I don’t normally think of Henrietta’s Table, the farm-to-table restaurant in the Charles Hotel, as a late night drinking option; it’s more of a brunch or warm weather patio destination, sort of the polar opposite of the dark Noir downstairs where I’d normally drink. But some renovations to the bar area – they removed the market up front and installed high top tables, which Metro featured in our Nosh column not too long ago – and a refocused spring cocktail menu have altered that outlook.
Most of the cocktails here still conjure warm-weather sipping. Like the kitchen, the recipes, from manager Liam Coughlin, lean on fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. “We change our menu seasonally, using the freshest ingredients as possible,” he says. “We also like to showcase newer, interesting spirits.”
A lot of bars pay lip service to “local,” but the drinks menu here really means it, featuring everything from local meads like the Green River Ambrosia, from Greenfield, ice wines like the Apfel Eis from Still River Winery in Harvard, and West County Ciders from Colrain. Cocktails are made largely with local spirits like Vermont Gold, a vodka made from maple sap, and Flag Hill’s General John Stark, a vodka made from apples. Grand Ten Distillers in South Boston are featured in particular; their gin, cranberry liqueur, and angelica root liqueur show up in various places. The latter, Angelica, is a bright, botanical liqueur that adds an extra layer of flavor to the Raspberry Cider Cooler, also made with the local Bantam sparkling cider, and fresh raspberry puree.
“It’s nice and crisp, not over-sweet,” says Coughlin. “The combination of cider and Angelica root give it a tart flavor.”