Ingredients: Suntory Whisky Toki, Citadelle gin, pineapple juice, lime juice, orgeat, Pedro Ximenez sherry
Background: When looking through classic Tiki recipes, UNI’s new bar director Vikram Hegde—a Little Donkey vet who’s now overseeing the programs at the Central Square spot as well as Coppa and Toro—came across the sherry-topped Fog Cutter. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute—sherry is for nerds like me. You don’t drink sherry at the Hong Kong.’ ” Hegde tapped into UNI’s extensive Japanese whisky selection to replace the cocktail’s usual rum and brandy, opting for a lighter style with notes like honeysuckle and coconut.
Tiki Time: As he rolls out a new tropical-tinged menu, Hegde says he’s trying to reflect the food menu’s modern take on traditional dishes. “You have these old standbys—nobody remembers what’s in a Suffering Bastard, but they probably had one when they went to Kowloon years ago. We’re trying to harken back to those memories while still creating balanced, advanced cocktails.” In addition to island-inspired originals, look out for a twist on a Singapore Sling—one of the few gin-based Tiki tipples you’ll find—and a toned down Navy Grog that you can handle for two or three rounds.
The Ice Is Right: UNI’s now one of a handful of places in the country where you can sip on Thai jelly beers ($8). Sapporo bottles sit in a freezing mixture of ice and salt inside a wooden barrel—called a bai wun—that rocks for 15 minutes to dissolve the carbon dioxide. When the beer’s finally cracked open, the liquid instantly turns into a slushy, refreshing sip.
UNI 370A Comm. Ave., Boston (617-536-7200) uni-boston.com