The Champagne of Maine: Allen’s Invades the Cocktail Bar | Punch

Until it was shuttered in early February, Sangillo’s was a beloved watering hole in Portland, Maine for six decades. It was cash-only and draft-line free, with Schlitz-branded stained glass lamps and Woodbridge White Zinfandel poured from magnum-sized bottles. There were signature $2 Jell-O shots, $3 shots of Dr. Migillicuddy’s on Mondays and triple-sized $6 shots of Jim Beam.

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James Beard Award semifinalists are Maine strong | Bangor Daily News

Andrew and Briana Volk at the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club

Andrew and Briana Volk at the Portland Hunt and Alpine Club

The semifinalists in the Olympics of food cred were announced Wednesday. Both Maine newcomers and the old guard made the storied James Beard Foundation awards list. Nominees will be announced March 24. Here is the short list:

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Ten Coffee Brandy Recipes for your Blizzard Survival Kit | Bangor Daily News

Maine blizzard survival kit.

Maine blizzard survival kit.

Even though it’s produced in Massachusetts, Allen’s Coffee Brandy is widely regarded as “The Champagne of Maine.” 

Normally coffee brandy is mixed with straight milk or coffee, but with today’s epic #snowpocalypse, Mainers might find themselves reaching for an extra glass or two of our state’s most popular libation.

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Dark chocolate sea salt doughnut. Need we say more? | The Boston Globe

GRETA RYBUS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

GRETA RYBUS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

PORTLAND — Spuds would seem an unlikely inspiration for delectable doughnuts. But when single mom Leigh Kellis decided to channel her passion for doughnuts into a business, it was a mashed potato-based batter that sparked her imagination.

Maine is one of the country’s top producers of potatoes, and Kellis calls the vegetable “a totally magical ingredient” that adds moisture and crumb to the light cakes. Potato doughnuts per se aren’t new — Kellis got the basics from a recipe in “The Joy of Cooking.” But she refined the recipe to create her own unique batter using all-natural ingredients and began tweaking it with imaginative flavor combinations, such as ginger-glazed sweet potato and Allen’s Coffee Brandy. She even makes a vegan cinnamon sugar doughnut and an old-fashioned plain for purists. 

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The Champagne of Maine by Martin Connelly | The Morning News

Nick Arciaga for The Morning News

Nick Arciaga for The Morning News

The top-selling spirit in Maine for more than two decades is a coffee-flavored brandy, something that could be straight out of early medicine texts. A search for the origins of a Maine staple, in the northern woods and waterfronts.

Served straight, Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy smells like coffee. On the palate it starts saccharine sweet, then moves through coffee notes, and ends up somewhere sharper than a port. It’s boozy, and at 60 proof, tastes like it could get you drunk.

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Chocolate Moxie Whoopie Pies with Allen's Coffee Brandy Buttercream | From Away

I don’t think I've ever been to a party in a gravel pit where there hasn't been at least one handle of Allen’s Coffee Brandy being poured into cartons of milk. For the uninitiated, Allen’s Coffee Brandy is an exceptionally popular libation here in Maine, where over a million bottles are consumed each year; that’s one bottle for nearly every man, woman, and child in the state.

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