s variation of a Spanish Manhattan. Bartender Stephanie Gass added to the program a few weeks ago, debuting her take on a tequila negroni. For the first time, the same beverages are available both downstairs at Outlook and upstairs at Lookout, including the large format-beer series, which recently expanded by more than a dozen options. Check out other new drinks like the Thyme Thief ($15), a bubbly lemonade that infuses vodka with herbs from a newly added rooftop garden.
Raise the roof: This summer, it’s the more the merrier, with a just-wrapped $4 million expansion that nearly doubled Lookout’s capacity. Says McDougall: “There’s a way better turnover and transition.” In other words: shorter lines. The renovation also brought in new furniture, a redesigned main bar and the ivy-lined, reservations-only Harbor Lounge. Keep an eye out for rooftop yoga to balance your cocktail habit.
70 Sleeper St., Boston (617-530-1559) outlookkitchenandbar.com