Ingredients: Diplomatico Mantuano, apple berry tea-infused rye, orange bitters
Background: Book it to the Boston Public Library’s former Map Room Cafe, which reopened last month as the Tea Lounge, putting novel spins on classic cocktails. “We wanted to pay homage to our home,” says the Catered Affair’s Ryan Clarke, who adds they rifled through their favorite authors when creating the menu. Despite combining two spirits, this ode to J.D. Salinger is delicate, featuring a touch of floral and a bit of spice. It joins a list of other tea-laced literary references, like the War & Peace and its green jade tea, plus the tequila and mocha matcha mixture found in the Green Light.
Pair it with: Tartines, from a duck confit ($14) with Roquefort and prosciutto to a dry-aged sirloin option ($10) served with goat cheese and onion jam.
Ambiance: In contrast to the Courtyard Tea Room’s bright, airy feel, the next-door lounge sports exposed brick, distressed wood, rod iron and Edison bulbs. Tabletops and shelves are home to mortars and pestles as well as bell jars displaying loose-leaf teas, from Irish breakfast assam with notes of caramel, cherry wood and clementine to an earthy aged white peony with hints of marzipan and golden raisin. Walk up to the 10-person bar, or reserve one of the 30 seats, where you’ll be greeted with menus tucked into old books sourced from the library’s collection.
Mark your calendar: After the grand opening on May 21, find wisdom in the bottom of your cup with tea leaf readings on Wednesdays, while musicians—local students and recent grads—will switch up the usual classic jazz soundtrack on Thursdays.
Map Room Tea Lounge Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Boston (617-859-2251) librarytea.com