Thursty: Give your cocktail pretensions a day off on a Provincetown bar crawl

Local 186 is one of the many picturesque, cottage-style restaurants along Commercial Street.
Local 186 is one of the many picturesque, cottage-style restaurants along Commercial Street.

It might sound weird to call a longstanding, popular tradition one of the city’s best kept secrets, but the magic of the Provincetown fast ferry was certainly a revelation to me when I availed myself of it for the first time this month.

The ferry runs between Provincetown and the Seaport multiple times a day and, at a mere scenic hour and a half-long trip (as opposed to the roughly 13 days it takes to drive to the Cape in the summer), it’s a game-changer in terms of quick getaways. As an added bonus, ditching your car means you’re free to complete a lengthy bar crawl after a day at the beach.

Surprisingly, considering its wealth of fine restaurants and steady influx of urbanites from around the world, Provincetown isn’t exactly what I’d call a cocktail nerd’s paradise. Finding a shot of Fernet anywhere proved impossible (although we were able to assuage our digestif needs with Averna at Patio).

There are, however, a few restaurants that are nudging P-town’s cocktail scene in the right direction. Local 186 is one of the many picturesque, cottage-style restaurants along Commercial Street where, aside from a good beer selection (Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, the signature Local 186 Lager and Porter Square Porter on draft), you’ll find a well-made Blackfish Negroni made with Hendricks, Campari, Carpano Antica vermouth and a Luxardo cherry. You’ll also find an Old Fashioned made with Eagle Rare bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters and soda (with muddled fruit and sugar). Or — just this once — you could drop your pretensions, give your “serious cocktail guy” persona a vacation and let yourself try the Ruby Red Dress Martini made with Absolut Ruby Red, ruby red grapefruit juice and Cointreau with a sugar rim. Just promise yourself you won’t make a habit of it and you might actually enjoy it.

Up toward the end of Bradford Street, more removed from the center of the town, Victor’s is another charming option for dinner and drinks. Like Local 186, Victor’s boasts a good beer list plus a more extensive wine selection and a cocktail menu that runs an interesting gamut. The Port of Manhattan — made with W.L. Weller 12-year bourbon, orange bitters and a ruby port — was drier than a traditional Manhattan, and better for it. It also apparently contained about a pint of booze, which made the rest of the night more interesting. (It must be said, however, that the food here is decidely more forward-thinking than the rest of their cocktails.)

Speaking of the rest of the night, our bar hop ended, like most good (meaning bad) ones do, at a dive. The Underground Bar (on Commercial Street) has all the standard trappings of a good dive: pool, ping pong and loud punk rock. But it doesn’t have Fernet. “What are you, a Boston chef or something?” the sassy bartender asked, in response to the query. Sure, something like that.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.