January 08, 2006


SombreroGlassFromAl.jpgSeems that there's particular drink that's popular with a segment of the drinking population in Maine. The drink can be adapted into something called "a sombrero."

Mainers Love Coffee Brandy But Suffer Its Downside

Portland, Maine — The dark-brown liquid that some people call “the champagne of Maine” tastes, to the uninitiated, like equal parts alcohol, sugar and coffee-pot slag. It puckers the cheeks, coats the tongue with syrupy sweetness, and leaves a mouthwash feeling on the lips.

This is coffee-flavored brandy. It is one of the odder stories of American imbibing, the number-one-for-20-years-running liquor obsession of Maine.

The caffeine-infused spirit, largely unknown outside New England, is a staple at house parties, mill town bars and urban street corners here, popular enough that a Bangor newspaperman once suggested putting it on the back of Maine's state quarter.

At Raena's Pub in the northern city of Bangor, bartender Carrie Smith said she can spot the brandy drinkers coming through the door.

“Bleached-blonde, teased hair. ... They always play the 'Redneck Woman' song” on the jukebox, she said, describing the typical drinker who orders a “sombrero,” or Allen's mixed with milk. Smith said she once saw a woman dump her cocktail on the head of a beer-drinking man who referred to the drink by its nickname, “fat ass in a glass.”

Well, that's not a very nice name now, is it?

Posted by Jeff at January 8, 2006 08:04 PM


Lived in NH my whole life. Vacationed in Maine most summers. Never had it. Never heard of it.

Posted by: patjhynes at January 9, 2006 03:59 PM
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