Spring and Summer Cocktails at Vermont Restaurants and Bars

With the arrival of warm spring weather and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions after two largely isolated years, many of us are reappearing in some semblance of social life.

This requires a toast.

So why not offer that toast with a signature cocktail created by one of Vermont’s bars or restaurants? Sure, Vermont is known as a beer state, but with a growing number of distilleries in the state and a penchant for the simple pleasures in life, Vermonters are more than happy to drop off their pint glasses at the take advantage of the martini glasses.

If you’re looking for an eye-catching cocktail, where do you start? Maybe one of those bars or restaurants that puts its cocktail concoctions front and center.

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Cocktail name: The lovely Rita

Composition of cocktails: Quebranta pisco (a Peruvian grape brandy produced by Barsol), Vida mezcal de Del Maguey from Mexico, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, red pepper, strawberry and lime.

What is the story behind this drink? The Archives bar in Burlington offers a popular cocktail that includes yellow pepper and agave liquor and is called Lonely Hearts Club in honor of the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” according to Sean McKenzie, Beverage Director for The Archives. “That’s kind of how we landed on the name Lovely Rita (also a song on this album) because it’s kind of inspired by that other cocktail,” McKenzie said of the drink. on the Winooski menu. “It’s a super refreshing summer cocktail.”

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Tara Downs, bartender at Barr Hill in Montpellier, tops off a Bee's Knees cocktail on August 8, 2019.

Cocktail name: Bee knees

Composition of cocktails: 2 ounces of Barr Hill gin; 0.75 ounces of fresh lemon juice; 0.75 ounces raw honey syrup (two parts honey to one part hot water; let cool); lemon zest garnish; combine ingredients in a mixing container, add ice, shake, then double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the filling.

What is the story behind this drink? Barr Hill is made by Vermont-based Caledonia Spirits, which has its roots in beekeeping. Hence a classic drink that incorporates honey into the mix.

An old-fashioned at Drink in Burlington on September 3, 2020.

Drink, Burlington

Cocktail name: Southwestern Old Fashioned

Composition of cocktails: Bourbon, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, demerara syrup, Fire Water Bitters, orange and Angostura bitters.

What is the story behind this drink? If he had to pick an after-work drink, head bartender manager Matthew Doyle told the Burlington Free Press in 2020, he’d likely pick an Old Fashioned. This take on the classic spice things up a bit.

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Whispers of Meloncholy, a cocktail from Pizzeria Verita in Burlington.

Cocktail name: Whispers of the Meloncholy

Composition of cocktails: Cantaloupe purée, spicy tequila, port, lime juice and mint

What is the story behind this drink? This upscale pizzeria is revamping its cocktail menu, according to bartender Paul Beroza. While Verita wanted to keep some of its staple cocktails such as Brooklyn to Burlington, Icarus Wing and Botticelli’s Daughter, the restaurant was also looking for something spring-like to add to the list. “It’s bright, refreshing,” according to Beroza. “It kind of reminds me of what I think of when I think of spring.”

Hearts on Fire, a cocktail that features pineapple and jalapeño infused tequila, at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury.

Cocktail name: Flaming Hearts

Composition of cocktails: Charred Citrus, Pineapple & Jalapeño Tequila, Gran Gala Liqueur, Lime, Agave, Tajin Rim Seasoning, Alice and the Magician Fresh Citrus Spray.

What is the story behind this drink? This drink was recommended by the bar manager of the Waterbury barbecue restaurant, Laura Thompson. Exotic Vermont ingredients such as citrus fruits, jalapeño and lime get a local twist with the citrus spray created by Burlington-based aromatic beverage company Alice and the Magician.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement