If you just happen to be passing through the ‘Alley Bar’

Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf at the Boston Harbor Hotel (70 Rowes Wharf, Boston, 617-748-1857, www.bhh.com) is cozy and cute.

Timing is everything when it comes to enjoying a bar, for both good and bad. For example, you might choose an ideal, dry summer evening with a breeze coming off the water to sit at the cozy and cute Alley Bar at Rowes Wharf (not to be confused with the gay dive bar of the same name). But then again, it might also be out of key ingredients in its two  signature cocktails, in this case cranberry shrub and muddled cilantro. The fact that it even has either in its repertoire is an encouraging sign, however, because this bar, literally in an alley adjacent to the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf, could very easily have been a touristy joke. It’s mostly not.

Nestled amidst the high-rises, and bordered on one end by the waterfront area, the space erects a sort of urban oasis. Burning torch lamps, a super-chill bro playing super-chill acoustic covers — “That was the Beatles,” he informed us after finishing “Hey Jude” — and the sea air all lend an overall
island-resort feel. On the downside, it also takes on something of a touristy aesthetic, and a pricey one at that, from its affiliation with the high-end hotel; some of the cocktails are on the wrong side of $13.

The resort aura carries over to the cocktail menu, featuring plenty of rums and tequilas, tiki-style syrups and fruits. Cocktails are pleasingly made with orgeat, falernum, Cherry Heering and a variety of interesting concoctions like serrano chili and mint syrup; again, not expected and definitely not necessary — but welcome all the same.

This is the type of bar you would take for granted if you were staying in a hotel in another city, thinking of it simply as the hotel bar that’s always existed and always will. It’s different for locals, though, and it would be easy to feel like you were on vacation yourself if you go — at least over the course of a few drinks. Not that you have to rush over there, but if you’re passing through it’s not a bad little getaway.

Don’t fear the Alley Ghost

   
Worth trying is the Alley Ghost, made with Bacardi 8, limoncello, vanilla syrup, Coco Lopez and grapefruit juice. It’s nicely tart and creamy from the coconut. But the presentation, in a standard tumbler without crushed ice or a garnish, detracted from its potential. The Chills was enjoyable as well, if not mind-blowing, made with vodka, Solerno blood orange liqueur, muddled cucumber, lime, soda and Angostura bitters. It helped take the garlicky edge off the hummus.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…