Bar to Bar Through Beantown
“We’re celebrating our first year of Booze in Boston with a special post!”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since our first post, Intermission Tavern, made it’s way out into the blogging world! Even though we didn’t really hit the ground running until July, we still consider this our first birthday since the idea behind Booze in Boston was born in April. We’d like to think we’ve come a long way since then, so we decided to celebrate our First Blogiversary with a look back on all of the delicious (and sometimes not so delicious) cocktails we have consumed, as well as the growth of our site! We hope you enjoy 🙂
Bars Visited: 69
Boston Bars: 62
We had the pleasure of visiting and reviewing 69 different establishments over the past year (OK we may have visited a bit more than this but we’re behind in writing them up!). Of those 69, 62 of them were from Boston. We did some special “Outside Boston” posts including from our honeymoon to Mexico, Phoenix, Somerville, Woburn, and Newton. In regards to the Boston bars, here’s a breakdown by neighborhood:
Clearly we were a little Back Bay heavy – we guess that’s what happens when you live and work in the neighborhood! We missed out on a couple of places such as the North End, Chinatown, and the West End, and we promise in the next year you’ll see more posts from those places!
Out of pure interest, we decided to break down our Cheers ratings to see what we’d find. Here’s the info:
So our interpretation of this is two fold – one, it looks like Boston’s got some great drinks! A majority of our drinks received a rating of four or five cheers. Two, it looks like Eric is an easier rater (although he argues he just orders better cocktails!).
To date, we have had 9,945 views to our blog. Since this is our first time in the blog-o-sphere, we’re not entirely sure if that’s good or bad, but we’re proud of it! Another thing we’re proud of, our page views have been climbing every month – check it out:
Other fun facts come from the search terms that bring people to our site. “Iceberg Drink” and “Booze in Boston” bring in the most traffic, but some of our favorites from the past year include “valeries bar and grill,” “dead gummy bears,” “notice please take care of your belongings,” and “paintings of women in dresses with weapons.”
When Eric saw that Valerie was tallying the total spent on cocktails over the past year, he got a little nervous. We debated whether we should share the information, but figured that if people were really curious, they could always do the math themselves by going through all of our posts. So here it is, the down and dirty total….$1273.34.
OK, so that may sound like a lot. However, in thinking about it we didn’t necessarily go out more because of the blog – true we may have ordered cocktails that were a bit more expensive than our regular beer and wine, but in general, our spending habits would have been similar. Apparently the average annual amount spent on alcohol for residents of Boston is $644 per person (source) – so we’re not too far off (although our numbers don’t include $ spent drinking at home…whoops!). We’re also fortunate in that we are currently childless, and living relatively rent free due to one of our jobs.
Like we mentioned above, we’ve had some great drinks. Unfortunately we’ve had some lousy ones too. Here are both of our top three and bottom three drinks from the past year. All of the tops and bottoms are in no particular order – we couldn’t choose a top favorite!
Eric’s Bottom Three
Valerie’s Top Three
Valerie’s Bottom Three
One thing we get asked a lot is “What is your favorite bar?” This question is almost impossible to answer as our favorite bar depends on what you’re looking for – if you say you want a wine bar, we’ll likely tell you to go to Sonsie; ask for a dive bar and we’ll recommend the Hong Kong; looking for craft cocktails and we’ll tell you to go to jm curley or Eastern Standard….you get the point.
What we can discuss though, are two of the criteria we use in reviewing a bar and it’s drinks – the vibe and the service. So here are our top three of both!
Cafe 47: “It’s what one might call small, but we think is cozy and inviting. It’s got great exposed brick walls, an open kitchen, and trendy artwork. There’s plush seating in the forms of booths as well as chairs. They have amazing food, and always have specials, including farm fresh fruits and veggies from the local area.”
Tico: “Tico is one of those really amazing places where casual meets class. Casual elegance is seen with the attention to detail in the artwork as well as the low-lit seating area and open air kitchen, serving unique dishes like quail and truffled octopus. This would be a great place for a late-night cocktail or a drink after work.”
Pasta Beach: “Obviously the restaurant isn’t on an actual beach, but it is right on Rowe’s Wharf and has outdoor seating with a water view. Inside, Pasta Beach is very, well, beachy. It is light and airy, with sand colored walls, lots of interesting artwork of fish, lighthouses, ships, etc. It’s also classy – while there are people in there with jeans on, the overall vibe is very put together. We approved.”
Via Matta: Erin at Via Matta was amazing. She was super friendly and conversational even though it had been a busy night. She was quick to explain the menu to us, noting the unique flavors and seasonal items. We even got an early anniversary present in the form of dessert:)
6B Lounge: We go to 6B often for trivia (Monday nights at 8!) and love our usual bartender there, Olive. She’s always attentive and makes us special concoctions with beer or whatever she thinks we’ll like!
Avila: Cara R. at Avila was hysterical – she joined in on our conversation and laughed at the fact that one of the other people we were with had gone through the cabinets in the bathroom. She knew her stuff when it came to drinks and made sure to ask about what kind of liquor people wanted.
We were fortunate enough to attend a few drink-related events this past year! Thanks to MA Girls Pint Out we attended Sam Adam’s Single Batch Preview Tasting. With Google Places, we were able to co-host a Hot Toddy event at Eastern Standard as well as a Whiskey Tasting at Saloon.
We started our Twitter account in September 2011 and have since tweeted 1,129 (and by we, really Eric handles the Twitter aspect of Booze in Boston). One Tweet was “featured” on Boston.com during the MBTA alcohol ads debacle, which led to us over-using the term “Naturally…” among our friends.
Boston.com also featured us in their recipe collection for Oreo’s 100th Birthday, when we submitted an Oreo Cookie Cocktail. Needless to say, we had a lot of fun with that one!
As any new year begins, resolutions are made. We thought it would be fun to come up with a couple of goals for Booze in Boston for Year Two. Here they are!
1. Visit 75 Boston Bars – that’s only up 13 from what we did this year, and considering we took two months off, we think it’s manageable!
2. Round out our neighborhood stats – this includes visiting those nooks and crannies we haven’t quite gotten to yet, as well as balancing out our reviews in each place.
3. Add a Recipes page – this is something we have been talking about/planning for awhile now, but we still need to make it happen. We love creating cocktails at home and experimenting with new ingredients so we’d like to share some of that with our readers. The main focus of the site will still be on reviewing Boston bars, but this could add a little flair!
4. Add a Responsibility page – we’ve always hoped that our message of safe and responsible drinking is apparent throughout the site, but we’d also like to put it in writing since it’s something that is important to us.
5. Host/co-host at least 3 events. We love meeting out readers and doing more fun and exciting things, so be on the lookout!
Finally, we’d like to thank all of you who are reading this. Whether you’ve been an avid follower, a have stumbled upon the blog using a search engine, have read one post or all, it’s great to know that someone is reading! What would you like to see from Booze in Boston in the next year?