But once you find your way into the basement-level, industrial-chic room, you may think you've wandered into the wrong place. With its flat, uncluttered workstation surfaces, mixing vials, and all manner of neatly arranged bartending instruments - not to mention the row of entomology dioramas against one wall - Drink looks more like a high school science lab than a traditional bar.
There's no bar mirror and no bottles in sight, just a large island counter top with pots of fresh herbs and a solitary bowl of fruit. If the tableau calls to mind a still life in the center of a chemistry experiment, that makes sense. Here, the approach to mixology walks the line between art and science.
There's an element of performance at work as well. "It's more of a stage," said bar manager John Gertsen, referring to the workstation where he presides, part showman, part history professor. You'll get equal measures of both when you take your seat at one of the six corner spots at the long, angular bar.
There's no menu, and the novel premise of Drink is to provide Gertsen and his top-shelf staff an opportunity to be creative and imaginative. Customers suggest spirits like audience members calling out scenarios in an improv club. The bartenders take it from there, crafting something to suit, or surprise, your palate. Don't be surprised by the 3-ounce pours or if you end up waiting a bit longer than you're used to. Both are easily forgivable perhaps, considering how the bar staff worries over each creation.
"I think the old drinks are the best ones," Gertsen told us on a busy Tuesday evening, chipping ice away from a clear, heavy block. "But I'm more than happy to do new stuff. I don't want to force my opinions on anyone. You know what they say about opinions. . ."
"Can you make us something that will make us like gin?" we asked.
It was a challenge easily handled. Perhaps appealing to our journalistic sentiment, The Hearst (bitters, sweet vermouth, gin, all drinks $10) was procured. "This was a favorite of William Randolph Hearst's newspapermen at the Hoffman House in Lower Manhattan," Gertsen explained. With surprisingly sweet vermouth, an even blend of Angostura and dark orange bitters, and a history lesson to boot, it was a work of art.
Or was it science?
Drink, 348 Congress St.,
Boston. 617-695-1806. www.drinkfortpoint.com.