Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, the arrival of Winter is something we can no longer ignore or deny. The trees are bare, the heat is turned on, and the first snow has fallen. Here in Maine, the transition into the cold season is more than simply swapping sweaters for parkas; it’s a process of readying our homes for inclement weather, while preparing ourselves for shoveling, windshield scraping, and the other joys of winter in the Northeast. Just the thought of the impending chill might have you reaching for a hot cocoa, but there’s no need to limit yourself to the “classic” winter drinks this year. When the dry air and hard work makes you thirsty, come to Elsmere and try one of our favorite seasonal drinks. Just one sip and you’ll feel warmer - we promise.
Sometimes, the best way to get through a cold winter day is by pretending you’re somewhere warmer. Our tiki-inspired cocktail, the 'Lil Bow Wow is like an island getaway in a glass, with a combination of Sailor Jerry's Spiced Rum, Velvet Falernum, Banana Liquor, Lime, Grapefruit, and Ginger. The Velvet Falernum is a rum based spirit made with almonds, lime, cloves, allspice, ginger and star anise. The tropical fruit flavors will transport you to paradise, while the holiday spices provide a festive flavor. This cocktail will keep you warm long after it’s gone, and costs less than a plane ticket to the Caribbean. This seasonal special is only available for a limited time.
If imagining a warmer climate is helping to thaw you out, then we recommend a trip to Mexico with our Mezcal Old Fashioned. This exotic twist on a classic combines Jose Cuervo Gold, Del Maguay Vida Mezcal, sugar, Angostura Bitters, a muddled cherry and an orange slice. This cocktail has all the flavors of a traditional old fashioned, with the added warmth and sweetness of agave based spirits, and a touch of smokiness from the mezcal. To give this blend a New England twist, we’ll swap the sugar for maple syrup. Sip this drink while basking in the glow of the fire from our Argentinian Wood Grill, and you’ll be warmed up in no time.
If you find a brisk winter day invigorating, then The Bullseye is the winter cocktail for you. This tangy blend is an Elsmere spin on a whiskey sour, with Bulleit Rye, agave, and a splash of lemonade, served on the rocks and garnished with a cherry and a slice of lemon. The zesty citrus and sweet agave give this cocktail a bright flavor, while still letting the warmth of the whiskey shine through. This zingy blend is the cocktail equivalent of a sparkling snowfall on a sunny day. You’re going to love it.
If you’ve already tried our seasonal cocktails, or you’re just more of a beer person, we have some perfect winter brews on tap. With rich and hearty flavors, these local pours are just as comforting as a hot drink.
The John Henry Nitro Milk Stout by Fore River Brewing Company is a complex brew that craft beer enthusiasts are wild about. Since this local brewery opened, their offerings have demonstrated their commitment to consistent quality. John Henry is a traditional oatmeal milk stout brewed with English malts and hops. This light bodied stout has notes of chocolate and coffee with a beige head and soft carbonation. Like a gondola ride to the summit of a snowy mountain, this stout is both comforting and refreshing. Even those who aren’t fans of other beers will love this stout for its balanced flavor that pairs well with hot and hearty meals like ribs or burgers (and Elsmere has both!)
If your idea of a perfect winter day is relaxing by the fireplace in an alpine ski lodge, then Waypoint Coffee Porter by Rising Tide Brewing might be your new favorite. This dark and smooth porter has notes of coffee, dark fruit, and berries. While just one sip might transport you to a far away winter retreat, this porter is all local. Brewed with oats from Maine Grains, and coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters, it’s a true taste of winter in Maine. This full-bodied brew makes a perfect after-dinner drink, and a good excuse to stay at Elsmere for just a while longer.
Maine’s colder months simply wouldn’t be complete without cider. This traditional beverage marks the end of the fall harvest, and Whaleback Farm in Lincolnville, Maine does it right. Their Traditional Dry Cider is made with fresh picked local apples pressed at the farm, where the juice is then cold fermented in small batches and aged in oak barrels. While some ciders are too sweet or too dry, this one is slightly tannic and not overly sweet, making it easy to drink and perfect for pairing with any meal. If you’re looking for a lighter alternative to beer, this cider is worth a try.
Now that winter is here, there’s no use in complaining about it. In fact, our stocked bar and seasonal drink offerings are reason enough to celebrate. Come on in, try one of these festive favorites, and who knows; maybe winter will become your new favorite season!