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He mixes ‘awesome-to-table’ in a glass

Raul Zelaya for The Boston Globe/Raul Zelaya

A neighborhood favorite known for its locally sourced food and relaxed atmosphere, Sycamore restaurant in Newton Centre has a cocktail program led by bar manager Scott Shoer.

Shoer is known to crack jokes while being serious about great cocktails. The thinking behind the cocktails is flavor, delivered with ease. “You don’t need plutonium or liquid nitrogen,” he says. “You don’t need a blow torch or goggles.”

To match the philosophy behind the menu, Shoer says, “We try and go for local when possible. But I’d rather have awesome-to-table than farm-to-table if that means making a better cocktail.”

With autumn in full swing, Shoer mixes a drink he calls The Fall Guy, which came about when he wanted to update a tequila cocktail for the fall season. Fresh apple cider and cinnamon syrup, accentuated by the warmth of tequila and smokiness of mezcal, are reminiscent of autumn at the first sip. The drink is garnished with toasted cinnamon. It’s “like a warm beverage by the fire,” says Shoer. “Evening time in October.”

The Fall Guy

Makes 1 cocktail



2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons sugar

½ small stick cinnamon, crushed

1. In a small cup, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon.

2. Microwave for 1½ minutes or until the sugar dissolves completely; cool and strain.


½ small stick cinnamon, crushed

1½ ounces apple cider

1 ounce blanco tequila

1 ounce mezcal

1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste

1. In a small heavy skillet, toast the cinnamon stick until aromatic; cool. Pulverize it in a grinder or mortar and pestle; set aside.

2. In a shaker, combine the syrup, apple cider, tequila, mezcal, and lemon juice. Add ice and shake vigorously.

3. Put a large cube of ice in a chilled rocks glass. Strain the shaker into the glass. Garnish with a pinch of toasted cinnamon powder. Adapted from Sycamore


Raul Zelaya can be reached at raul.zelaya@outlook.com.