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Serving it Up — Great Local Cocktails

Farmville isn’t just a great place to be — it’s a great place to wet your whistle, too. Bars and restaurants across town have an amazing variety of colorful, kooky and downright delicious cocktails to choose from.

Across the next few pages you’ll find six great mixed drinks found in the Farmville area. These beverages aren’t your average Manhattan or mojito (no offense if that’s how you pick your poison). These cocktails have been specially curated by local bartenders and restaurant owners. They’re unique, tasty and are a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

This is in no way a definitive list of all the wonderful drinks Farmville has to offer, nor do these drinks appear in any particular order. However, these are six great drinks, and they all have the potential to be your next Friday night pick-me-up. Some you can find on the drink menu, and others you’ll have to ask your bartender for politely. Try one or try them all, but be sure to drink responsibly.

BANDIDOS’ PALOMA

This tequila-based cocktail comes courtesy of Farmville’s newest restaurant. Bandidos, brought to town by brothers and business partners Alejandro and Robert Arellano, features a variety of traditional Mexican fare with the drinks to match.

Robert says while margaritas are typically the most-ordered mixed drinks in Mexican restaurants here in the U.S., the Paloma, meaning “dove,” is one of the most popular drinks down in Mexico.

The cocktail features Hornitos Reposado tequila, grapefruit Jarritos (a type of Mexican soda) and freshly squeezed grapefruit, orange and lime juice.

Robert added this drink, sort of a hidden secret of Mexico, is refreshing, citrusy and perfect for the long-awaited summer. He especially recommends it for anyone looking to step away from their go-to margarita without disappointment.

The drink goes great with mariscos, or seafood, of any kind, especially Bandidos’ shrimp cocktail. You may also want to consider trying it with the birria tacos for a mouthwatering combo you can’t go wrong with.

If you don’t spot this delicious drink on the menu, don’t sweat it. Ask and you shall receive, but be prepared, as the Paloma will likely become your new favorite.

THE BREW HOUSE’S RUM PUNCH PITCHER

There are those of us who want a small, dainty drink to sip on every now and then, and then there are those of us who want a literal pitcher to drink out of. The Brew House’s Rum Punch is very much the latter.

According to restaurant manager Amberly Eels, the pitcher was added to the menu to complement the beer pitchers also offered by this popular local restaurant. Since then, it’s become a fan favorite.

The Rum Punch Pitcher is fruity, strong and packed with ingredients you can’t go wrong with. The cocktail features a trio of Malibu, Captain Morgan and white rum, plus coconut cream, orange juice and ginger ale.

This tropical-tasting drink pairs great with The Brew House’s Caribbean tacos, their Hawaii Five-O burger and the pineapple crush cake.

Share this drink with a loved one, or be selfish and keep it all to yourself.

CHARLEY’S WATERFRONT CAFE AND THE VIRGINIA TASTING CELLAR’S BELLA BERRY SPRITZER

This wine-based drink is the brainchild of Charley’s bartender Amanda Picard, whose cocktail creations are frequently featured on the restaurant’s menu.

According to Picard, the Bella Berry was created as a springtime version of its popular winter predecessor, the SleighBella, which featured pear and cranberry.

Served in a wine glass, the Bella Berry Spritzer is light, effervescent and perfect to be sipped out on the patio and by the riverfront. It can also be ordered downstairs at The Virginia Tasting Cellar, which sells the Virginia wine featured in the beverage.

The Spritzer is composed of moscato, Virginia Horton Blueberry wine, frozen mixed berries and soda and comes with a lime for garnish. The lightness of the drink means it pairs great with delicate, seafood flavors such as the ever-popular crab cakes and crab dip. It also goes great with a salad.

Picard recommends the drink for anybody looking to sip on something nice and bright.

THE FISHIN’ PIG’S THE FISH

This titular cocktail has been dominating the drink sales of The Fishin’ Pig since its opening, years ago. Featuring grapefruit vodka, pineapple rum, blue curacao, pineapple juice, sours and soda, this brilliant-blue beverage is perfectly fruit-forward without being too sweet.

Caley Fiscus, former bar manager at The Fishin’ Pig, is a big fan of working with customers to find what drink fits them best. She says The Fish catches the eye of bar patrons night after night, and it’s not hard to see why.

A citrus-forward mixed drink, The Fish, ironically, pairs fantastically with seafood. Fiscus recommends customers try it with the restaurant’s famous fried catfish basket.

And be sure to try The Fish’s counterpart cocktail, The Pig, a Jack Daniel’s-based, fiery-red treat.

ONE19’S MO’GARITA

Named and inspired by one19 owner Bill McKay’s jalapeno-loving wife, Maureen, the Mo’garita is a unique spin on the classic margarita that has been catching the attention of one19 customers since the Tex-Mex-influenced restaurant’s inception.

Simply put, the Mo’garita is a cucumber-jalapeno margarita.

McKay highlighted that all of one19’s cocktails are made by hand and never use any mixes.

But don’t be frightened by the idea of such an adventurous drink — while you can taste the jalapeno tequila, the beverage isn’t overly spicy. In fact, it’s refreshing, aromatic and goes well with anything on the menu, especially tacos.

While even non-jalapeno fans will enjoy this drink, McKay especially recommends it for those who like to live life on the edge.

If jalapeno tequila isn’t enough for you, ask for the Mo’garita Mas, featuring one19’s own habanero-infused tequila.

NORTH STREET PRESS CLUB’S CAL VIBES

The mantra of the Press Club is “global grub, local vibes.” In fact, employees at the restaurant wear a T-shirt that says just that.

When bartender Cal Bledsoe was working one night, his flannel shirt was partially covering up part of the saying. A confused customer looked up at him and asked, “What does ‘Cal Vibes’ mean?”

Bledsoe is an expert cocktail crafter, and patrons are often asking him to make whatever drink he feels like putting together. His most common “make me whatever you want” drink became a citrus-forward, refreshing mix featuring mango syrup, Bacardi rum, lemon juice, fresh cucumbers, simple syrup and club soda.

The drink was summery, light and crisp, and it deserved a name of its own.

That name? Cal Vibes.

This beverage is fresh, fun and balanced and will likely become the new favorite of any mojito or margarita lover. It pairs great with delicate flavors like the salmon entrée or the Press Club’s poke bowl. If you think it couldn’t possibly taste any better, try it while sitting outside on the patio on a sunny day.

You’ll likely find Cal Vibes on the Press Club’s spring menu. Or, you can just ask if Cal’s working.