Thursty: Boston’s bartenders recommend the best drinks for your mom

An "In the weeds" from Russell House Tavern / Credit: Courtesy Russell House Tavern
Have Mom sample an “In the weeds” at Russell House Tavern. / Credit: Courtesy Russell House Tavern

Everyone celebrates Mother’s Day differently. Some go home to visit mom, where she then proceeds to cook and clean for you just like in the good old days. Others, like me, give our mothers the present of agreeing to not talk about politics for the day. You might consider getting her a gift certificate to a spa, but even better still is taking her out for a couple of stiff ones. If there’s one thing that stretches across generations, it’s the age-old ritual of drinking cocktails until we’re relaxed enough to talk to one another. I asked a few bartenders serving Mother’s Day brunch this weekend what they’d suggest for Mom.

At Tavern Road (343 Congress St, Boston,, Ryan McGrale is serving up the Cool but Rude. An elegant cocktail that’s nonetheless assertive, it’s made with tequila, Campari, coconut crème, honey, ginger, and lemon juice. “Just like your mother, the Cool but Rude pulls no punches,” he says. “It’s pink, layered, unafraid. A mother-like cocktail.”

Canary Square’s (435 S Huntington Ave, Jamaica Plain,, Angela Lamb’s offering hues more toward the light, effervescent side, with a cava-based cocktail called the Spring Rose that’s mixed with rose water, rhubarb, and lemon. “All moms like flowers and sparkly things,” she says. “This is a bright, refreshing, and sparkling cocktail that all moms can enjoy.”

Sam Gabrielli at Russell House Tavern (14 John F. Kennedy St, Cambridge, has a cocktail that’s evocative of the spring, which, we’re told, is technically supposed to be arriving any day now. His In the Weeds winks at the old restaurant saying about being swamped with things on your plate. “Moms are in the weeds 24/7,” he says. The cocktail is made with Zubrowka, a bison grass flavored vodka that’s sweet and aromatic. He adds dry vermouth and lemon juice to brighten things up even further.

“The smooth and refreshing In the Weeds is a great cocktail for moms (who are in the weeds 24/7) because of the lemongrass and warm spicy flavors of Zubrowka. Everything is a little more placid when sipping on this cocktail. “

Estelle’s (782 Tremont St, Boston, in the South End has a cocktail called Smoke on the Water. Jen LaForge plays with the balance of smoky and sweet here, using St Germain, apple mead, mezcal, lemon juice, honey syrup, and Peychaud’s bitters. “Moms will enjoy this cocktail because it’s subtly sweet and smoky, making for a refreshing, celebratory libation,” she says. Something that is well deserved for most mother’s this, or any time of year.

Nearby Coda Bar & Kitchen (329 Columbus Ave, Boston, has another play on the light, crisp, fruit-forward sparkling wine style cocktail that mothers seem to enjoy with their Yummy Mummy. Shauna Hamilton starts with cava, then adds limoncello, ginger liqueur, peach puree, and garnishes it with fresh berries for bold color. “My mother would love this springtime sipper,’ she says. ‘It’s fresh, fruity, and quite pleasant to look at. Though my mom and I could throw back quite a few on Mother’s Day, this is also perfect for a mom who sticks to the single cocktail rule and wants to make it a good one. Warning: She may become giddy afterwards.”

Follow Luke O’Neil on Twitter at @lukeoneil47.


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