Cabot's 2nd Voyage at the Mill Northeast: A drink of the week that's worth exploring

Venture into uncharted territory with this inventive cider cocktail.
Venture into uncharted territory with this inventive cider cocktail.

Cabot's 2nd Voyage The Mill Northeast $8

Walk in to the otherwise sparse space at The Mill Northeast, and you can't help but gravitate towards the bar. With old-school built-in wooden shelving and an impressive array of bottles from the familiar to the obscure, the set-up provides an inviting pop of color and the promise of a good, stiff drink. The bartenders are relaxed, approachable, methodical, handling with ease everything from their vintage-looking cut crystal mixing pitchers to questions from curious diners. The Mill's cocktail list is eclectic and calls upon classic recipes in new ways, but the standout of the bunch was Cabot's 2nd Voyage, "a kind of, sort of, but not really, Johnny Jump Up," says the Mill's Ryley Gahagan.

See also: Not Doing Jack in the Morning at the Rabbit Hole: Hit snooze for this drink of the week

Crafted from Ace pear cider, Flor de Cana rum, house-made dandelion bitters, and bison grass vodka, Cabot's 2nd Voyage touches all parts of the globe in the quest for a better spiked cider drink. Never heard of bison grass vodka? Gahagan's eyes will light up if you ask him: "It's a Polish vodka that was actually illegal in the U.S. for having mutagens in the grain, like wormwood does in absinthe."

Now that the tide has turned for bison grass vodka and our country's citizens have been cleared to imbibe, we should all do our civic duty and sample this unique spirit. Gahagan, who dreamed up the cocktails on the Mill's list, tells us, "It was never outlawed in Canada, and oddly enough, is always served with apple juice up there, so we're playing with that."

The base spirits are hand-mixed with the bitters, then topped with a pour of pear cider healthy enough to round out the glass but short enough to allow each of the unique flavors to shine. Sweetness skeptics, fear not, for Cabot's 2nd Voyage comes garnished with a skewered slice of pickled apple, for a quick vinegar shot to the olfactory and a crisp, clean finish on the tongue (eating the garnish is optional and not fully recommended). At its core, this cocktail combines simple ingredients that play well with others to create something you could sip for days.

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