When Prohibition was in full swing, there was at least one place in Greenport where you could drink liquor: Upstairs at Claudio's, where there was a speakeasy with booze supplied by bootleggers. The spirit of that bar has been revived with the opening of an upstairs cocktail lounge with a tucked-away vibe.
Called UpStirrs at Claudio’s, the bar is housed in a nook off of the upstairs dining room, overlooking the dock out front; in contrast to the Victorian bar downstairs, UpStirrs has a nautical-meets-60s-mod vibe, with syrups, bitters and herbs lining the bartop, a few couches nearby for lounging, and DJs on many nights.
Beverage director Brian Sassen came up with the 28 or so cocktails; Sassen is fresh from a decade in the spirits and cocktail industry in Miami, and the dozens of cocktails traverse adventurous territory. A genever drink with mastiha (a Greek spirit made from mastic tree sap), pineapple and lime juices and nutmeg (called the Atlantis) shares the menu with the Coconut 4 Way, mixed from coconut aged rum, toasted coconut syrup, a coconut sphere and coconut flakes. 'It's my take on an old fashioned, and utilizes the same ingredient four different ways," said Sassen. Arrack, coffee ice cubes and a green tea-grape reduction take starring roles in other drinks. but classics such as mai tais. whiskey sours and mojitos also make appearances.
While nine or so of the drinks are available downstairs at Claudio's, the rest are solely offered at UpStirrs, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. until midnight, "or later, depending," Sassen said. "On Wednesday nights, we focus on the industry crowd [with a discount] as a thank you to the community and local bartenders."
UpStirrs at Claudio's, 111 Main St., Greenport. 631-477-0627. claudios.com