By Siobhan DeRemer
Location: 336 Adams Street, Bethlehem / Tue - Sat 5pm - 2am
The South Side of Bethlehem is known for small unique shops, delicious and fresh restaurants, perhaps a bit of outlet shopping, and handcrafted cocktails. The last of these is perhaps best showcased in The Bookstore Speakeasy on the tiny side street with one of the most nondescript entrances in the Valley. This candlelit, exclusive space has some of the freshest cocktails (and cuisine) our area has to offer, not to mention amazing throwback Prohibition-era live music that will have you feeling like your drink should be outlawed.
The Bookstore’s attention to fresh housemade ingredients and inventive cocktail menu truly set it apart from the rest. All juices (with the exception of pineapple, and who can blame them, when's the last time you squeezed a pineapple?) are fresh squeezed in-house, and many options of bitters, whipped cream, chocolate mousse (yes, they use it in cocktails, too!), brandied cherries, and syrups are housemade as well. One of the newest additions to their healthier options is a simple syrup recipe that now uses turbinado sugar over the white granulated version. While there is some research out there that states raw and granulated sugar are about the same calorically, turbinado sugar is made from non-GMO ingredients, while much of granulated sugar is not. Also, turbinado sugar has a much richer taste (thanks to the molasses, yum), meaning you may feel satisfied by fewer drinks than packing on the processed kind. Bartenders on staff are also super prepared for your allergies, too, with the ability to make a gluten-free cocktail (just for you, celiac sufferers!) that’s miles ahead of a simple gin & tonic. With most cocktails listed online, you can pick your favorite (and browse their extensive beer and wine lists) before you hit up the Speakeasy, or you can go bold by asking the bartender to make his/her own choice based on your taste (my favorite thing to say when ordering these is “something refreshing, light, and not too sweet”––and be sure to let them know what you don’t like, too!). Pro tip: Be sure to try and either call ahead or make reservations; it gets booked up super fast! Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a fresh, lively, and delicious time––and be sure to tell them that Live Well Lehigh Valley sent you!
Fresh from the menu, the genius minds behind The Bookstore’s cocktail menu have allowed us to share two inspired cocktail recipes with you. You can attempt these on your own at home, but be sure to go and check out their take on these and even more!
(For your measuring purposes, the small end of a jigger is 0.75 oz and the large end is 1.25 oz.)
1.75 oz Gin
0.75 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liquor
0.5 oz Domain de Canton
0.5 oz fresh Lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
Muddled cucumber slice and fresh peeled ginger root
Muddle cucumber slice and ginger root, combine all ingredients in a martinis shaker and pour over block of ice. Garnish with lemon twist.
Grimm's Apple Cider
1 oz apple cider
1 oz Sailor Jerry rum
0.5 oz St. Germain elderflower liquor
0.25 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
Top off with Wyndridge "Crafty cider" (local PA cider)
Combine all ingredients in fluted glass and top off with cider. Garnish with lemon wheel and cinnamon stick.