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348 Congress Street, Boston, US

If you have any doubt what you're supposed to do in this environment you can always refer to the sign above the door. And you might as well apply that to life.

Certainly liquid takes the lead here, but someone who was used to more substance in her career - by which we mean food - launched the concept. Restaurateur Barbara Lynch knows how to open a venue, having picked up awards for her previous ventures. She also knows a great deal about taste and flavour, but she wisely collaborated with leading bartender lights such as John Gertsen and Misty Kalkofen when it came to cocktails and, as a result, this became a hit in Boston. One of the keys to the early success was the concept that, rather than hitting you with a manual of drinks, you could choose a base spirit and the staff would take it from there.

What subsequently emerged and continues to earn plaudits is a modern bar with a serious commitment to serious cocktails complete with neighbourhood bar vibe.

And it has picked up plenty of accolades in its time to prove the point, among them the Best American Cocktail Bar title at Tales of The Cocktail in 2011.

Drinks International