"This is like a New England thing," bartender Dennis Cargill said, pushing a tall, colorful highball onto the bar, rocks clinking suggestively against the glass. "When you were good your mom would take you to Brighams for a rickey. This is like the alcoholic version." It strikes us after sipping the Franklin Café's (278 Shawmut Ave., 617-350-0010. franklincafe.com.) take on the Rasberry Rickey (Stoli Razberri, chambord, soda and lime juice, $8) just how right he is. Although now that we're adults, we can drink as many as we want! Too bad the Franklin's seasonal drink list is so deep it's hard to decide where to begin (and when to stop). We suggest the Tangerine Gimlet (Johnny Love Tangerine Vodka, cointreau, simple syrup, basil and lime, up, all drinks $8), a drink that should force the mojito into retirement. The key, says Cargill, is that the syrup itself is infused with basil. A bit harsher is the Diabolique (Fig-infused bourbon with an orange twist, rocks), although the fig tugs at the sting of the bourbon. Bowen's Best Iced Tea (Hennesey, White Lillet, Jasmine Tea, Lemon) is another sinfully refreshing front-porch-in-the-summer cocktail, but the big surprise of the night came with the boring old Dark and Stormy (Goslings, Ginger Beer, Tamarind Puree), which we were avoiding out of D&S fatigue. "This is easily the best one I've ever had," our companion said. Usually the rum floats on top, but here it was evenly mixed while the ginger maintained. The tamarind puree added a spicy, exotic angle. It's hard to surprise jaded palates without going over board, but mission accomplished. They even got to get us to enjoy gin -- the vegetables of alcohol -- with the Ginger Rodgers (Gin, Muddled Mint, Ginger Simple Syrup, Lemon, Ginger Ale), a drink that fizzed sweetly on the tongue. Mom would be proud.