Improper Bostonian: Bartenders Feature

I have, over the past year, spent a lot of time in bars around Boston.  That is, I have spent a lot of time photographing in bars around Boston for an upcoming self published book.  In that time I've thought a lot about what makes a great bar, and as simple as it sounds, its a great bartender.  Give me a dive bar with a great bartender over an expensive trendy bar any day. Great bartenders know that spirits can be as complex as wine and cocktails as nuanced as a delicious meal.  They know how to borrow from the past and innovate to create something new.  For this years Bartender's feature I got to photograph a few new faces and revisit a couple old friends.  Check out some of the outtakes from the shoot and keep your eye out for our book coming soon. Tyler Wang at Kirkland Tap and Trotter

Boston Cocktail

Bartender Nicole LeClair

Boston Cocktail

Bartender Kevin Mabry

Boston Cocktail

Bartender Ezra Star


Bartender Will Isaza

Boston Cocktail

Bartender Melinda Maddox

Boston Cocktail

Bartender Fred Yarm at the Russell House Tavern

Boston Cocktail

Edible Cocktails

Out now is Edible Boston's first ever special edition Drink Issue with an article by Luke O'Neil about the connection between the kitchen and the bar.  For the story I was able to travel around to a wide variety of restaurants in the Boston area and photograph the drinks with their culinary counterpoints. And, of course, I may have sampled a few of the beverages. "Not too long ago bars and kitchens had an often adversarial relationship, particularly when it came to bars pilfering ingredients and not replacing them, or kitchens being stingy with the supply.  There was also a more substantial standoff at work in the bad old days of drinking, as Charles Draghi, chef and owner of Erbaluce explains. "For a chef, I was never a fan of cocktails, like a lot of chefs.  It used to mean a war between bar and customer's palate and what a chef was trying to do." Too many cocktails, before the current resurgence, were cloyingly sweet, or else overpoweringly alcoholic. You wouldn't want a diner to be drinking mudslides, say, or straight vodka martinis before a nice meal. But that all changed when bartenders and chefs realized they could work together to enhance the entire experience from first sip, on through the meal, and to the after dinner drink."