A cordial license is a funny thing in Boston, it seems there is no clear definition of what it is. Except a grey area. From what I can tell it means you're allowed to sell any liqueur with 2.5% sugar by weight along with beer and wine. In the early 90s this came about at the request of North End restauranteurs who wanted to offer their customers an after dinner Sambucca or Amaro. Anyway, apparently this can include a lot, including Pisco, Grappa, flavored vodkas, flavored bourbons and even Green Chartreusse which clocks in at a whopping 110 proof- or 55% alcohol. I'm not really sure what's going on here.
What all this does mean, however, is that at a great place like the Salty Pig in Boston's Back Bay/South End, Erin Murtagh and team have to get creative with drinks, which they do. I was in the other evening, and had The Greener Side, featuring Lillet, Galliano, Cucumber, Basil, lemon and Erin's celery bitters. Refreshing and delicious, basil mirroring the anise in Gallliano, sweet citrus from Lillet, a well balanced (dare I say) liquid salad for grown-ups? Now just pass me some more of that charcuterie and cheese, I'm not worried about licenses and regulations any more.
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