Thanks to a ticket hookup from my friend Ally over at (under construction), I was able to attend the Maine Bartenders Bash this past Monday night (a helluva way to end a day which began with a 4am trip to Kate Day…). I’m not usually one for vodka but I must admit that nearly all of the cocktails served at the “bash” (more of a cocktail tasting than a bash, I have to admit. Still a very good time but “bash” implies flair, and there wasn’t any) were mighty tasty. One particular drink though really hit home for me, probably needless to say.

Photo by Michael Barriault of PortlandTown

“The Native” from Vignola was created by Scott Doherty and features the White and Black ales of Allagash Brewing Co, blended with a number of spices, boiled and mixed with Maine’s own Cold River Vodka. If you’re feeling adventurous enough to try making it yourself, the recipe is below. I told Scott at the time that I think “The Native” would be fantastic served hot on a cold New England evening. While it didn’t win the overall best cocktail of the evening, it was the best drink at The Bartenders Bash in my book.

The Native:

~1 1/2 oz Cold River Vodka
~6 oz Four Spice Black & White Agave syrup:

Agave Syrup:

1 pint Allagash White
1pint Allagash Black
8 oz water
8 oz Agave Nectar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp whole white peppercorns
1 star anise pod
1/2 tsp whole clove
1/4 piece of ginger

Bring water, cinnamon stick, whole white peppercorns, star anise pod, whole clove, and ginger to a boil. Then add agave nectar and return to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. Cover and refrigerate over night, strain and cover. Bring 1 pint of Allagash White and 1 pint of Allagash Black to a boil. Add 3 tablespoons of agave syrup and 1/2 cup sugar. Return to a boil and reduce liquid by half. Pour agave syrup and vodka into a shaker, add ice, and shake vigorously. Strain into pilsner glass. Enjoy!



  1. Sounds pretty good, but I am a vodka fanatic. Although I could do without the clove, whenever I find it in beer it just takes over on my palate and I lose a lot of what else is going on in it.

    A local brewery here has a Solstice Juniper Stout that is made with Gin and is absolutely fantastic. So in my book mixing booze with beer can be pretty good.


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