Namesake is a new series where we try food and drinks named after the city we’re in. Have something on your menu that fits the theme? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might check it out.
When word reached the Scout offices that Brass Union has a cocktail called the Green Line Extension, we knew we had to try it. After all, our most recent issue included a monstrous, 4,000-word feature on transportation in Somerville that included an in-depth look at the coming GLX, and last month we sat down with the mayor to learn what the extension means for the city. We spent a lot of time delving into the facts, figures and implications of the Green Line—and we were ready for a drink.
As is often the case in Somerville, we got more than we bargained for. We showed up at Brass Union’s doorstep expecting to sample the GLX and ended up getting so much more: three drinks named after the ‘ville, all crafted with care by Brass Union beverage director Paulo Pereira.
The drink: Green Line Extension (Four Roses bourbon, brandy, green chartreuse, Angostura bitters, served in a coupe)
This drink starts with a sugar cube and a pint glass. The sugar and bitters get muddled into a paste. Pereira introduces ice and the rest of the liquids before stirring the mixture for what seems like minutes. The ice slowly melts into the booze, helping to unleash maximum flavor. It has an almost savory taste—not quite smokey, but definitely not sweet.
The namesake: We’re sure you’ve heard of the coming Green Line Extension. This beverage is as bittersweet as the GLX itself—the new train stations mean that Somerville will be easier to get to, but they also mean rising rents and creeping gentrification.
Bonus round: The Citadel (Amontillado sherry, Maurin Quina, honey syrup, Dandelion bitters, garnished with an orange swath, served in a snifter)
The namesake: This one is a little tricky. The name alone doesn’t say much about Somerville specifically, but Pereira is actually paying homage to Prospect Hill. Citadel, of course, refers to a fortress or city center, historically found on elevated ground. Every year on New Year’s Day, Somerville still gathers the to commemorate the historical flag raising of the American Revolution on Prospect Hill.
Bonus round: Villen Mule (888 Blueberry vodka, Applejack brandy, orange bitters, ginger beer, garnished with a lime wheel, served in a mug)
The namesake: The character from this one is as much in the name as it is in the mug. Pereira said he was inspired to create this drink in order to give his neighbors a local twist on a Moscow Mule that they could appreciate. “People from Somerville want something with a little more kick,” he said with a smile.
Neither the Citadel or the Villen Mule are on the menu at the moment—Brass Union updates their menu seasonally to keep the offerings fresh—but Pereira says that they often have the ingredients in stock and are more than happy to whip up the drinks off menu. Which speaks volumes about the Somerville spirit: What you see is really great, but there’s always something more just waiting to be discovered.
70 Union Sq.