Along with its enviable location overlooking Boston’s Public Garden, Bistro du Midi has long been known for its excellent wine list. That’s no surprise – it’s a traditional French bistro, after all, and at the risk of making a sweeping cultural generalization, you know how the French are about their wine.
But with Himmel Hospitality Group (Post 390, Harvest, Grill 23 & Bar) taking over day-to-day operations of Bistro du Midi earlier this year, the French restaurant has turned its attention to its cocktail program.
With what assistant GM and head sommelier Ray Osborne calls “a fun blend of classics and relatively new stuff,” Bistro du Midi’s cocktails are approachable but not out of place in the restaurant’s elegant environment.
The Midi Crush is an Aperol spritz that adds Campari for a slightly bitter but still quaffable summertime drink.
For rum lovers, the Ship in a Bottle is a standout. Made with Mount Gay amber rum, Aperol, Averna, and orange, it’s a smooth and bold cocktail that balances sweet and bitter notes.
An Eye Toward the Season…and the Kitchen
Bistro du Midi’s cocktails aren’t intended to pair with its French dishes the way wine would. But as with other Himmel restaurants (Post 390 in particular), it’s clear that the bar and the kitchen share a philosophy of emphasizing fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Nowhere is that more evident than with the Sirocco, made with a tequila infused with roasted habanero, poblano, and bell peppers, along with Licor 43, triple sec, lemon, and lime. Reportedly a favorite of chef Robert Sisca, Bistro du Midi’s opening chef who returned this past March, it’s a vegetal cocktail with a subtle spice that builds while you drink it. The smooth vanilla notes of Licor 43 keep the drink from being too peppery.
The Mouton Swizzle, meanwhile, is a long, tall drink that goes down slow on a steamy summer evening. Combining Brugal extra viejo rum with ginger- and lemon-spiced wine, it’s a tiki-style drink with more spice than sweetness and surprising depth.
And there’s plenty of opportunity for innovation behind the bar. As the meal drew to a close, our bartender, Adriana, brought by a sample of one of her own cocktail creations – mezcal, Grand Marnier, and Braulio.
This vibrant cocktail combines the distinctive smokiness of mezcal with the rich, alpine bite of Braulio; and while it’s not yet on the menu, here’s one enthusiastic vote in favor of adding it.
Address: 272 Boylston Street, Boston
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