New Hope, Pa., population about 2,500, runs along the Delaware River and Aquetong Creek, primary industry: tourism. And now I can see why! Although the small borough may seem quiet and quaint, it is filled with whimsical shops, art galleries and restaurants. Perfect for an outing with friends or a simple stroll on a Sunday afternoon.
The Logan Inn, founded in 1727, one of the most haunted and oldest hotels in New Hope (and our nation) was having a fun cocktail event that I thought would be a great opportunity to experience this offbeat town. So, I asked my sister to tag along and we hopped in the car and made our way out there. It was the most lovely day to take the scenic roads through the Garden State and make our way through the farmlands, over bridges, and finally past the eclectic homes in New Hope. When we pulled up at the Logan Inn, we saw people enjoying food and drinks on the patio and taking in the charming surroundings.
Once inside the old-time hotel, we were immediately greeted by the endearing ladies at the front desk. One of the managers filled us in on the spooky stories of the hotel and told us a bit about its history. For instance, the Logan Inn is one of the longest, continually run, inns in the United States. The hotel is filled with artistic craftsmanship and artistry reminiscent of a bygone era. We could actually feel what it would’ve been like to have been alive during that era.
The fact that the Logan Inn is one of the top five most haunted places in the country intrigued us. So, we decided to take a look around, since we had a few minutes before the start of the class. We looked through old photo albums, listened to stories of hotel ghosts and Revolutionary War tales. We were intrigued for sure. Even though we didn’t spot any spirits ourselves, one thing was true, we could feel the energy of the past in the air. And although the hotel lobby itself may have seemed mysterious, the guest rooms were quite inviting and cozy. After taking the short tour, we made our way back downstairs to the bar, keeping every detail and story in mind.
The event was a cocktail class. We got to learn about a few new favorite cocktails the Logan Inn is adding to its summer drink menu, and how to mix the perfect drink like your favorite bartender does. The candlelit bar area was the setting for our class. At our table was a delightful group of people from nearby towns, as well as visitors from farther away. The class began with a cocktail of muddled cucumbers and blueberries, a little simple syrup mixed with blueberry vodka, ice, a splash of ginger beer and shaken. It was an invigorating one. The type of drink you crave in the summer with its seasonal fruit and icy mix.
Next up, was a summer twist on the traditional Margarita. It included muddled basil and strawberries, simple syrup, tequila and vodka (perhaps I was a little heavy handed with the double pouring technique for that last part). Finally, I added a squeeze of lime juice, ice and gave it a good shake. It was the perfect amount of sweetness and deliciousness. At this point, I had two drinks in front of me that were so good, it was hard to decide which one to sip.
The last cocktail we made was a classic gimlet with a twist. The twist was muddling cucumber and basil together with simple syrup. We learned that using the simple syrup to muddle helps get the fruit and herb juices flowing. Next, we added equal parts lime juice and vodka with ice and completed it with another good shake. This was my favorite drink of the night. The hints of basil and cucumber, so refreshing.
We spent the remainder of the evening getting to know the other guests in the class, laughing, and, of course, indulging in our handmade cocktails. By the time the night was coming to a close, the group was anticipating when the next cocktail class would take place.
I guess you can say, our first time in New Hope was a success. We will be back for more summer indulgences.