We've spent so much time regarding the serious side of cocktails that Daddy Jones is a refreshing reminder that drinking is supposed to be fun. Magoun Square's latest opening is one half low-lit urban bistro and one half museum of fondly-remembered kitsch, with TVs playing '80s sitcoms and high school gym lockers affixed above the bar for bottle storage. The conceit comes from owner Dimitra Tsourianis' memories of cocktail trends past, as well as her Greek heritage. That means modern updates on a Sex on the Beach, for example, and a bourbon served with a spoon coated in Mastiha, the sugary-sweet taffy-like Greek candy.
"The nostalgia thing is funny because it goes more into the Greek ingredients that I use than the fun, cheesy '80s and '90s cocktails. All the Greek desserts, those are things I grew up with. ... They have these really high sugar desserts that they serve that are really small," she explains, like the syrupy thick Greek cherries used to garnish cocktails.
"I love using more interesting garnishes, and making things more fun and light-hearted. It's the kind of thing where it's a dessert on its own," she says.
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Typically maligned cocktails like the Blue Hawaiian or a Screwdriver don't have to be overlooked either, she says. The idea was to use better quality spirits and ingredients to update drinks that people remember fondly from their youth but don't order anymore out of a self-imposed sense of seriousness. "There is this big disconnect when you go to craft cocktail bars, or a standard pub," she says of cocktail quality.
They also use frozen Mexican Coca Cola to make a better Jack and Coke. "I kind of wanted to fuse the two."
What to order
It’s not all sweet, Greek and ironic here, although the epitome of the three comes in its Harvey Wallbanger. It’s made with Reyka vodka, Luxardo Amaretto, Greek Ouzo (in place of Galliano), and an oversized frozen orange juice cube with star anise embedded inside. And since you’re going to need some anti-dessert after all that dessert for your main drinking course, the gin martini infused with olives and served with with pickled green beans and cornichons is the perfectly savory and briny antidote.
If you go
525 Medford St. Somerville
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