Origin: OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, Copley Square
Take on: Moscow Mule
The OAK Long Bar + Kitchen at the Fairmont Copley Plaza is the hotel bar you thought only existed in Audrey Hepburn movies. White, gorgeously carved ceilings as high as the heavens; an impeccably mannered staff plucked right out of a 1920s Brooks Brothers ad; and a lovely, sprawling copper bar that will cost you anything but pennies.
But underneath all the glitz and glamour, side-by-side with a $22 Manhattan, there’s a drink made with blueberry vodka. If you didn’t guess, it’s not on the menu.
Goodbye Blue Monday, the secret brainchild of OAK bartender Lou Saban, is a riff on the ever popular Moscow Mule, a simple, refreshing vodka number that calls for lime and ginger beer. Lou’s seaside take on the drink is just as good—and it’s purple, too.
“A lot of my friends do the Nantucket thing,” Lou says, “and one of the most famous drinks around there is lemonade mixed with blueberry vodka, which I actually like a lot.” I’ll go ahead and assume that the Nantucket “thing” is getting good and plastered on the beach at two o’clock in the afternoon. When your vodka tastes like a popsicle, it’s all too easy.
To make the drink more his own, and to give it a nice kick, Lou muddles some fresh lemon slices in place of the sweeter lemonade and adds ginger beer, floating the violet-colored vodka on top. Essentially, it’s a Moscow Mule in board shorts. It’s a good look, too.
“I like it because it’s a twist on a classic, and it’s also very New England,” Lou says. “It’s very crushable, too.”
No kidding. If a little kid climbed off his boogie board and asked me for some, I’d probably forget what was in it. It tastes that innocent, like a drink dropped out of a poolside vending machine (Lou, if you’re reading this, that was a compliment). It’s the bite of the ginger beer that finally warns you, like those colored flags you see on a stormy beach—these are dangerous waters.
So why the name? It turns out Goodbye Blue Monday is the alternate title of one of Lou’s favorite novels, Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut, who apparently worked one of his first jobs at a car dealership on Cape Cod. Just like my drink, it didn’t last.
. . .
Goodbye Blue Monday
adapted from OAK Long Bar + Kitchen
2 slices lemon
2 oz Triple 8 blueberry vodka
Gosling’s (or better yet, homemade) ginger beer
Muddle the lemon slices in a lowball glass and top with ice. Pour in the ginger beer, leaving enough room to float the 2 ounces of blueberry vodka on top. It looks pretty, but Lou recommends stirring the drink for best taste. Swim at your own risk.