Great Cocktails at the Backbar (Somerville, MA)


When my friends and I tried meeting at Backbar, it is not particularly easy to find. First look for the nondescript red door in an alley located behind Journeyman restaurant. Once you find the door, walk to the end of the hallway and you’ve made it.

This place is run by manager/co-owner Sam Treadway that serves up seriously made drinks but it’s not pretentious in regards to the atmosphere and the staff. The space is sort of looks like it’s decorated by a cool, young man in his late 20s/early 30s graduated from school and starting his career. Seen at the end of the bar, a small cork board filled with random sketches of dragon and unicorns and small statues, figurines of a black dragon and white unicorn, a Stormtrooper helmet and a few other mementos.

Our first round of drinks (left to right) - Sarah's Sip, The Love Child,  Persephone's Garden Milk Punch

Our first round of cocktails were primarily inspired by their daily specials. My friends had Sarah’s Sips and The Love Child, while I had Persephone’s Milk Punch. Sarah’s Sip was a lovely refreshing gin-based drink. The Love Child is a tasty fruit-forward, herbaceous but dry cocktail made of sloe gin, cassis, apricot, lemon, basil and absinthe. My Persephone’s Milk Punch is an intriguing drink as it’s a rich beet tinged cocktail that’s clarified by the milk curd. When I initially sipped my punch, it was a tasty drink but the beet flavor wasn’t detectable until I revisited the drink twenty minutes later when it warmed up a bit and the flavors changed slightly but it’s still delicious to sip.

Persephone's Garden Milk Punch and Spicy Caramel Popcorn
Foie gras skewer with roast apple

We grazed on the spicy caramel popcorn that was pleasantly spiced but not obstructing the taste buds too much from your drink. The foie gras skewer with roast apple seems like an interesting yet classic pairing to have the rich foie gras liver to a tart fruit but it tasted a little disjointed with still too firm texture of the apple.

Lil' Hook - Redemption Rye, Cynar 70, punt e mes, maraschino
Irish Goodbye (top view) - Glendalough gin, lemon, almond, rose, egg white, vermouth, black pepper
Pimmsy Whimsy - Pimm's, lemon, chartreuse, ginger beer

Our second round of drinks were from the seasonal menu. The Lil’ Hook is a handsome dark cocktail made of Redemption Rye, Cynar 70, punt e mes, and maraschino that has big and strong flavors like a Manhattan but different. The Irish Goodbye is a silky bodied drink that’s mixed with Glendalough gin, lemon, almond, rose, egg white, vermouth, and black pepper that yields to a refreshing, delicately spicy flavor profile. My last drink of the evening was the cute sounding Pimsy Whimsy (Pimm’s, lemon, chartreuse, and ginger beer). It’s a refreshing cocktail that I won’t mind kicking back on a warm day.

Backbar is a popular bar, so if you want to check out the place on the weekend you should get there early. It’s a great bar that has a small selection of beers and wines that welcomes the non-cocktail drinker feels welcome.

For more photos, please CLICK HERE for the complete set or see below:

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Official Website
7 Sanborn Court
Somerville, MA 02143
Phone: (617) 718-0249