Liquor Cabinet: The Irons

The Irons, the fully renovated gastropub and bar at the Hilton Mystic, is poised to welcome an influx of tourists during the busy summer season. With a menu full of fresh seafood and a rotating list of Connecticut draft beers, the eatery will serve as an ambassador for local flavor and flair.

Specialty cocktails ($9) feature staples like the lively Irontini, an effervescent citrus number with Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka, Aperol, pink grapefruit juice and a splash of prosecco, and Andrew Jackson's Crystal Cosmo with Svedka Citron, Solerno blood orange liqueur and white cranberry juice. The Heart of Mystic melds Hendrick's gin with watermelon syrup, citrus and cucumber.

Classic libations include the Dexter's margarita with Cuervo gold tequila, Cointreau and orange and lemon juices, and a timeless Manhattan with bourbon, vermouth and orange bitters. The Fort Rachel Place, a twist on a Moscow Mule, swaps vodka for Ol' Major bacon-flavored bourbon, resulting in a light touch of smoky flavor. Seasonal drinks, like the Winter in New England with Jameson, apple cider and club soda, will soon give way to more summery creations.

On Sundays, brunch-themed drinks, like a blood orange bellini, Georgia peach "beermosa" with Narragansett, Peachtree liqueur and orange juice; and an Irons bloody mary with cocktail shrimp pair with the decadent morning menu of Nutella crepes with crushed Heath Bar, lobster Benedict, steak and eggs and build-your-own omelets.

Just in time for warm days and nights, the newly refreshed hotel features a new open-air courtyard outside the restaurant, with gas-fueled fire pits and comfortable couch seating. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., with three signature drinks for $5 apiece; $5 wines, $4 local drafts and bar bites for $3 to $6. Read more about The Irons here.

Leeanne Griffin,

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