Backstory: Mediterranean spot Committee recently added this large-format cocktail for two to its menu. “All of our dishes are meant to be shared,” says beverage director Peter Szigeti, “so why wouldn’t our drinks be shared as well?”
Ingredients: Absolut Elyx, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal, pineapple juice, lemon, vanilla, rhubarb bitters, rooibos tea.
Taste: Dry vermouth balances the sweetness of vanilla and rhubarb. There’s a medicinal note from the tea and a kick from the vodka.
Finishing touch: A trimmed, twisted and folded lemon garnish that takes a page from Japanese peel art. “We want people to ask about our drinks. ‘What is that? Why does it look like that? Why is it on fire?’ ” Szigeti says. “We light shit on fire all the time.”
Shit he’s lit on fire: Pine cones, cocktail umbrellas, entire Tiki glasses.
Life’s a stage: “All this theatrical stuff, it’s pretty much natural to us back home,” says the Hungarian native, whose previous gigs brought him to Budapest and London. “American bartending is based on speed and simplicity. But if we’re selling cocktails for anywhere from $14 to $16”—or in this case, $35—“I want to be dazzled.”
Going off menu: With nearly 300 bottles at Szigeti’s fingertips, the cocktail menu is but a snippet of what the Committee team has to offer. “When you trust your bartender,” he says, “it’s like having a private dinner with a chef—that’s when we can really show our potential.” If Szigeti has any advice for patrons, it’s to be a bit more open-minded: “Campari is like anal sex,” he says, recalling an oft-cited bartender adage. “You need to try it at least five times before you start to appreciate it. Some of the liqueurs and cordials that I like to work with are the same thing.”
Worth trying at least five times: The digestif Cynar, which people sometimes balk at when they discover it’s artichoke-based. But it goes down easy in another new addition, four-person cocktail #DoubleDate, which also features Absolut Elyx, Lejay Cassis, cinnamon, lime, barrel-aged bitters and crimson berry tea.
Thirsty for more? You’ll also find large-format cocktails at spots such as Yvonne’s, Shojo, State Park and Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar.
Committee 50 Northern Ave., Boston (617-737-5051) committeeboston.com