Visiting the East Coast in winter is not only great for helping weakling Californians (like me) remember how lucky we are weather-wise, but also to help us get our quaintness fix. When you’re in the mood for Emily Gilmore lookalikes, colonial homes, chowder, Dark and Stormies, small town Christmas tree lightings, and locals who look at you like you’re insane when you take out your camera to photograph your drink, LA doesn’t hold a candle to Connecticut.
Mystic is the ultimate in nautical charm, and it’s just conscious enough of its cuteness to play up its best features. It’s got oysters, taffy, small-town ice cream shoppes, bars that look suited to salty sea captains, and thankfully a great cocktail spot– The Engine Room.
The Engine Room is steeped in history (we talked about some of it on our last visit there) and we sampled three fall-friendly drinks on their menu this time around: the Stone Fence, the Bar Drake Manhattan, and the Fall Cobbler. The Stone Fence was perfectly warming and spiced (from the combination of Real McCoy 5yr and Smith & Cross rums), which blended beautifully with the Karma Kitchen Apple Shrub and Clyde’s Ol’ Fashioned Cider (a local cider mill we visited last fall). If you’re not messing around and want something on the boozier side that’s still autumn-appropriate, the Bar Drake Manhattan (made with Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon, Graham Tawny Port, maple syrup, and Angostura bitters) was a smooth and slightly sweet riff on the original. The Fall Cobbler (featuring Eagle Rare Bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, maple syrup, salt, and ginger bitters) was on the tangier and more refreshing side.
Hopefully we’ll make this Mystic stop a yearly thing.