Whether Babbo guests are looking to get the night started or cap it off, general manager Carl McCoy suggests the Santa Rosella, a lightly smoky option that brings the sweet and the heat with its rim of sugar, fennel seed, coriander and pink peppercorn. Inside the absinthe-washed glass, there’s mezcal, St.-Germain, lime juice and Contratto Bitter, a Campari-like grape brandybased liqueur that gets its color from beets.
$13 at Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca, 11 Fan Pier Blvd., Boston (617-421-4466) babbopizzeria.com
Loco bar manager Kaitlyn Fischer describes this refreshing sip of tequila, watermelon puree and muddled blueberries and mint as “sneaky.” As to why it’s named The Britney, Fischer—who admits to seeing the pop star in concert four times—says that if you hit this baby one too many times, “You may go crazy, shave your head and end up in one of those infamous pictures you regret for life.”
$11 at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, 412 W. Broadway, Boston (617-917-5626) locosouthboston.com
When tinkering with the summer menu, Lion’s Tail co-owner and beverage director Jarek Mountain tracked down Italicus, which until recently wasn’t available locally. For the Soul to Squeeze, the bergamot-flavored liqueur is combined with equal parts gin and a housemade raspberry cordial and then topped with a bouquet of mint leaves sprinkled with powdered sugar. It all makes for a “ridiculously good-looking” drink that Mountain dubs a #patiopounder.
$13 at Lion’s Tail, 354 Harrison Ave., Boston (857-239-9276) lionstailboston.com
The inspiration for Les Sablons’ Pigeon French, a “complex yet light aperitif-style cocktail,” got its start at sister spot the Hawthorne, where beverage director Jackson Cannon says the staff “consider the pigeon to be one of our spirit animals.” This reworked version balances Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur, fresh lemon juice and orgeat with a touch of bitterness from cognac and strawberry Campari—a combination that’s quickly made it the new eatery’s top-selling cocktail.
$12 at Les Sablons, 2 Bennett St., Cambridge (617-268-6800) lscambridge.com