Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

February 26, 2013

Toast Lewiston's history as birthplace of the cocktail

Niagara Gazette — Historians pretty much agree — at least local historians do — that the cocktail was born in the Village of Lewiston.

"There are many stories as to how the cocktail was invented," said Melissa Morinello of Sparkle! Marketing and Events, who is planning the festival. "Our favorite story, here in Lewiston, is that it was born in a place called Hustler's Tavern which sat on north 8th and Center streets."

The story goes, she said, that during the War of 1812 the tavern owner, Catherine Hustler, was kind to soldiers on both sides of the conflict and as a result, her business was the only place left standing after the burning of the village. When the Americans won the war, soldiers brought her cocks and hens to cook and she would save their feathers in a jar and place one in each special drink she served, which was thus named, the cocktail.

The inaugural Lewiston Cocktail Festival to celebrate the birth of the cocktail, is being held starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Participants will buy a passport with 13 tickets, one for each location, where they will sample a different cocktail made from Absolute Vodka, a sponsor of the event. They will also receive a peacock feather, in tribute to Catherine Hustler. At the end of the evening attendees will be able to vote on their favorite Absolut Lewiston Cocktail.

In addition, Morinello said the event will include a dozen historical re-enactors, including Ms. Hustler herself, who is among the troupe of Marble Orchard Tours.

Passports are available at three of the participating locations including: The Stone House, 755 Center St., The Brickyard Pub and BBQ, 432 Center St. and Waterstreet Landing, 115 South Water St. Other participants include: de la Casa, Town Hall Restaurant, Lewiston Events Center, Tin Pan Alley, Hops and Vines, The Lewiston Village Pub, Casa Antica, Carmelo's Restaurant, Barton Hill Hotel and the Village Bake Shoppe. There will also be a non-alcoholic punch and other treats at Angel to Apple Clothing Botique, 432 Center St.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Lewiston Council on the Arts. For more information visit

IF YOU GO • WHAT: Lewiston Cocktail Festival, celebrating the origin of the cocktail in the village. • WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday • WHERE: 13 bars, restaurants, a retail shop and a bakery are participating • MORE INFO: Tickets are $20 for 13 cocktail samplings and food tasting at each location. Participants must be 21 and over to attend.

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