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The Short Version: The vibe at Vena’s Fizz House is one-part cocktail bar and one-part apothecary. It opened in 2013 to sell old-school fizz sodas and mocktails. Then the bar got its liquor license in 2015 and things took a boozy turn. Vena’s Fizz House specializes in serving handcrafted cocktails and mocktails that incorporate fresh, organic ingredients. The mixologists have shared their signature recipes online and offer mixology classes for groups celebrating a special occasion and couples who want a DIY date activity at home.
Vena’s Fizz House is a one-stop shop for cocktail lovers, soda drinkers, and adventurous flavor seekers. The cocktail/mocktail bar has a brick-and-mortar location in Portland, Maine, and it also ships its favorite mixers, bitters, syrups, and infusion kits across the U.S.
Since opening its doors in 2013, the cocktail bar has produced a line of specialty cocktail and mocktail ingredients that are simple, organic, and delicious. From unique tonic syrups to flavor-infused sugar cubes, Vena’s Fizz House has everything you need to elevate your at-home bar.
Dating couples can look up a cocktail recipe they’d like to try at home and get the ingredients delivered to their doorstep. This can be a fun date activity for evenings at home. If they’d like some guidance or social interaction along the way, they can sign up for a mixology class and learn more about the flavors and techniques that go into a successful happy hour.
The mixology classes are held via Zoom and are open to anyone with a thirst for bar knowledge and boozy fun. Kid-friendly mocktail classes are available as well. Whether it’s hosting a bachelorette party or date night, Vena’s Fizz House makes sure to bring a lot of flavor and personality to the experience.
At Vena’s Fizz House, every cocktail is a work of art and a labor of love. The team of mixologists put a lot of thought into the herbs, flowers, fruits, spices, roots, and other ingredients in their craft cocktails.
“We love developing delicious but complex flavors by using simple, everyday ingredients that are easy to find,” said Mary Jo Marquis, the Director of Business Development. “Much of our inspiration comes from reading old colonial-era recipe books and histories on how they used the ingredients growing in their front yards or in the surrounding forest and fields.”
Vena’s Fizz House closed its original location in January 2021 and is planning to reopen with a larger space in Portland in the fall.
About 10 years ago, Steve Corman lost this teaching job to budget cuts after spending 19 years in the classroom. He needed a change, and his wife Johanna suggested following their passion for fizzy drinks by establishing a local soda pop and cocktail shop. They opened Vena’s Fizz House with the home bartender in mind. The name is a nod to Johanna’s great grandmother Irvina.
Family legend attributes these wise words to Irvina: “Sometimes little things, and even big things, can push us, but it’s the listening and the doing that make them happen.”
Vena’s Fizz House has operated under the precept that mocktails are just as important (and delicious) as cocktails. Both have equal standing on its shelves and recipe index.
The mixology shop features all kinds of mouth-watering ingredients for a tasty drink — with a bourbon-infused cherry on top. Vena’s products include unique syrups, mixers, shrubs, and beverage kits. What’s more, customers can find barware designed to make and serve eye-catching cocktails.
The Spirit Sipper Infusion Jars come ready to pour and serve, so customers don’t have to put in a lot of work to enjoy a finely crafted mocktail or cocktail.
“It’s a jar full of all-natural, clean ingredients that include fruit, herbs and spices,” Mary Jo told us. “All that’s left to do is add the alcohol and steep, strain, sip, and savor!”
Since this product launch, Sipper Infusion Jars have become incredibly popular among adults of all ages. Customers say they love how easy and fast it is to make a mocktail or cocktail using these jars. Many people have given these jars as gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. They’d also be a great addition to any date night.
With the help of Vena’s Fizz House, it doesn’t take much bartender knowledge or prior experience to enjoy handcrafted drinks in good company.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many social conventions and traditions had to adjust to the new normal. Academic classes went virtual, restaurants expanded outdoor seating, and happy hours became an at-home affair. Many couples have kept their spirits up by pouring drinks or making cocktails as part of their evening routine.
During a cocktail hour, it’s typical to see loved ones toasting their accomplishments or engaging in intimate conversations. Whether it’s part of a dinner date or a movie night, having a fancy drink in hand (even if it’s nonalcoholic) can be a fun way to decompress and savor the little things in life. That makes it a perfect date night idea.
Vena’s Fizz House supports adults in the search of flavor and fun. The cocktail bar provides plenty of space for sipping alone, among friends, or with that special someone. And the virtual mixology classes take the bar experience into people’s homes.
“This is our date night spot each week,” said Rick L. in a Facebook review. “The drink menu is amazing, both for drinks with spirits or non-alcoholic fizzes. The staff is friendly and engaging.”
One TripAdvisor reviewer compared Vena’s Fizz House to the Maj Mahal of craft cocktails. According to the review, “This small place and intimate place takes cocktails to new heights. Perfection in a glass, no matter what you get. We lingered and tasted quite a few. Everyone was happy.”
Looking ahead, the mixologists are busy adding to the menu and making more tasty innovations for people to try. The Spirit Sippers are currently one of the most popular products in the store, so expanding that line is a top priority.
“We are currently working on the mocktail version of our Spirit Sippers,” Mary Jo told us. “They will be Vitality Vinegar DIY Mixers (Shrubs).”
Vena’s Fizz House maintains a fun atmosphere for drinking, socializing, and romancing, and its online shop and mixology classes ensure people can take that experience home with them.
Couples can play bartender at home and glam up their date nights with a splash of syrup, a spirited infusion, and a few other tasty mixers. The website features signature infusion recipes for all occasions, and any of these drinks can offer a refreshing change in routine from the usual wine or beer.
Since its opening day in 2013, Vena’s Fizz House has expanded its product offerings to include a ton of ingredients for natural, botanical, and flavorful drinks. This passionate bartending crew is intent on demystifying cocktails and mocktails and facilitating many wonderful date nights and happy hours at home.
“Our mission is to empower the home beverage enthusiast in creating the very best drinks using the very best ingredients — with or without spirits,” Mary Jo said.
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