Bar Report: ridiculously innovative cocktails with Stephen Shellenberger of Boston Apothecary


The township of Brookline, MA is not the type of place you’d expect to find some the future of cocktails. But nestled between an Irish Pub and a Korean church sits Pomodoro, a tiny traditional Italian restaurant.


The food at Pomodoro my be traditional, but the drinks are extraordinary. That’s because behind the (tiny) bar, you’ll find bartender Stephen Shellenberger. I first heard of Stephen through his mind-blowing posts at egullet and his slightly-obscure but idea-spurning blog, Boston Apothecary.

I won’t go into the details of each drink Stephen let me try when I finally made it out to his bar because many of these drinks are from Stephen private stash of experiments and aren’t meant for public consumption.

I’m also honored to say that you can read about many more of Stephen’s recipes and ideas in Craft Cocktails at Home, as he was generous enough to share his wizardry with me.


I’m partial to my simple method of carbonating drinks with a SodaStream carbonation system, but Stephen’s hand-built system allows for more g/L of CO2. The bubbles stay dissolved and release slowly, just like Champagne.


What would you do if you had removed the spice from tabasco, left just the earthy notes, and created a gin with that flavor? Make a Last Word, of course.


Don’t I look contemplative? That night, we also sampled drinks made with hopped gin, some lovely green chartreuse that had been reduced and recombined with palm sugar, and a tasty s/b/b (stirred, brown, and bitter) drink made with walnut liqueur.


Here’s a short list of my favorite posts by Stephen.

Check them out and LEARN.

One Comment

  1. Rafa March 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Stephen’s posts continually blow my mind and expand my understanding of just how much we can do behind the bar. Next time I’m in Boston I’m definitely hitting up Pomodoro.

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