Craft Distilling in Maine

Mainebiz has published an article about Maine’s small but growing spirits industry.

Luke Davidson sounds like a man whose head is spinning, a product of learning a lot about business in a little time. When Davidson opened the doors to Maine Craft Distilling in Portland this July, he didn’t expect the large crowds that flocked to his East Bayside business to taste the distillery’s craft batches of rum and vodka. The crowd surge created a number of logistical challenges, and it was all he could do to keep a supply of clean glasses and purchase bags handy.

Shrub Cocktails & Casco Bay Organics

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about shrubs and shrub-based cocktails (see article for recipes),

Shrubs an old-fashioned drinks that date to Colonial times, but they are on their way back, thanks to the folks behind the bar who are discovering that a shrub’s bright, slightly tart, complex flavors make for a stand-out cocktail. Bartenders are doing lots of experimenting by replacing the fruit in the shrub with vegetables and herbs, trying out different kinds of vinegar, and otherwise tweaking the classic shrub formula.

and an article about Casco Bay Organics.

Time-crunched healthy eaters have a new way to get their hands on fresh fruits and vegetables. In April, Casco Bay Organics, a southern Maine grocery home delivery service, launched with a full array of organic and locally-sourced produce.

Mixonymics with Trey Hughes, John Myers and Nathaniel Meiklejohn

Three Portland bartenders—Trey Hughes, John Myers, Nathaniel Meiklejohn—were interviewed for an article in The Morning News about how bartenders go about naming the cocktails they invent.

This sort of creative referentiality runs rampant in mixonymics. Perhaps because, for many bartenders, the name comes at the end of the mixing—and the sipping, sipping, sipping. Many cocktail menus contain a fascinating, nearly Joycean sediment of in-jokes, failed poems, portmanteau words, geographical and historical reference, hat-tips, thumb-bites, and general alcoholic homage. Bartenders don’t need lawyers, they need lexicographers.

Tequila & Mezcal at Zapoteca

Dispatch magazine sat down with Zapoteca co-owner Tom Bard to learn more about tequila, mezcal and the restaurant’s extensive selection of both liquors.

Tom with his business partner Sergio Ramos have gone to great lengths to take the tequila and mezcal program at Zapoteca above and beyond any in the area. In fact, Sergio holds the title of Level One Mezcalier, one of only four in the United States to hold this prestigious accolade. Tom explains that Sergio is instrumental in sourcing their products. The two have even started the process of getting their own mezcal from Mexico to distribute in Maine and New Hampshire.

Hush Hush #4: Diep 9 Genever


Map & Menu and Delicious Musings have both posted reports from Hush Hush #4, the well-curated cocktail and food event run by Andrew and Briana Volk from Portland Hunt & Alpine Club (website, facebook, twitter). This month’s Hush Hush featured drinks made with the Diep 9 Genever (see their photos) line of spirits and some very interesting food by chef David Levi of Vinland.

Implying “normal” when a Hush, Hush event is anything but is almost an affront, but you need to believe me when I say that Andrew Volk is redefining the norm when it comes to the way he approaches his craft cocktails and the impeccable taste that Portland Hunt & Alpine is exhibiting in its selection of chefs and spirits for these events. [Map & Menu]

Photo Credit: Map & Menu

Portland Whiskey

The Portland Phoenix has published a feature article about Portland’s budding distilling industry that highlights many of the behind the scenes collaborations between distillers and brewers in Portland.

What’s a beer-loving city to do in whiskey trending times? Distill. And collaborate. With the current popularity of supporting local business and drinking whiskey in general, it is prime time for small-scale distilleries to follow the lead of the microbrew culture and create artisanal spirits. The beginning of this micro-distillery movement in Portland is evident with the work of New England Distilling and Maine Craft Distilling. As these local distillers work to perfect and define their craft, they are finding little or no competition from their distilling and brewing peers, but rather, endless opportunities for collaboration.

This week’s Phoenix also includes a whiskey cocktail crawl by restaurant critic Brian Duff.
Perhaps because its assertiveness stands up to mixing, Bulleit bourbon and rye whiskey show up in many Portland bars’ specialty drinks. In the Wally Hardbanger at Sonny’s, its spice shines through the anise of Galliano and the sour of lemon. In a hot toddy at Figa (now hosting special events like last weekend’s art bar), the Bulleit mellowed as it blended with honey and the expert mix of clove and cinnamon created by Figa’s neighbor, Home Grown Tea. It’s a great winter drink.

The Bollard: Maine Beer, The Holy Donut, Scarpa’s

The July edition of The Bollard is now out. It includes:

  • A feature article on the latest wave of craft brewers to open in Maine: Maine Beer Company, Bull Jager, Rising Tide, Bunker Brewing, Baxter Brewing, and Oxbow.
  • A review of The Holy Donut (194 Park Ave)
  • A bar review of Scarpa’s (15 Exchange St)

The articles aren’t on The Bollard website yet, but they usually posts them up in the week following print publication. In the meantime you can find free print copies in just about every coffee shop and cafe in Portland.