Spirits of the Season
Sonny's | The Dark and Handsome
You’ll find this one under the “Interesting” category on the Sonny’s cocktail menu. Bar manager Adam Sousa created this cold-weather- friendly drink with bourbon, ruby port, a whole egg, Angostura bitters, and sugar, with a shaved chocolate garnish. “It’s a type of flip,” he says, “a cocktail that contains a whole egg, which thickens it and creates a foamy head as it settles.”
Blyth and Burrows | The White Bishop
As with most things at Blyth and Burrows, this cocktail has historical roots. “It’s a riff on the Smoking Bishop, a cocktail mentioned in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol,” says owner Josh Miranda. The deliciously updated drink features white port, dry curaçao, ginger and spiced pear liqueurs, and house-made cinnamon-spice syrup. A few drops of Owl and Whale persimmon bitters bring it all together. Creative director Michael Gatlin comments, “It’s light and crisp, unlike most traditional winter drinks.”
26 Exchange St. | Portland | 207.613.9070 | blythandburrows.com
East Ender | The Cider Car
This updated version of a sidecar is light, fizzy, and flavorful with cognac, cinnamon syrup, dry curaçao, and lemon juice, finished with Bantam Rojo hard cider. Janet Webber, general manager and creator of the drink, says, “The addition of the cider warms up all the other flavors. I like the idea of a spritzy, light cocktail for the holidays.”
47 Middle St. | Portland | 207.879.7669 | eastenderportland.com
Little Giant | Hot Buttered Rum
This newcomer to the West End serves up Hot Buttered Rum for the whole table in a sleek, stainless carafe. It’s a rich, soothing mixture of butter, ice cream, brown sugar, Plantation rum, and plenty of spices. The aroma itself is intoxicating with the scent of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. “It warms you from the inside out,” says Max Overstrom-Coleman, Little Giant’s bar manager.
211 Danforth St. | Portland | 207.747.5045 | littlegiantmaine.com
Union | The Fig Lebowski
Smooth and smoky best describes this libation created by bartender Charlotte Whitaker. The glass is overturned atop a smoking sprig of rosemary before she adds fig- infused bourbon, fig puree, lemon juice, and honey water. A little prosecco adds just enough bubble to make it fabulously festive.
390 Congress St. | Portland | 207.808.8700 | unionportland.com
Woodford Food and Beverage | Falling Star
“If we have one place that’s our sweet spot, it’s simple, strong cocktails,” says owner Birch Shambaugh as he presents his holiday pick. The Falling Star is a cool, spicy, and subtly sweet blend of infused gin, lavender- honey simple syrup and fresh lemon juice, garnished with star anise. The flavor is compelling and smooth, with hints of black pepper and turmeric, offset by the slightly floral notes of lavender and honey.