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Mar 5, 201301:09 PMFood & Dining

Tasty Tidbits and Food For Thought

20 Cool Sips

Mar 5, 2013 - 01:09 PM
20 Cool Sips

Photography by Austin Fitz and Jadrian Klinger

For a few laughs with some good company over a couple of great drinks, there really is only one place to go outside of Philly or NYC – Downtown Harrisburg. 

In the shadow of City Hall, the Capitol Complex and Strawberry Square, upon Second Street as well as several adjacent side streets, there thrives a varied and conveniently compact collection of restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs, unlike anything boasted by York, Lancaster or Hershey.  Whether it’s for a lively lunch, stress-relieving happy hour or a night on the town, this is the place to be. 

In celebration of the wide selection of spots to enjoy an adult beverage, all within walking distance, Harrisburg Magazine took a recent tour of Downtown Harrisburg in search of the popular, aesthetically appealing and palate-pleasing alcoholic concoctions. 

All in one day, from midday to considerably late, we visited 20 establishments to bring the reader a majority sampling of what this unique midstate pillar of fun has to offer.  While we did not stop at every single location, we did get to most – please forgive us if we missed a favorite haunt, but we were drinking on the job after all.

1.  The Sturges Speakeasy

Pepper Blossom Martini

A surge of jalapeño heat balanced by a splash of grapefruit, with a fresh basil finish.







2.  Firehouse Restaurant and Bar

Espresso Martini

Like a great espresso, only made greater with vanilla vodka, Kahlua and a cream float.







3.  Federal Taphouse

Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Bold pine and grapefruit hop notes with a sweet, almost honey, maltiness to balance the finish.








4.  Zembie’s Sports Tavern

Malibu Baybreeze

Fruity and sweet – a combo of cranberry and pineapple juices and rum.








5.  Molly Brannigans

Dirty Girl Scout Martini

Like thin mints in a martini glass.








6. Sandwich Man

Yuengling Lager

All you have to say is “Give me a lager,” and every barkeep in the state will know what you want.







7.  McGrath’s Pub

Captain on Acid

A fun fruit-flavored and vibrantly colored cocktail that tastes pretty much like candy.








8.  Arooga’s Downtown

French Martini

Possesses the taste of a white sheet cake with a hint of banana.







9.  Anthony’s Micro Pub & Pizza

Brooklyn Monster Ale

The quintessential American craft barley wine.








10. Ceoltas Irish Pub

Guinness Stout

By the pint, it’s great for any occasion – breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Truly a meal in a glass, with a clover poured onto the head.








11. Home 231

Skinny Strawberry Coconut Martini

Made with house-infused strawberry vodka, this tasty concoction begins with berry and finishes with the smoothness of coconut water.








12. The Brick haus

The Lumberjack

From the mind of bartender Doug Hodges, it tastes like pancakes and syrup, with an actual side of bacon – a favorite among regulars.








13. Café Fresco

Pom Lychee Greenteani

A vivid pomegranate taste coupled with white cranberry and green tea flavors, it makes a great summer drink – even when it’s cold outside.








14. Stock’s on 2nd

Blackberry Lemon Drop Martini

House-made blackberry lemon vodka, with a sugared rim and lemon – truly a sweet, zingy beverage.








15. Bourbon Street Saloon

Sex on the Beach

What’s not to like about vodka, melon, raspberry, pineapple and cranberry mixed together with a fun namesake?








16. Mulligan’s Downtown Pub

Peach Ring Martini

The liquid form of everyone’s favorite peach-flavored ringed candy, but not nearly as chewy.








17. Zia’s at Red Door

The Blue Door

A refreshing clear-blue blend of raspberry vodka, peach schnapps, lemonade and a splash of Sprite.








18. Carley’s Ristorante & Piano Bar

Tiramisu Martini

The only thing that rivals its great chocolate-coffee flavor is the crisscrossed chocolate syrup lacing the glass.








19. Privado Ultra Lounge


The perfect sipping beverage – a fantastic mix of fruit and bubbly.








20. Buddha Buddha

The Blue Buddha

With a vibrant blueberry taste and its pink hue, it is sweet and refreshing – one of the favorites of the day.

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