by Jennifer BauerThirteen years of prohibition in the United States changed drinking forever.
Those desiring to imbibe had a couple options — obtain a medicinal alcohol prescription or break the law, which is how the term “bathtub gin” was born. Watered down booze made on the cheap next to a toilet wasn’t the tastiest thing, so people got creative and the art of cocktails exploded.
At Brock’s in downtown Lewiston’s Towne Square, blending cocktails is serious business and one can sample libations from the era of the Noble Experiment, along with new creations from the current renaissance in mixology. The cocktail bar is a classy place to meet friends for high-quality drinks and includes an underused, spacious outdoor seating area along with live music most nights they’re open.
Travel back to the 1920s with a sip of the Bee’s Knees, fresh herb-infused gin, honey and squeezed lemon; or channel Al Capone through what legend says was his favorite drink, the Southside, a blend of mint, lemon and New Amsterdam gin. The Sazerac combines Jim Beam rye whiskey, Angostura bitters, homemade simple syrup and soda water floated with the infamous liquor absinthe.
Among the classic cocktails, the most popular drink ordered at Brock’s is the traditional Moscow Mule served in a copper mug. The Mint Julep, blended with Basil Hayden 8-year-old bourbon is not for the faint of heart, the menu warns. There’s also the sweet and smoky Rob Roy, a warming Hot Toddy or the frothy Gin Fizz made with egg whites.
The nation is in the midst of a craft beer and wine movement and cocktails are also evolving. Brock’s in-house mixologists are whipping up their own twists on drinks like the meal-in-a-glass Red Eye, a Miller Fortune lager with a pepperoni vodka infusion, tomato juice, cracked peppercorns and a raw egg. Photos of people brave enough to drink them adorn the bar. The Killer is a modern take on the Bee’s Knees with habanero-infused vodka substituted for gin and a blend of white grape and lemon juices. For those with lighter tastes there’s a tart Pomegranate Martini made with a Rockstar energy drink; or the more warming Malena with cinnamon-infused rye whiskey, lightly muddled blueberries and grapes topped with shiraz.
Sweet tooths can try a liquid dessert like Spanish Coffee: Kahlua, Cruzan 151 rum, cinnamon simple syrup and coffee with a scoop of ice cream. The Pink Lady is a cherry vodka infusion with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur blended with vanilla ice cream, accented with dark chocolate shavings.
Drinks range from $6 to $9 each. Brock’s also serves small plates of food but if you’re looking for something more substantial you can mosey into the adjoining restaurant, Brava’s.
If You Go
Where: 504 Main St., Lewiston
Phone: (208) 743-1080
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