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Surprising Twists On M/BAR's Classic Cocktails

M/BAR in Mystic, a stylish wine bar and cafe in a converted vintage gas station, is providing a different kind of fuel these days. By morning, there's Intelligentsia coffee, housemade bagels and breakfast sandwiches, and by evening, there's an extensive wine list and lots of sophisticated small plates for sharing.

Owners Michael and Merrily Connery know their wine, as the couple behind Stonington's Saltwater Farm Vineyard. And you'll find four of their own vintages — a rosé, merlot, cabernet franc, and the Gold Arc chardonnay — joining the list, along with selections from around the globe. Many are available by the glass.

Cocktails feature surprising twists on classics. A light and thirst-quenching Rosito presents the white rum and mint of a standard mojito, but its effervescence comes from Lucien Albrecht sparkling rosé. A Bloody "Miracle" has a "delicately spicy" scratch-made mix, paired with Tito's vodka or Espolon tequila and lime. M/BAR's take on an espresso martini, the "Nights and Weekends," features freshly brewed Intelligentsia espresso, locally made Foggy Harbor vodka and a hint of Bailey's.

Fresh basil finds its way into the "44 1/2," M/BAR's version of a Negroni, with Campari, Ford's gin and sweet vermouth, and the "Bar Tabac," which also features fresh cucumber shaken with Ketel One and pamplemousse grapefruit liqueur, and a topper of still rosé. Foggy Harbor's cassis liqueur blends with Pimm's No. 1 in the "Diamond," with more fresh cuke and mint. Chef Scott Mickelson's contribution to the list, the "Viceroy," features cabernet and Semillon verjus (the pressed juice of unripe grapes) mixed with Ciroc vodka and served with frozen grape garnish.

Cocktails are $10 to $14. Happy hour runs Wednesday through Sunday from 4 to 6 p.m., featuring $10 wine flights, $6 sangrias (in strawberry rhubarb or Lillet Rouge varieties) and $5 draft beers, including regular selections from Connecticut and Rhode Island breweries.

M/BAR, 30 Broadway Ave., Mystic, is open daily for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner service runs 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.860-245-4499, mbarct.com.

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