Liquor Cabinet: The Hop Knot

True to its name, The Hop Knot specializes in pretzels and craft beer, with an impressive lineup of 24 ever-rotating taps and an emphasis on Connecticut breweries. But bar manager Lexi DeRota knew that her beverage menu would need to appeal to everyone.

"I love beer, but you can only drink so much until you're super full," she says. "When I go out, I like to have a mixture [of drinks.]"

DeRota and the bar staff brainstormed to create the cocktail list ($7 to $11) offering crowd-pleasing options with vodka, tequila, rum, gin and bourbon. With summer in full swing, Hop Knot features fruit flavors: a mojito with muddled blueberries, a watermelon sangria with Pinot Grigio, a blackberry smash with Bulleit bourbon and ginger beer and an updated version of a Long Island Iced Tea, the "Melting Pot of Main," topped with fresh pomegranate juice.

A blood orange margarita balances sweet and sour, and brown liquors are given their due in a "Knot So Old Fashioned" and a Bulleit rye Manhattan. Recent specials have featured a strawberry basil martini and a "CT River Breeze," a retro-tropical libation with coconut rum, pineapple and bright-aqua blue Curacao liqueur.

The "Sexi Lexi" – yes, named for DeRota – is "a really light, refreshing summer drink," she says, with Hendricks' gin, fresh muddled cucumber and a hint of elderflower liqueur with a splash of club soda. She swears it pleases even the most stubborn gin haters.

Read more about Hop Knot here.


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