I’ve heard people say that if you want the best in fresh seafood, eat where the fisherman and boaters eat. In Annapolis, one of these places is Boatyard Bar & Grill. Founded in 2001 by owner Dick Franyo, Boatyard has a large food menu that doesn’t disappoint. Paired with a cocktail list that plays off the classics, it’s a perfect place to experience the traditional foodie aspects of Annapolis. Boatyard has carved a perfect place in Annapolis’ waterfront neighborhood of Eastport. Catering to locals and visitors alike, it has a comfortable atmosphere, making you feel a little closer to maritime culture with every step you take around each corner.
I step inside of Boatyard Bar & Grill and am greeted by beverage manager and off-site event coordinator, Kevin. He is our bartender today. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Kevin has been an Annapolitan and with Boatyard for almost 12 years. When asked what his favorite thing about working for Boatyard is, he quickly responds, “Best staff in the business! Next to that, greatest customers and regulars and working for a very fine owner who takes pride in his business, staff, and customers”.
Before taking my seat at the bar, we choose our drinks! Kevin chose the Rum Swizzle, which is a favorite amongst the regulars, and I chose the Hemingway Cocktail (which you may remember from my Cocktail Trail - go read that after this!). I take my seat and the cocktail process begins!
As the story goes, novelist Hemingway makes a stop at the El Floridita bar in Havana—close to where he lived during the 1930’s. Noticing the bartender preparing cocktails, he stopped by, took a sip of one and suggested that he prepare them with no sugar and double the rum. This is how the Hemingway Cocktail (also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri) was born. Cruzan Gold rum, fresh grapefruit juice, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, served up with a lime twist.
If a classic martini and a classic rum cocktail had a child, this would be it!
Served in a chilled martini glass, the Hemingway Cocktail is light and refreshing, with a kick. Sipping on this cocktail while sitting amongst all of the amazing Hemingway inspired art and photos that can be found throughout the restaurant and bar is very cool. Next time, I may bring one of his books with me, order his cocktail and relax.
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Cruzan gold rum with fresh-squeezed orange juice, pineapple and cranberry juices. Spiked with Angustora bitters and a Cruzan Single Barrel rum float. Sound delicious? It is! The mix of rum, fresh juices and bitters was a bit of a surprise to me, but very delightful. This is a beach drink, a lying on a boat drink, a true summer drink that still holds up all year round. This is what Boatyard gets right. They serve a number of traditional rum and vodka cocktails that make you feel like you’re on vacation with every sip.
As a whiskey, bourbon and gin drinker, I would not typically order Rum Swizzle. I would assume that it would be too sweet and sugary and would immediately pass it up. I’m glad I was proved wrong. This cocktail is a great balance of light and sweet with the bitters adding a very subtle bite that is very inviting. Maybe I’m slowing becoming a rum drinker as well?
Fav Cocktail: Jim Beam and Ginger
Fav Cocktail Boatyard: Hemingway Cocktail
Fav thing about Annapolis: “the scenery and the view - a mix of old and new"
Photos courtesy of Darin Gilliam