Liquor Cabinet: 4 Eat & Drink

With a sleek "speak-easy" look and a menu of shareable small plates, 4 Eat & Drink has attracted a regular crowd of Farmington-area visitors since its January opening. Owner Kurt Kruczek, who calls his establishment "a bar with food," said he knew signature cocktails needed to be part of the picture.

That's where general manager Christina Pare and bar manager Brian Jackman came in, using their bar experience to create and execute its cocktail lineup. Classic libations like a "4" Fashioned, with Four Roses bourbon and spiced bitters; and Boulevardier, with Jefferson bourbon and Carpano Antica, join trendier flavors, like a Tom Collins with cucumber vodka, lemon and seltzer and a twist on a Moscow mule, with Hendrick's gin.

A maple whiskey sour uses High West brand silver oat unaged whiskey — "We love the High West line, so we incorporate that," Pare said — and the Hill-Stead, paying homage to the landmark Farmington museum, is a fruity, floral blend of Hendrick's gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon, muddled blackberries and mint and a splash of sparkling wine.

A spicy cucumber jalapeño margarita was designed to pair with chef Isaac Hunter's Spanish-inspired food, and a house sangria with Spanish wine, Cointreau and a splash of prosecco is a happy hour hit. Cocktails are priced at $9 to $13.

Craft beer is another draw, with 10 rotating taps, and boilermakers, pairing brews with liquor shots like High West double rye, Fernet-Branca or Amaro Montenegro "are for a classy older crowd," said Pare. "It's just something different."

>>E-mail Leeanne Griffin (lgriffin@courant.com) or Suzie Hunter (smhunter@courant.com) with your favorite Connecticut cocktail destination or your favorite bartender, and find more cocktail destinations at ctnow.com/liquorcabinet.

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