We consulted cocktail maven Luke O’Neil for insider tips on where to get drunk quickly on New Year’s Eve. O’Neil possesses encyclopedic knowledge of Boston’s drinking life (check out his new book, Boston’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in Beantown), and he was kind enough to share some of his favorite potent libations with us. So, if you’re tired of complex craft cocktails and simply yearn to feel the sting of alcohol as it snakes down your throat and whisks you to blissful oblivion, take two Advil and read on.
"In general I don’t typically support the idea of getting drunk fast, or shots (unless it’s Fernet, or unless someone peer pressured me into it and I really want them to think I’m a super cool bro),because I think people should be drinking more slowly, and tasting what they drink. But I’m probably only saying that because I’m sober at the moment. Also because I’m still feeling it from the three heavy hitters I tried at Brick and Mortar last night. All of their cocktails, like the Streets of Gettysburg (sherry, rye, benedictine, ristretto), or the Jasmine (Cardamaro, Ransom gin, Averna, and absinthe) pack a pretty intense wallop. That said, if you’re looking for something that’s both alcohol-forward, but also interesting, they’re a good bet.
I might also try the Bitter Truth (Four Roses single barrel 100 proof, Punt e Mes, xcocolatl mole bitters rinse) at the West Side Lounge, or a classic like a Toronto (rye, Fernet, bitters and simple) at Noir, or their Dark City (rye Averna, chocolate bitters and maple syrup).
At Eastern Standard, Don’s Zombie (five different rums, lime, cinnamon falernum and absinthe) is pretty intense and they have a suggested limit of two, so you know it’s hard. That’s nothing compared to the special this week at Trina’s Starlite Lounge, called the GG Allin, because I think if you have too many of them you’re going to sh*t yourself on stage. It’s a rum old-fashioned made with Smith & Cross and Lemon Hart 151 rums, a bounded bourbon soaked cherry, lime, tiki and angostura bitters. Yikes.
On the dive side of things, I seem to recall TC’s doing a couple shots called the Oxycontin, and Liquid Cocaine. I don’t remember what was in either, and I’m not even sure I want to know. Last time I was in the Quencher in Southie, I got what must have been a half pint of Glenfiddich for like $6. That seemed like a good idea at the time. All of these seem like a good idea at one point or another. That point is not tomorrow morning."
Oh, and if you do try any of the cocktails O’Neil mentioned, be sure to crawl to your computer and consult our handy hangover guide whenever you do wake up. Cheers!