Last Sunday night the Greater Boston Beverage Society transformed the House of Blues with spirits of all kinds and lots of festive activities (Who doesn’t love an old school photo booth?) for the fabulously fun Shakin’ It Up.  Formed earlier this fall by Alexei Beratis from Of the Spirits Beverage Consulting and Jamie Walsh of Stoddards, the Greater Boston Beverage Society is a not-for-profit organization that aims to preserve and promote Boston’s cocktail culture and spirits history while also giving back to local and national charities.  Shakin’ It Up was a precursor to next October’s Boston Cocktail Summit.  Its about time we had our own cocktail celebration!

There were so many spirits to taste and some many cocktails to enjoy, I can’t possibly share them all with you, so here are a few highlights seen through photographs taken by my friend Ashleigh Stanczak.

Any event with a Fernet Branca van is guaranteed to be a good time.  We couldn’t resist.

My favorite drinks of the night were at the Four Roses bar, and its not just because the space was staffed by the double charm of John of Citizen Public House and Noon of Umami.  The warm Autumn Breeze punch made with squash infused bourbon that Noon was serving was fantastic.  Imagine a boozy mouthful of perfect fall flavors.  It was so good I went back for a second taste.

The Autumn Breeze

Wash and slice into 2 inch wedges of 1.5 lb of each squash (Butternut, Kuri Squash, Carnival or any seasonal variety)

Combine with:

2 cups Local Raw Honey
2 cups Orange Juice
1 cup brown sugar
3 pods of Vanilla
8 Star Anise
8 Cinnamon Sticks
Peel of 2 oranges
Toss in a deep bottom roasting pan. Roast at 400F for 50- 60 minutes

Pour 4 bottles of Yellow Label Four Roses Bourbon over while still warm. Let cool. Keep the squash infused for 2 days.
After 2 days, strain out the solid from the infusion.

Serve the infused bourbon slightly warmed up with a few drops of Chocolate bitters. De-licious!

The most unique thing I tasted was the Old Potrero 18th century style Rye  Whiskey served by the Origin Beverage Company.  Produced by AnchorSteam in San Francisco, this 100% rye mash is distilled in a small copper pot stilland then aged in handmade oak barrels.  If you want to know what our whiskey drinking predecessors were drinking, try this stuff.

There were a number of photo booths around the event, and I was drawn in over and over again by the fun sunglasses.  Here’s a favorite pair:

Stay tuned for more info about Greater Boston Beverage Societies activities.  See you at October’s Cocktail Summit. Cheers!

Photos by Ashleigh Stanczak, Ashleigh Stanczak Photography http://ashleighstanczak.com

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