They say it’s what’s on the inside that matters, but sometimes appearances count for a lot, too—especially when it comes to craft cocktails. Most of the time, a drink served in a traditional glass, mug or cup is special enough on its own. But some days you want something a little more photogenic: beverages served in vessels that are just as special as the ingredients inside. Peruse the array of hollowed-out fruits, supersized boats and character-themed drinkware that Boston’s bartenders are using to serve up their best sippers.
At A4cade by Area Four, the gamer is king and the drinks pay homage to their favorite characters. This 21+ speakeasy is the place to go to drink, play and nerd out—over video games and eclectic drink vessels, specifically. Sip your drink from cups shaped like Tina Belcher, Buzz Lightyear, Darth Vader and more.
Sip on an adults-only drink in a kids-inspired glass at Area Four’s South End locale. The Malibu Beach Barbie vodka cocktail is served inside a wine glass attached to a red beach pail and garnished with a flower and a Barbie doll (that’s right, a real Barbie doll). Now you can play with your drink and drink it, too.
Citrus & Salt
Citrus & Salt’s frozen margaritas will always hit the spot, no matter what flavor you get. Whether you stay traditional or go for Mango-Jalapeño or Prickly Pear, you’ll get to enjoy your sipper in a cactus-shaped glass (and you can even add an extra tequila nip to it, if you want).
Coppersmith in South Boston is located inside a vintage industrial warehouse, so of course their drinks need to fit the theme, too. Stop in for a Deep South Mule served inside a utilitarian tin can—but trust us, this one’s a lot more photogenic than the one you’re imagining.
Starting at 4:00pm on the second Sunday on every month, Drink’s Tiki Sundays transport you to a tropical island. You’ll get to munch on bites from guest chefs, but the best part is sipping craft cocktails from a variety of tropical tiki glasses.
Need a cocktail large enough to share with a few friends? Head to Empire for a party drink big enough for four. Inside a fresh watermelon lies a boozy punch that can’t be missed. You may be craving the cocktail now, but let’s be honest, it’s the giant watermelon that sold you on it.
When the warm weather hits, all you really want is a refreshing drink, and that’s exactly what Hojoko delivers. The Japanese tavern isn’t afraid to pour the tiki-est of island-inspired cocktails, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on them.
If you’re looking for a cocktail that’s as visually appealing as it is refreshing, stop by Little Donkey in Cambridge’s Central Square for The One in a Grapefruit. Although the cocktail inside changes, one thing always stays the same: the fresh grapefruit vessel.
There’s not a boring drink to be found at Mystique, an Asian-inspired restaurant located inside Encore. They take their cocktails up a notch or two with special vessels like a Pikachu mug for their Pikachu Punch and a octopus-like dispenser for their Sir Ink A Lot party drink.
Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
When you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, a drink served in something typical just won’t do the trick. If you want something to boost your mood a few notches, stop by Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar for tiki cocktails in glasses just as exciting as the drinks themselves.
Shore Leave is a tropical oasis in itself, so it’s no surprise that their take on tiki cocktails transports you right to the islands. If you can’t be sitting on a real beach drinking a cocktail, head to the South End spot to at least feel like you are.
Add a little heat to your day with a flaming cocktail at Jasper White’s Summer Shack. Drink out of a mini volcano with the restaurant’s AkuAku Scorpion Bowl—just be careful not to get burned.
TAMO Bistro + Bar
It’s always nice to sit down for a drink with a friend. But it’s even better when you share one that’s almost the size of your head. TAMO Bistro + Bar in the Seaport offers a variety of super-sized cocktails fit for a team—like this Papillon Bowl.
Escape to a tropical paradise with The Local‘s cocktails. Try a Mai Tai, a Tiki Island or something completely different. It really doesn’t matter, because while you’re sipping out of that coconut-shaped glass, the most important thing is forgetting that you’re not in the tropics.
Take a stroll down Boylston Street on your way to check out Tiger Mama‘s “Tiger Tikis” cocktail menu. Their large format drinks serve between three and six people, so make sure you get a big group together. The Hokule’a is shaped like a Polynesian boat, and is full of tropical flavors like kumquat, coconut, lime, orange and more (plus rum, of course).
At Tiki Rock, obviously “tiki” is in the name, so it’s not surprise they’re serving up an array of tropical tiki cocktails. While you may head there for the delicious pan-Asian eats, you’ll stay once you see what the drinks are served in. From coconuts to tiki heads and flaming vessels, there isn’t a boring cocktail in sight.