Allium and Mezze Toast to the End of Prohibition

Who orders a Mai Tai in the dead of winter?” I wondered to myself, while perched at the bar at Allium on Railroad Street in Great Barrington on Tuesday evening. It was Pizza Night, and I needed a day-chaser as I waited for my pie-to-go. (Research for an upcoming feature on pizza in the Berkshires, set to appear in our Apr/May 2011 Food & Dining Issue. Rough gig, I know.)
“This month we’re celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of Prohibition, so every night in December we’re doing a classic cocktail,” explained manager Troy Kinser from behind the bar. A-ha!  “We’re looking at old recipes—I’m bringing out the 1930 Savoy [Cocktail Book] recipes, 1887 Jerry Thomas recipes….”
The thirty-one cocktails, which are also being shaken and stirred at sister venue Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown, cover the classics—a test, of sorts, for able bartenders: Negronis, Sidecars, Whiskey Sours, and, of course, Mai Tais.
“When the snow first hit,” Kinser says, “ we were doing Singapore Slings—it was like Cinco de Mayo in the middle of the winter!”
Cheers to that. Only sixteen nights left...


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