Top 5 Libations

It’s hard to keep up with each new distillery as they open, but we’ve been slowly trying all of the ones, here, in Portland – and guys, we’ve got some good booze in town.   Instead of dishing out the Top 5 Distilleries, we’re going to instead list the Top 5 Favorite Distilled Products of The Francis in Portland, Maine.



There seems to be no shortage of gin in Portland, and one of our favorites comes out of New England Distilling.  Their Ingenium is stilled from a grain mash in a direct-fired pot still in the style of 18th and 19th century gin – and the end result is an incredibly interesting flavor, that’s a little more grain heavy than others.  Our favorite cocktail using this gin is a simple Gin and Tonic, using a tonic that’s not too flavorful, letting Ingenium shine.



Distilled right on Commercial Street, Liquid Riot’s Old Port Rye is our go-to when making Manhattans.  They make their rye in small batches, carefully distilled from a recipe using Maine grown rye as well as roasted brewers’ barley.  A spirit made in Maine using Maine products?  We can get behind that.



Named for Melville’s Polynesian harpooner in Moby Dick, Queequeg is one of our favorite rums on the shelf.  Maine Craft Distilling was inspired by the tales of fishermen and sailors who landed on foreign shores, where they discovered exotic spices – perfect for flavoring rum.  Queequeg is decidedly full flavored and robust.



A list of Maine Craft booze would be incomplete without the mention of Cold River – one of the distilleries that put Maine on the imbibing map.  Naturally gluten free, their signature vodka uses Maine grown potatoes and water from Maine’s Cold River.  The vodka is then triple distilled in a copper pot, creating the perfect level of refinement.



They may only have one product on the shelf, but it’s one that has kept us going back to Hardshore Distillery since they opened on Inner Washington Ave.  Weighing in at 92 proof, their signature gin is surprisingly complex, despite being made with only five botanicals.  Their grain is even grown on their founder’s farm, handcrafted to provide a smooth, full bodied mouthfeel and distinct flavor.  This has become a go-to for our nightly Negroni.


Photo credit: @hardshoredistilling

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