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Go 419 Spirits | Check out these craft cocktails and mocktails from the Gristmill Bar

Whether you are practicing 'Dry January' or looking for fun craft cocktails, The Gristmill Bar has you covered.

PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Whether you are practicing “Dry January” or are looking for a way to explore the many flavors found in the craft cocktail world, the Gristmill Bar has something for you.

Located next door to the Jet Express boarding platform in Port Clinton, the Gristmill Bar has been serving craft cocktails since August 2020. It is also part of Port Clinton’s MORA (Main Street Outdoor Refreshment Area) making it accessible to finish a beautifully made cocktail and head to your next destination.

Brooke Rodwancy is a Port Clinton native who always knew she wanted to own her own business. It wasn’t until a job at the Port Clinton Yacht Club she found her passion. 

She shared how she drove past the location next to the Jet Express before deciding to establish the Gristmill Bar in that space.

Brooke not only has impressive showmanship behind the bar, but also focuses on an organic approach to making cocktails.

“We always use organic when possible," she said. "And we press all of our own juices. We make all of our own fruit purees so anything that is going into your drink is fresh."

Credit: WTOL 11

In addition to organic and fresh-made mixtures, Brooke also likes to highlight local spirits. Some of the businesses have even been featured on Go 419 Spirits such as Patron Saints Brewing, Catawba Island Brewing Co., Twin Oast and Toledo Spirits.

The cocktails, both flavorful and full of color, can also be ordered with or without alcohol. The Lavender Gin Fizz is refreshing and soothing with a sweet finish. The drink started out with a yellow hue and the color changed in just a few stirs.

“We do a lot of infusions here and what gives it a color-changing effect is one of our infused syrups. It’s infused with a flower, all-natural, so the color is straight from a flower there are no dyes involved and when it’s mixed with the lemon it gives it a little bit of color-changing effect” Brooke said.

Credit: WTOL 11

The Port Clinton punch radiates colors that remind one of a lakeside sunset. Fresh pressed orange juice, house-infused syrups and a splash of soda are among a few of the ingredients found in the drink.

Credit: WTOL 11

For those who struggle with decisions, The Gristmill Bar offers cocktail and margarita flights. Brooke showed off her bartending showmanship by pouring all four drinks in a margarita flight with a stack of mixing cups.

Credit: WTOL 11

The variety of flavors makes for a fun flavorful exploration for one or many depending on your party size. Brooke shared how many are shy of the spicey margarita but end up enjoying it after trying it.

Before serving drinks the building of The Gristmill Bar was a rundown deserted gas station when it was turned into an auto repair shop and then renovated to the space we know today. The name is an ode to the building’s history due to it once having a gristmill attached to it in a previous life. Brooke expressed her dedication to preserving the history of the building.

Credit: WTOL 11

The space is open and has large garage doors to open up to the outside patio. There, guests will find a rooftop deck and stage where live bands perform Thursday-Sunday throughout the summer.

Though The Gristmill Bar does not have a kitchen they do host food trucks throughout the season and allow guests to bring food from other Port Clinton establishments. Guests are also welcome to bring their four-legged friends as well.

Whether you are looking for craft cocktails with a fun place to hang out or waiting for the Jet Express The Gristmill Bar is a woman-owned business worth visiting.