First Round: Broken Beaker Distillery

Basic chemistry with a twist.
Broken Beaker Distillery, the newly opened science-themed speakeasy at the lower end of the Mass Ave., evokes junior-high days of dry-ice experiments and frog dissections—thankfully without the frogs or formaldehyde. Even a D chemistry student who doesn’t know a Schlenk flask from a Straus flask (guilty and guilty) would feel at ease in the school-lab-like tasting room, where newfangled molecular mixology is eschewed in favor of good old-fashioned alchemy that, for now, stars house-made vodka served in glassware from the Bill Nye the Science Guy collection.

Bowls atop conical flasks hold Martinis. But we tried a Molecule Mule—sweet yet solid—and French 76 (a champagne-less, gin-free 75), both served in a beaker. (Cocktails range from $8 – $10.) It’s hard to judge the vodka itself because, according to the staff, the batches have been understandably inconsistent in the early going. A bartender reported that one customer thought he was drinking tequila because of the spirit’s apparent smokiness. The Broken Beaker team went through about 200 fifths of the stuff from VIP night last Wednesday to the official opening night a day later, and, at some point over the weekend, even ran dry. A rhubarb liqueur was similarly short-lived. Eventually, the tasting room plans to showcase more infusions, and then gin, rums, and whiskey.

Until then, be prepared for basic chemistry with a (literal) twist.

643 Massachusetts Ave, 602-5546