Friday, June 20
$10 members + students
Talking Taste: Sam Treadway
Bartender at Backbar in Somerville
Named Boston’s best bartender by Boston magazine in 2013, Sam Treadway has come a long way, since his first Boston bar job at Cheers. Working his way through various positions he learned the trade there; jobs in his Minnesota college town and at Eastern Standard allowed him to experiment with flavors and master classic cocktails. A quick stint in Hawaii followed but was cut short when the creators of hip Somerville newcomer Journeyman invited him to open a quirky bar there. In the three years since Backbar opened, Treadway has gained notoriety and a loyal fan base for innovations like smoky meat-infused spirits, spinach syrup, and spicy caramel popcorn with house-cured bacon.
We asked Sam for his favorite summertime cocktail. He told us two! And how to make them:
My favorite summertime creation for backbar is our extremely popular “Czech Remedy” cocktail, which has scotch, Becherovka (Czech amaro), lemon, honey, bitters, and a rinse of Laphroaig. It combines a Metamorphosis cocktail from Eastern Standard with the Penicillin, a modern classic from Milk & Honey in New York. Rinsing the glass with Laphroiag creates a smoky, peaty aroma, but the taste is a soft, spiced whiskey sour. Great for the summertime taste sensation!
1 oz Dewars 12-year scotch
1 oz Becherovka
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz honey syrup
rinse of Laphroaig
Shake Dewars, bitters, lemon, honey, and Becherovka together, then double-strain into a chilled rocks glass that has been thoroughly rinsed with Laphroaig.
But Sam confessed that off the clock, his preference is a bit lighter and simpler:
My favorite summer drink is the Gin-Gin Mule, a creation from Audrey Sanders at Pegu Club in NYC. A twist on the Moscow Mule, it’s become a modern classic due to its widespread popularity. It’s gin, ginger, lime, mint, and soda water. At Backbar we use our fresh & spicy house-made ginger beer to brighten it up.
2 oz Ford’s Gin
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
5 mint leaves
top with ginger beer
garnish with a mint sprig
Shake gin, lime, simple syrup, and mint together. Double-strain into a collins glass filled with cracked ice. Top with ginger beer and briefly stir. Garnish with a big mint sprig.