Curated Cuisine at Home aims to highlight local restaurants, cafes and chefs. Every week, we'll share a unique recipe using ingredients easily found in grocery stores while supporting and uplifting local businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Join us as we get to know and connect with our community!
Looking for a weekend wind-down? State Park in Kendall Square shares with us their cocktail recipe for an Old Cuban. The original recipe originates with Audrey Saunders, an influential NY bar owner.
Want to know why State Park is “a love letter to the dive bars and neighborhood pubs of yesteryear?” Read their interview below!
2 dash Angostura bitters
.75 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Mint Syrup
1.5 oz Privateer aged Rum
2 oz Cava
Add the bitters, juice, syrup, rum, and ice to a mixing vessel and shake to incorporate.
Strain into a glass and top with the sparkling wine.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup mint leaves
Bring the ingredients to a simmer, then remove from heat and chill.
Strain mint leaves out of syrup and store in a clean vessel.
Get to Know State Park
Can you give us a little insight as to why you chose this recipe?
We chose the Old Cuban because it’s a good standby cocktail that features shelter-in-place friendly ingredients like rum (a local spirit), mint (a home garden-friendly herb) and sparkling wine (who doesn’t need an open bottle of bubbles in their fridge?). Also, nearly all of the ingredients can be substituted for others and the drink will still be delicious: substitute nearly any other spirit for rum; lemon for lime; honey for sugar; soda water or other not-to-sweet flavored soda for sparkling wine; other herbs in place of mint; and so on. When you’re making drinks at home you want to have recipes that are versatile because your pantry and bar ingredients are likely to be limited.
Where did the idea for State Park come about?
State Park is a love letter to the dive bars and neighborhood pubs of yesteryear. We wanted to create a place that was lighthearted, comfortable, and fun, but also had delicious cocktails and stellar food. Neon lights and coin-op pool tables are a dying breed in greater Boston, and we felt an obligation to keep them from going extinct.
What made you choose Kendall Square as the neighborhood you wanted to house State Park?
When State Park opened we already operated a restaurant around the corner. We already knew that there was a neighborhood community that wanted to support a place like this and we knew we could deliver a place to serve that community. We’ve been fortunate to draw business from all over Boston, but our focus is always on the neighborhood.
So far, what has this pandemic taught you most about either yourself or State Park as a business?
We’ve seen that a neighborhood bar is much more than just a place. Even though the bar is closed, we’ve seen our regulars and staff “hanging out” online, checking in with us, hitting us up on social media just to tell us they miss us and even offering financial support to our staff who are currently out of work. We’ve always strived to be a place where people can build a sense of community and conviviality, and that lives on even as our restaurant is temporarily shuttered.
How can our listeners and readers continue to support State Park?
They can support State Park immediately and specifically by buying merchandise and gift cards online. More broadly, they can support us and places like us by spending all of their money as locally as possible. Support businesses that are still open and be open minded and patient (this is new for all of us!). Support businesses whose purveyors source and operate locally. Get a CSA from one of the amazing farms that restaurants like us aren’t able to support right now. Get grocery delivery from purveyors who just lost all of their restaurant accounts. Buy beer from brewers and distillers in Massachusetts and buy it directly from them if possible. We want these businesses, growers and producers to still be there when we get back on our feet.