Origin: Townsman, Downtown Boston
Take on: Daiquiri
“I never thought I’d want to drink English peas,” says Melissa Benson, a bartender at Townsman, chef Matt Jennings‘ new restaurant in downtown Boston. Melissa’s not talking about some green colored juice bar concoction—she’s talking about a green colored daiquiri.
The Snap Daiq is Townsman’s springtime interpretation of the classic daiquiri, which—contrary to the swim-up bars of the world—consists simply of light rum, lime and sugar. In Havana, Cuba around 1913, at the bar of the Hotel Plaza, the original daiquiri was served frigid and frost-colored, not frozen and pink. Townsman’s Snap Daiq is green—I mean, really green—but it’s also delicious. It can pull it off.
As Melissa was saying, when you drink the Snap Daiq, you’re drinking peas. But don’t think boba tea. The Snap Daiq is sweetened by English snap pea husks that have been reduced and made into a syrup, replacing the original daiquiri’s plain sugar. A little Green Chartreuse and touch of absinthe are used to tie in the botanical notes of the peas, and a dash of saline solution complements the sweetness. “It’s like adding salt to a cookie,” says Melissa.
If you don’t like the idea of putting snacks in your drinks, I get it. But isn’t a daiquiri just as refreshing as a crisp, cool pea on a sunny day? I think it’s time the two met.
“It’s a very aromatic, vegetal cocktail, and I love that it’s so refreshing,” Melissa says. “It’s so pretty, too.”
Townsman is quite a looker itself. It’s a bright, breezy and open space with huge windows and modern, steel dining chairs the color of fire engines. There’s a civilized, “let’s do lunch” downtown-ness to it, but the menu is anything but tame, boasting lamb crudo, a suckling pig ham and pâté Cuban sandwich, and deviled eggs with fried capers and crispy hen skin.
Townsman has only been open four months, but the bar program, run by Sean Frederick, formerly of Citizen Public House in Fenway, is already matching some of the best in the city, from its house blended bitters to its innovative, farm-to-cocktail recipes. Melissa says the Snap Daiq speaks to what the bar is all about.
“It’s really in keeping with the theme of Townsman, since we change the menu as often as we can to keep it in season,” she says. Unfortunately, that also means the Snap Daiq will be leaving the drink list soon. And so it goes—nothing green can stay.
. . .
adapted from Townsman
1 1/2 oz Privateer Silver rum
3/4 oz snap pea syrup
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz Green Chartreuse
2 dashes absinthe
2 dashes saline solution
Add all ingredients to mixing glass, add ice and shake vigorously (and I mean vigorously—it’s a daiquiri, so make it cold). Strain into chilled Irish coffee glass and garnish with mint leaf. Spring was in the air; now it’s in your drink.
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