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About The Author


Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: July 25, 2013

Summer gin: 7 wonderfully refreshing cocktails to drink in Portland

Written by: Susan Axelrod

Crisp, dry and refreshing, a gin and tonic is the quintessential summer cocktail – and not just for your grandparents’ generation. A growing number of craft distillers – four of them right here in Maine – are making gins that range from bold and brash to citrusy and smooth.

At restaurants and bars in Portland, local gins and those from away are the stars of summer cocktail menus. No madras shorts or yacht club membership required to enjoy these seasonal libations:


Photo by Ted Axelrod

New Wave Gin and Tonic

Cold River gin (Maine), Q Tonic, Grand Marnier, lemon and lime Juices
Go get it: Walters, 2 Portland Square |


Photo by Ted Axelrod

Basil Fawlty

Tanqueray gin (England), fresh muddled basil and lemon, simple syrup, seltzer
Go get it: Sonny’s, 83 Exchange Street |

East Ender

Photo by Ted Axelrod

Gin Cocktail

Cold River gin (Maine), Saint Germain, grapefruit juice, sauvignon blanc
Go get it: East Ender, 47 Middle Street |

The Salt Exchange

Photo by Ted Axelrod

Cucumber Pimms Cup

Back River gin (Maine), Pimms #1, cucumber essence, ginger beer, lemon juice
Go get it: The Salt Exchange, 245 Commercial Street, Portland |


Photo by Ted Axelrod

Outliers 75

Cold River gin (Maine), simple syrup, lemon juice, Prosecco
Go get it: Outliers Eatery, 231 York Street, Portland |


Photo by Ted Axelrod

Cross-Eyed and Painless

Bombay Sapphire gin (England), Dolan dry vermouth, orange juice, bitters, lime and cucumber
Go get it: LFK, 188 A State Street, Portland |

Petite Jacqueline

Photo by Ted Axelrod


Back River gin (Maine), dilly juice, dilly beans
Go get it: Petite Jacqueline, 190 State Street, Portland |

Read more about Maine’s craft distillers:
Maine craft distilleries making gin sing via

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