‘The Ice Nerd Cometh’

Forbes has published an interview with Jonathan Baker, a self described ‘ice nerd’ who produces specialty cocktail ice for Blyth & Burrows, Via Vecchia and the soon-to-launch Papi.

Jonathan Baker: I’m an ice nerd, going way back. As a kid in West Texas, I would look forward to the few icy days we got every year. I’ve always felt at home around ice — which is partly why I ended up in Maine, a state with a long and storied history of ice production. I also wrote my master’s thesis at the University of Chicago about ice as metaphor in nineteenth-century American literature. Since completing grad school, I’ve continued to read and study everything ice-related that I can get my hands on.

Wayside Review & Savory Cocktails

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published a review of Wayside Tavern, and

Cast in deep greens, golds and Victorian-era stained wood, this European-inspired restaurant (read: mostly Italian and French) is the sort of bistro-esque neighborhood restaurant any locality would be lucky to have. The cocktail menu takes familiar classics like negronis and boozy spritzes and tweaks them just enough so you’d notice only if you’re paying attention. The menu does the same, although it also plays with format, reimagining a roast chicken as an open-faced sandwich slathered in ricotta and pine nuts, soaking up the fat and juices from griddled chicken thighs…

an article about a trend in cocktail design popping up in local bars.

Au courant cocktail enthusiasts or anyone with an adventuresome palate these days can sip drinks all around town that showcase the savory flavors of everything from fresh spinach and carrots or roasted beets to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, brown butter, lobster, North African shakshuka sauce – even hot and sour Thai tom yum soup.


magazine has included the Microdose (recipe) on the menu at Magnus on Water in the list of the magazine’s Favorite Cocktails of 2021.

It’s most impressive to me when a drink achieves complexity in restraint. A prime example is Brian Catapang’s Microdose, served at Magnus on Water in Biddeford, Maine. The drink works from a simple concept—“salty watermelon on a patio”—executed with razor-sharp precision. Fresh watermelon juice is bolstered by the slight salinity of fino sherry, the fruit notes of pisco, the acid of lime and an added saline jolt from a tincture of habanero and dulse seaweed. Like all cocktails strive to be, it’s far greater than the sum of its parts.

Starter Curbside Cocktail List

As reported earlier this week, Maine restaurants and bars can now move ahead with curbside cocktail takeout. Businesses are in the process of figuring out their plans and menus. No doubt many more venues will jump on board over the next week.

For right now here are the first few out of the gate with cocktails ready to order:

Local 188 plans to have cocktails ready for their Sunday brunch takeout on May 3rd.

Cocktails To Go

State regulations regarding bars and restaurant selling food and drinks to go have been revised to allow for takeout cocktails effective immediately.

To participate in the new program establishments have to comply with some new guidelines which include:

  1. Cocktails must be part of a food order
  2. Drinks can’t be larger than 4.5 ounces of spirits
  3. Cocktails must be in a “tamper evident container”
  4. The containers have to be labelled  with the name of establishment with date and time of production and the contents of cocktail including the proof the spirits used.

Maine Made Hand Sanitizer

The Press Herald has published a report on an ongoing collaboration among breweries, distilleries and UMaine to produce hand sanitizer for Maine hospitals.

Breweries in southern Maine have been donating the base stock of fermented liquid – beer – and distillers have been refining it until the alcohol reaches the necessary potency. Chemical engineers at UMaine mix the alcohol with hydrogen peroxide and glycerol, and then the university distributes the final product to hospitals.

MCD Fifty Stone

The Whisky Advocate. has published a brief write-up on Maine Craft Distilling’s Fifty Stone.

Along with Westland in Seattle, Maine Craft Distilling is one of the few American distilleries using locally sourced peat to make single malt whiskey. Peat is an abundant resource in many parts of the world, reflective of the local plant life and terroir. We look forward to more distilleries experimenting with local peat—the taste profiles should all be quite unique.