Bars, Serves /

Pastoral Artisan Pizza + Kitchen + Bar, Boston

We won’t lie, Boston has won us over. And to our delight, the list of mesmerising places to drink Brockmans just keeps growing. Today we’re at Pastoral, an artisan pizza restaurant and cocktail bar in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. We’re within eyesight of the Seaport, and minutes from the famous spot revolutionaries once dumped a bunch of tea into many years ago. We stop for a minute to think about how much different this place must of have looked on that fateful day. But we’re not here for the history; we’re here to drink gin.

Pastoral is a big space—high-ceilinged, airy, and industrial chic, with a wood bar, an open kitchen, and a pizza oven. Joe Bork-Dugan, bar manager and recent World Gin Day Brocktail entrant, greets us from behind his long bar, adorned with colorful garnishes.

The bar at Pastoral in Boston, Massachusetts

“Bars are really stepping up their game around here,” he tells us. “Five years ago, I’d go to a bar and order a Manhattan, and wince when I’d hear the cla-clack of tins shaking.” (For the uninitiated, a Manhattan is always stirred, never shaken.) “Now, you can go just about anywhere and get a well-made classic cocktail.”

Joe is soft-spoken, calm, and confident. He’s been behind a bar since he was 18, when he got his “bartender license” because he thought he needed it (you don’t).

“It wasn’t a total waste of my time, though. I learned how to move behind a bar, how to grab bottles, how to work efficiently. I also learned how to make a ‘Slow Comfortable Screw,’ which I’ve never made again in my life.”

As he gathers his ingredients, one in particular, a bright orange liquid in a rustic glass bottle, catches our eye.

Joe Bork-Dugan builds "Orange is the New Brock" at Pastoral in Boston, Massachusetts

“Carrot cordial,” he tells us, looking almost mischievous. “I could have put it in a squeeze bottle, that might have been easier, but it’s really important to me that everything is as pleasant to look at as possible.”

Joe’s hyper-focus on aesthetic becomes even more apparent as he goes through the steps of making us his Brockmans cocktail. His movements are precise, graceful, curated. It almost feels choreographed. It is, in a way.

Joe Bork-Dugan finishes his drink, "Orange is the New Brock," at Pastoral in Boston, Massachusetts.

The drink is a vibrant orange, and when finished, it’s an impressive display. It’s the kind of drink you’ll see at the other end of the bar and without even knowing what’s in it, you’re compelled to ask the bartender for whatever she’s having. Not surprisingly, the taste does not disappoint, either. Herbaceous from the sage and the Chartreuse, both savoury and sweet from the carrot, bright and citrusy from the Brockmans.

“I’ve been obsessed with vegetables lately,” Joe says, inspecting his creation. “And I really think Brockmans works well with some savory flavors.”

It’s no “Slow Comfortable Screw,” but it’s a fine drink.

The "Orange is the New Brock" at Pastoral in Boston, Massachusetts.

Orange is the New Brock

by Joe Bork-Dugan

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz /50 ml Brockmans Gin
  • .75 oz /25 ml carrot cordial
  • .5 oz /15 ml lemon juice
  • .25 oz/7 ml Green Chartreuse
  • 2 sage leaves

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into tin.
  2. Fill with ice, shake vigourously.
  3. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with sliced carrot and a pretty sprig of sage.