Northshore Magazine

Northshore December 2018

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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102 Opus SALEM Sean Powers is 30 years old and a five-year vet- eran of Opus in Salem. "It's been a wild trip," he says of working his way up from barback to bar manager. As a Salem native, he's proud of both the eclectic bar crowd at the 50-seat underlit circular bar and the electric drink names, such as the Jagged Edge (recipe below). Learning the ins and outs of gin, bourbon, and whiskey fueled this young mixologist's curiosity to know more. He mentions other legendary bartenders at Opus, who have since moved behind bars in New York City and Seat- tle. Former Opus mixologist Ramona Shaw, celebrated in this magazine as top bartender on the North Shore, has published Straight Up, a book about the bartending life. My Super Massive Black Hole was created by Powers, using what he feels is the secret to good drinks: the shrub, which is an old New England way of preserving fruits and other ingredients. is cocktail takes fresh blue- berries from the Salem Farmers' Market and mixes them with sugar to break them down. e mixture is then infused with thyme and white and balsamic vinegars and is left to rest for about three weeks, since it takes time for the ingredients to get to know each other. As for the eclectic crowd, Powers says, "at's the most fun of living in Salem. We get There I am, sipping a Super Massive Black Hole on a chilly winter evening in Salem and finding the experience surprisingly warm and calming. The blended scotch and clove honey are almost sending me to a glowy place, despite the cocktail's name, which hints at more of an existential angst. Naming cocktails is just one aspect of running a good bar program, and it stresses out even the best mixologists. I recently spent time with the lucky people who get to manage four of the top bars right here on the North Shore. Each is passionate about cocktail ingredients, no matter what you call the final result. Each of these talented folks has also shared four cocktail recipes for you to try at home. MONTE CERVINO I N G R E D I E N T S 2 oz. Hine cognac 1 oz. Braulio amaro 1/4 oz. Overproof rum 1/4 oz. Acha tino sweet vermouth (or other high- quality vermouth) D I R E C T I O N S Stir all ingredients in a shaker and then strain into a coupe glass. No garnish needed. SPRING FLAME I N G R E D I E N T S 2 oz. Habanero tequila (Add about 6 habaneros, diced, per liter of blanco tequila. Let sit 3 days or to taste.) 3/4 oz. Fresh lime juice 1/2 oz. Orgeat 1/2 oz. Aperol D I R E C T I O N S Shake all ingredients together and strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Top with 4 dashes of Angostura bitters. OPUS 87 Washington St, Salem 978-744-9600 all different age groups and walks of life. One night it's all college kids trying to get in High Lifes before going out dancing. Or a nice cou- ple who want to geek out about cocktails, and then late-night folks from the industry from Ledger and Adriatic." For a young guy, Powers is surprisingly comfortable with the subtle lingo of Salem life and of the Opus Underground, the cozy bar and entertainment space downstairs from Opus. He boasts that the LGBTQ nights include a "slightly witchy" drag show every second ursday, and that the Sunday night burlesque shows are "very body positive." When he finishes for the evening, Pow- ers likes to go to the Lobster Shanty. "I'm a very seasonal drinker and I'm a very moody drinker," he says. "Sometimes it's gin for a straight week, and then I'll go off to rum. Every once in a while, I'll make something wicked crazy at home." Sean Powers mixes at Opus in Salem.

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