The neighborhood is fairly typical of South Boston in 2018. A host of shiny new condos interspersed with aging triple-deckers. An autobody shop. Streets lined up and down with cars, drivers circling for the scant few open parking spots.
And tucked in the middle is Publico Street Bistro & Garden, which embraces its surroundings while at the same time feeling like something of an urban oasis.
At the front of the spacious restaurant is a 27-seat oval bar, bathed in natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the street. Beyond that is an open-air lounge/garden, complete with lush plant life, a second bar, and a retractable roof to keep out the rain.
It’s an airy, open space that lends itself well to a summer evening in Boston.
And much of Publico’s current drink list is geared toward warm-weather imbibing. The Luchador is an unconventional tequila drink made with Herradura Silver tequila, ginger, cucumber, mint, and lime. It’s the sort of cocktail that would ordinarily call for gin, but the tequila allows for some unusual flavor interactions, with cool cucumber notes in the finish.
Mr. Pink looks like a grapefruit drink, but its soft pink hue owes to Peychaud’s bitters. Combined with Bully Boy gin, St. Germain, rosemary syrup, and lime, it’s a crisp, vibrant cocktail that goes down easy.
El Chapulin is a beautifully balanced agave cocktail with reposado tequila, Aperol, grapefruit, cinnamon, lime, and mezcal. The cinnamon works a little magic here, tying together several bold distinct ingredients for a drink that’s neither too sweet nor too sour.
And while it’s much more of a fall or winter drink, it’s easy to see how a drink called “How Do Ya Like Them Apples?” would be a menu mainstay in a South Boston bar (it is something of an unofficial Boston rallying cry; thank you, Matt Damon).
Made with Old Forester bourbon, allspice, apple cider, maple syrup, it’s apple-forward, unsurprisingly, with warmth and depth from the bourbon and spices.
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