*Originally posted in DigBoston on December 22, 2011




Hangover cures: myth or reality?

Experience has taught us that there is no cure for a lack of self control. When you have a Fernet-drinking contest with yourself or polish off a bowl of something labeled “Blackout Punch,” that way danger lies.

Thus, we were skeptical of the publicist’s pitch that promised us a “special hangover remedy carefully marketed it in an easy-to-use, safe patch.” What was the secret, snake oil and unicorn tears? Or some blend chemicals that would cause cancer sometime down the road? And really, do these people understand how much we drink?

Cursory investigation revealed this cure, Bytox, to be nothing more than a time-release patch designed to replenish the vitamins and nutrients the body loses when consuming mass quantities of alcohol. That we had to try, if for no other reason than to pass the good word of this magic patch on to you should it work. Our civic duty.

We enlisted a dozen drinkers on two separate occasions to test this wonder. In the name of research they mixing blackout punch with champagne with beer with fernet and with wine. Very few made it through the night without some grey, hazy patches.

And the patch totally worked.

Several drinkers polled still felt rough the next day, probably because like most drunk people, they failed to follow the instructions. But if the physical symptoms of the hangover weren’t totally absent, in each case they were reduced. The metaphysical symptoms—the post drunk shame spiral that prompts a barrage of texts apologizing for blacking out and not paying the tab only to realise that you actually picked up the tab for the entire bar—well, that’s another story.

In short, Bytox is a not-scary, vitamin-based hangover cure that works. But if you misplace your dignity and self respect while imbibing, well there’s no magic patch for that. Sip on one of these before setting out to find them.


by Andy McNees of Toro
Build the following over ice in a pint glass:
Shot of Fernet, two dashes of every kind of bitters and top with Soda water.
Drink as quickly as you can through two straws like a Mind Eraser.


*As originally published in the Weekly Dig on December 12, 2011 by PINK LADY




For the uninitiated, mixing a raw egg in a drink always prompts shock and awe—unless we’re talking about Egg Nog, which is probably already part of your holiday tradition. So why not try something different this year? Allow us to introduce you to the humble flip.

In the early days of our nation, drinks made with eggs were a common quaff. The colonial-era mixture of ale, rum, eggs and sugar passed back and forth between pitchers—dubbed a “flip”—was a veritable fixture of 18th century drinking. As with most early tipples, these drinks changed over time, shrank in size, and morphed into a beverage made to order and tailored to individual taste. By the mid-1850s, egg drinks had become less common, but remained a key category for Yuletide imbibing. Here Egg Nog remains, one of the only raw egg drinks you can recommend that won’t prompt an “ew” when you suggest it to the neophyte. Flips can be found at the best cocktail bar, but may still raise an eyebrow.

A flip can be outstanding in its own right, and simple to make. This recipe comes to us by way of Pink Gin and was previous published a few years back in The Boston Globe.

“Modern flips like this one are fun, festive, and definitely deserve a bit of limelight this time of year,” Pink Gin told them.


“Try it with Jamaican rum or brandy as well. Also I’m not a bartender, and I drink egg drinks at home. Give it a try.”

You heard the woman. Bottom’s up!


Spiced Bourbon Flip
3 oz. bourbon
2 oz. heavy cream
1 large egg
1 oz. spiced simple syrup
Shake bourbon, cream, egg, and simple syrup vigorously with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and dust with nutmeg.




*As originally published in the Weekly Dig on December 2, 2011 by PINK LADY




If we told you that we sometimes plan what we’re going to drink a month ahead of time, would you hold it against us? This week, we have New Year’s Eve Cocktails on the brain. We know, we know—it’s too soon! But if you’re thinking of making up a batch of your own, homemade liqueur, planning must begin at least a month out.

With DIY ingenuity and surprisingly little effort, you can wow friends and family this New Year’s Eve by serving them sparkling cocktails made with pomegranate liqueur. This recipe is courtesy of LUPEC pal A.J. Rathbun’s book, Luscious Liqueurs. Making your own liqueur is simple, but serving a cocktail that features your own, homemade stuff is bound to impress. Bottling it as a host gift for whomever is throwing the party on New Year’s Eve? That will land you on the A-list at parties for years to come.


Excerpted from Luscious Liqueurs, by A.J. Rathbun. (c) 2008, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press.

2 pomegranates
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups vodka
.5 cup Simple Syrup

Remove the seeds from the pomegranates using a spoon or any other process you think works best. Put the seeds in a bowl and, using a muddler or wooden spoon, crush them to release the juice.

Put the juice and seed bits, orange zest, cinnamon, and vodka in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and place the container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Let sit for 2 weeks swirling occasionally.Add the simple syrup, stir, and reseal. Return to its spot. Let sit for 2 more weeks.

Carefully strain liqueur through a double layer of cheesecloth into a pitcher or other easy pouring vessel. Strain again through 2 new layers of cheesecloth into another pitcher or bottle. Check that the liqueur is free of debris (the little seed particles can slip through). If it isn’t, repeat this step until it is. Pour the liqueur into one large bottle or several small bottles.

For a great New Year’s Cocktail, pour 1.5 ounces of Persephonia in a flute and top with chilled Champagne.



*As originally published in the Weekly Dig November 24, 2011

by Pink Lady


“Holidays Mean Family—We Sell Liquor” reads the sign on a packie in West Somerville, MA. It’s one of the most brilliants pieces of marketing we’ve seen, reminding us as we gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends that we’re probably going to want to have a cocktail in hand. Allow the LUPEC ladies to be your guide.

This Thanksgiving, we turn our attention to the humble cranberry.

We love it in cranberry sauce, both the delicious, homemade version and the weird kind that comes in a can … and actually LOOKS like a can. We also love it in cocktails. There’s more to cranberries than the sugar-filled juice that pinkens the Cosmopolitan, you see. (That said, I, for one, have been reviving the Cosmo lately. Ask for it “with Plymouth gin, please” and remember why this believed by many to be “the last classic.”)

At Toro, the Nantucket Mule is a delightful riff on the classic Moscow Mule made with cranberry compote, ginger and cranberry simple syrup, vodka, and ginger beer and served in a copper mug much like the original. It’s one of the most popular drinks on the list and sure to take the edge off as potential family drama begins to rear its head. Stop in for one tonight as you brace yourself for tomorrow’s meal.

Or mix one at home. The drink is a delight and a great way to stimulate the appetite as you prepare to stuff yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing tomorrow afternoon.

Happy Thanksgiving dear readers! Enjoy your cranberries and enjoy your cocktails.


Heaping barspoon of cranberry compote
2 oz vodka
.5 oz ginger simple syrup
.5 oz cranberry simple syrup
.5 oz lime juice
Ginger beer
Combine all ingredients except ginger beer in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour into a copper mug or a double old fashioned glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wedge.




Party with LUPEC at the Citizen tonight!

Join us in full flapper dress for cheap punches, snacks, and cocktailing for a cause!

The secret password to earn you $2 charity punch is: Hello Suckers! A favorite welcome of Speakeasy owner Texas Guinan.

Mention the password to the barkeeps for a $2 glass of charity punch. Cash only, all proceeds go to charity!

What to expect:
*LUPEC girls in flapper gear
*$4 cups of punch!
*$2 charity punch – only available to those who know the super secret password
*Great drinks made with Bluecoat Gin, St-Germain & Pierre Ferrand
*Polaroid photo project, all proceeds go to charity
*Hip flasks, flapper gear, and tails welcome!

Raise a glass to your right to drink!

On December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified ending thirteen long, dry years of Prohibition. “Hallelujah!” cried the nation.

The ladies of LUPEC will celebrate by turning out a party in our signature style: with full flapper dress, cheap punches, snacks, and cocktailing for a cause!

We’ll be announcing the secret location for the party on the real-time anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal at 5:33 pm so stay tuned for another post from us then.

We’ll also announce the secret password to earn you $2 charity punch!

For now, another clue on locale from LUPEC pal Elizabeth Powell of the recently opened Descent:

In homage to the date when we regained the right
To enjoy a warm draught on a cold winter’s night
We celebrate dark minty bitters flowing forth
Bowls of brews enjoyed thenceforth
Porcine arrives a seasonal oblation
A perfect foil for an evening’s libation Best I could do before leaving for work.

Details will be revealed via Twitter, Facebook, this newsletter, and good ol’ word of mouth (a.k.a. text a LUPEC member.)

What to expect:
*LUPEC girls in flapper gear
*$4 cups of punch!
*$2 charity punch – only available to those who know the super secret password (announced at 5:33 p.m. on Repeal Day, Dec 5th)
*Great drinks made with Bluecoat Gin, St-Germain & Pierre Ferrand
*Polaroid photo project, all proceeds go to charity
*Hip flasks, flapper gear, and tails welcome!

Hope to see you tonight!

by Pink Lady
Raise a glass to your right to drink!

On December 5, 1933 the 21st Amendment was ratified ending thirteen long, dry years of Prohibition. “Hallelujah!” cried the nation.

This Monday, the ladies of LUPEC will celebrate by turning out a party in our signature style: with full flapper dress, cheap punches, snacks, and cocktailing for a cause!

Because what else do you have to do on Monday besides drink cheap cocktails for charity?

In keeping with the Speakeasy theme of the era, the location of the party won’t be officially announced until later this weekend. But here’s a riddle of a hint:

You’ll find all that you need at this watering hole,
From a dram to a Collins to drinks by the bowl.
Black nectar from the tap is always divine
Or go whole hog if you’re a fan of swine!

Details will be revealed via Twitter, Facebook, this newsletter, and good ol’ word of mouth (a.k.a. text a LUPEC member.)

What to expect:
*LUPEC girls in flapper gear channeling Texas Guinan and saying things like “Hello suckers, come on in & leave your wallet on the bar!”
*$4 cups of punch!
*$2 charity punch – only available to those who know the super secret password (announced on Repeal Day, Dec 5th)
*Great drinks made with Bluecoat Gin, St-Germain & Pierre Ferrand
*Polaroid photo project, all proceeds go to charity
*Hip flasks, flapper gear, and tails welcome!

Follow us on TwitterFollow us on Twitter for details!
Like us on FacebookFan us here for details!


Hope to see you there!


DIG BOSTON  November 17, 2011

At heart, we Americans are a culture are prone to excess, especially when it comes to eating and drinking on Thanksgiving. Borrowing a page from cultured old Europe, we’d like to share one of our secrets for eating and drinking for hours on end:

a lovely little spirit category known as digestifs.

As the name implies digestifs are consumed post-dinner to help the diner, you now, digest. Often rife with herbs and spices believed to have stomach-settling properties, these tend to be higher in alcohol than their antecedent, the aperitif. Modern bartenders use them to add flavor to cocktails, though digestifs are traditionally served straight or on the rocks.

Any cocktail nerd worth his rye knows of Fernet, the cocktail bartender’s shot of choice. How this became so among the cocktail glitterati remains a mystery, but it most certainly has arrived. Earlier this month the brand toured the Boston-area in a tricked out VW Fernet bus. And you shouldn’t be shocked to find some of our favorite local bartenders astride a baby blue Fernet cruiser.


Huzzah for clever marketing.

The American anomaly of Fernet shots aside, this amaro, or bitter, is consumed in Italy after dinner to help digest. Like most liqueurs it has a secretive recipe, containing dozens of different herbs including saffron, aloe, gentian root, chamomile, myrrh, and so many more. The flavor: bitter like a boxing glove to the head, and a little minty.

Nothing could be so effective at pushing all that turkey down your gullet.

Nipping Fernet at key points throughout your meal is a surefire way to keep you eating for hours on end, but for the bitter tasters among us, Fernet can be a bit much. Hailing from Sicily, Averna is much sweeter than its northern cousin.

When it’s time for a post-dinner cocktail, try this creation by the amaro-minded Joy Richard, a.k.a. Bourbon Belle. When designing the bar for The Citizen, she finagled a way to have Fernet on tap. Now that’s a bitter kind of love.


1.5 oz Punt e mes
.75 Falanghina Grappa
.5 oz averna
3 dashes ango orange
Stir, strain, grapefruit



The first annual Glovebox Fundraiser for the Arts at West End Johnnies features both specialty cocktails and a silent auction, so you’ll have something quality to sip on as you stare down potential bidders.


Posted in Dig Boston

As avid followers of LUPEC both here and via our social media channels (@lupecboston) know we travel far and wide for the cocktail. Once a year we pursue our love of libations at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and the recently established Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York City. More recently we’ve traveled to further reaches of the country, exotic places such as the Bay Area in California or the even more rugged Portlandia, to partake of their citywide Cocktail Week festivals. We can’t thank these cities enough for blazing the trail, yet all the while we’ve mused,

“when is Boston going to get it’s own cocktail week? New York beat us to the punch, obvi, but Portlandia?


Then, like magic, the Greater Boston Beverage Society (GBBS) formed. This not-for-profit organization has been developed to “preserve and promote Boston’s cocktail and hospitality culture and spirits history while supporting local and national beverage industry related charities.” Could there be a more noble society? And while they’re at it, the GBBS will develop The Boston Cocktail Summit, a kick-ass cocktail festival of national scale slated for October 4-6, 2012.

In the meantime, as preview for the Boston Cocktail Summit, the GBBS will throw a wild party called Shakin’ It Up on Sunday, November 13th from 5-11 p.m. at House of Blues. The event will be an intimate VIP-style gala where attendees will enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, comedy, live music and the Left Bank vs. Right Bank Bartender Competition, where Boston and Cambridge bar stars will take go head-to-head in a friendly battle to determine which side of the river is home to the Boston-area’s best bartenders. Comedian Joey Carroll, Prince Tribute Band Lovesexy, and the ever energetic Dawg and Poni Show will perform. In addition to this madness there will be all the free cocktails you can drink (uh-oh), a sick silent auction and delicious hors d’ouevres.

Tickets cost $40 in advance, $50 at the door and can—and should—be purchased now.

Sip on one of these as you log online immediately to buy your tickets.


Old Mr. Boston Deluxe Bartender’s Guide (6th edition, 1946, or before; 1st ed. 1935)

Via drinkboston.com      

3/4 oz dry gin
3/4 oz apricot nectar liqueur
1/4 oz grenadine
1/4 oz lemon juice

Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.




Exactly what part of “all you can drink” are you having trouble with? Get yer tickets!


SUN 11.13.11
5PM/21+/$40 ADV

by Kate Durgin


This October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Speed Rack launched a 10-city tour to find the fastest female bartender in America, while raising funds for breast cancer charities. The tour kicked off in Boston on October 10, 2011 at Villa Victoria Venter of the Arts.  Founded by LUPEC New York’s Ivy Mix and Lynette Marrero the National Competition “Speed Rack” featured top female bartenders form Boston in a head to head challenge based on time and accuracy.

Our beloveded bartenders Kelly Unda (Harvest, and Forum) faced Sabrina Kershaw (The Citizen, Noir) in the final round with Kershaw taking the win!  However, this did not happen without a battle from our Boston Competitors…

Joy Richard, The Citizen
Nicole Lebedevitch, Eastern Standard
Trina Sturm, Trina’s Starlight lounge
Bryn Tattan, Drink
Naomi Levy, Eastern Standard
California Gold, Drink
Jenn Lampman, Tremont 647
Janelle Poirier, Alibi Bar, and the Lounge Liberty Hotel
Joy Flanagan, Armsby Abbey
Candace Smith, Grill 23
Anakarina Gende, Green Street
Josey Packard, Drink
Lindsey Smith Mistral and Gypsy Bar
Kevyn Ashton, Russell House Tavern
Stephanie Clarkson
Elizabeth Powell, Descent

Speed Rack travels to cocktail focused cities with strong LUPEC Chapters including Portland (Oct 23, 2011), Los Angeles (Nov 13, 2011), and Washington DC (Dec 4, 2011). In 2012 Speed Rack will travel to San Francisco, Houston, Denver, Las Vegas, and Chicago, all with the goal of raising $75,000 before the ultimate Miss Speed Rack is crowned in May 2012 at the national finals in NYC.

Special thanks for small bites from The Citizen, The Franklin Cafe, The Franklin Southie, Toro, Coppa, Meyers + Chang and Trina’s Starlite Lounge. As well as Judges, Misty Kalkofen, mixologist-extraordinaire from Drink and president of the Boston chapter of LUPEC, Jackson Cannon of Eastern Standard and Island Creek Oyster Bar, Liza Weisstuch a spirits and cocktail journalist and Christopher Myers, co-owner of Radius, Via Matta and Myers+Chang. Emcee Chris Patino was a riot, as always, and the “Rack Boys” – well, we couldn’t have done it with out you!

Good luck Sabrina! Boston will be cheering for you in May!!!

Additional information can be found on the Speed Rack website http://www.speed-rack.com, on Facebook http://www.facebook/speedrackinfo and on twitter @speed-rack. To compete please contact ivy@speed-rack.com or lynnette@speed-rack.com. Tickets for upcoming editions can be purchased at http://www.speedrack.eventbrite.com.

*Participating Sponsors for 2011 events:

Barritt’s Ginger Beer
Beefeater Gin
Cocktail Kingdom
Famous Grouse
Fever-Tree Tonic
Harpoon Beer (Boston only)
Perfect Purée
Pierre Ferrand (Boston and Portland)
Plymouth Gin
Rhum Clement
Rhum JM
St. Germain
Woodford Reserve