Monday, October 21, 2013

Maine Monday: Vena's Fizz House

On the sunny corner of Fore and Silver Streets is the charming Vena's Fizz House, a "natural soda bar" and the perfect place to stop for a kid-friendly cocktail in Portland.

The front of the store is a paradise of mixology paraphernalia, and the sparkling glassware in the window is what drew us in on a Saturday afternoon walk around town. The little C&Gs made a beeline up the stairs to the back bar and quickly sat down to peruse the mocktail menu.

Vintage barware and hard to find bitters and elixirs are stocked in their retail shop, along with a great selection of cocktail books. We loved their collection of short and tall Mason jars, with clever tops and colorful straws perfect for jazzing up any beverage. Syrups of every flavor are for sale alongside tiny eye dropper bottles of bitters, key ingredients for interesting sodas at home or obscure cocktail concoctions from your in-house bartender.

Rarely do the little C&Gs get to belly up to the bar, but at Vena's Fizz House there isn't a drop of alcohol to be found so they happily pulled up a bar stool. All mocktails are $5 each, and there's a happy hour ($1 off) from 3:00-5:00 daily.

Big C&G loved having a long list of fizzy beverages to choose from, and surprisingly his favorite was a "lemon rosemarytini", garnished with a sprig of rosemary. He also stole my delicious "cinnamon coconut" with a festive topping of foam, so it was only fair we both took over Mr. C&Gs "gingertini", a cool refreshing version of my detox ginger tea. Little C&G is not a fizz fan, and there isn't anything on the menu that doesn't get a squirt or two of seltzer, but they do have regular juice for sale. They'll even put it in one of their swanky cocktail glasses, because everything always tastes better when it's fancied up.

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