The Hudson Valley

“Gardiner Liquid Mercantile,” in Gardiner.

Yesterday was the annual family tax day. Most people do their taxes online or have someone do it for them. Dad used to do mine. All I had to do was sign on the dotted line.  But the past few years it became a family affair and an excuse to go out.

My mom, sister, and I make a day out of it. We go see our tax guy Jim in Gardiner. We have dinner after in New Paltz. My sister changed the plans last minute and decided they were going to do lunch instead. I had plans to meet a girlfriend in Rhinebeck for lunch so I missed the family get together. When I got to the tax office my nephew and family were there. We got to spend about an hour together. They had to head home because my brother-in-law Donny had to work. I was so disappointed I missed the lunch, but it turned out for the better anyway. I got to have lunch with a dear friend, see my nephew, and spend the evening with my fiancé Sean. I had talked him into taking the ride with me. After they left we walked around Gardiner aimlessly looking for somewhere to eat. One cool thing we saw along the way was this mural.


Sean noticed a happy hour sign across the street from this mural. I just followed his lead.


Walking up the steps it didn’t look like much.


We looked at the hours posted and decided to check it out.


When we walked in, it looked like a tasting room.


There was no one there. We assumed we missed the last tasting and walked out. One last look back and we noticed two swinging wild wild west style doors. The ones you see in movies when the cowboy busts through the saloon.


I made Sean go first, just in case it was an “employees only” back room. To our surprise it was a full bar with a bartender, food, drinks, popcorn, and Jenga. Score!! I l


It was filled with cozy corners.


A film projector playing Scarface with a tractor hanging above.


Endless amounts of homemade mixers for their cocktails.


We decided it was worth the stay.

Sean ordered a pear cider called “True Couple.” Its from Standard Cider Co. with Brotherhood winery and made with Hudson Valley apples. How cute is the mini mason jar?


I ordered a “Gold Rush.” It was a mix of bourbon, honey syrup, and fresh lemon. IMG_2727

Here are a few of their whiskey cocktails.


If whiskey is not for you, there’s more.



Once we had our first cocktail we ordered some apps. Sean went for some housemade pickled veggies.


I went for the sriracha deviled eggs. They were BANGIN!!!!!


Next we ordered some food. Here is a look at the specials. They also had a full menu with cheese plates, salads, and sandwiches.


We got the burger special and a hot dog. The burger was topped with pate, apricot jam, baby greens and trufflebert cheese. The hot dog was topped with peppercorn bacon, housemade relish, curry ketchup, and mustard. They were AWESOME!!

I switched it up on the drink front and ordered a beer. Southern Tier creme brûlée stout. 10% alcohol meant I had to sip slowly.  So good!


We were completely satisfied and relaxed. Zoli the bartender was so entertaining.  He gave us their backstory and explained how he made his mixers. His attire made you feel like you were in a 1920’s style speakeasy. He was everything you want in a bartender. Someone with endless knowledge of the industry, straightforward, and engaging with every customer.

He was training a woman that he had bar backed for over 15 years ago. Funny how life comes full circle. We picked the right night. Since she was learning to mix some drinks, we got to taste a few. Here is Zoli teaching her how to make the “Holy Cacao.” It’s a mix of Manhattan rye, vermouth, cacao, and molasses bitters.

This was a taste of the “Whiskey Business.” Made with four grain bourbon, maraschino liquor, fresh lemon, and blueberry-mint shrub. Shrub is a mix of fruit syrup and vinegar.


The other drink we tried was their “2nd best amaretto sour in the world.” They mix house-made amaretto, bourbon, fresh lemon, egg, and simple syrup. It was perfect and seemed to be the popular choice among other guests.


We had to wrap it up because we had to drive home. I could’ve stayed all night. I love a place that celebrates all the incredible food and beverages that are created in the hudson valley. My only regret was not trying the bourbon ice cream with cinnamon amaretto foam. Just means we’ll have to go back! Don’t miss this Gardiner Gem if you’re in town.


XOXO, Annie


Leave a reply