Pussers Annapolis

Jay Lloyd / KYW Newsradio

Getaway Guide: Tales of Cocktails and Brews

June 27, 2018 - 12:22 pm

By Jay Lloyd

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- First the disclaimer. If you might be inclined to take a tipple on a getaway from here to Tipperary, please do drink responsibly. 

Now for the tales. 

Getaway destinations often have unique drinks and stories, legends and lore behind them. Here are some of my favorites.


Three good friends, a Brit, a Canadian and myself, a Yank were exchanging messages when one mentioned a rare single malt distillery in Nova Scotia. One of of us said, "Let's go." The wives agreed. When June arrived we found ourselves on pristine Cape Breton Island at the Glenora Distillery. A babbling Brook provides the water. The nearby scenery is spectacular on the Gulf of St. Lawrence at a town called Mabou. The music hints of Scotland. The single malt leans toward a lowland whiskey and the seafood on Cape Breton comes straight from the Gulf to the table. 

Glenora Distillery
Jay Lloyd / KYW Newsradio


My most unusual experience with the "Demon Rum" was aboard a Royal Navy Submarine in Bermuda. My host, a Radioman, had given up his daily "tot of rum" so I could have it. I reciprocated by buying him a potent rum creation called a "Swizzle" at Bermuda's globally famous Swizzle Inn. The year was 1954. The Inn is still serving up the concoction today. However, if you rent a motor bike, leave it at the hotel or dock and take a bus. As they say, "You walk in, but Swizzle out."

Swizzle Inn
Jay Lloyd / KYW Newsradio

Then there was the Virgin Islands in the early 1960's. You could walk into any rum distillery, dangling a gallon jug by its loop handle and they'd fill it for 55 cents. Today, the best place to sample a V.I. Rum blend is at one of the Pusser's locations in and around Road Town on the British Island of Tortola. Pusser's is the rum supplied to the Royal Navy before it banished booze from warships. Sail in on your chartered boat or take the ferry from St. Thomas. Walk or cab it to Pusser's.

Jay Lloyd / KYW Newsradio

If you can't make it to the islands, Annapolis, Maryland has a Pusser's outpost right across from City Dock. They serve up the popular "Painkiller." You can dock alongside the outdoor bar or just walk or cab from your hotel. If you moor or anchor in Spa Creek, call a water taxi.

Pussers Annapolis
Jay Lloyd / KYW Newsradio


So, we walk down ancient stairs on an Edinburgh Alley called a "Close" - Fleshmarket Close is the name and it's right off the magical Royal Mile that leads to Edinburgh Castle. There we find the Jingling Geordie, as near as you will ever get to a "Dive Bar." There's a well seasoned Scot, asleep with his head on the bar. As soon as I ask about Scot beers, the head pops up. He becomes sober as a judge and proceeds to tell me all about the breweries of Edinburgh, including the days of barrel laden, horse wagons. By the way, he claims to be a brewery worker friend of Sean Connery. But so does everyone in town. I came away a wiser man.

In the Irish City of Cork, I was surprised to see a Murphy's Stout tap alongside a Guinness. So, I asked the bartender how he can sell Murphy's when he has Guinness. Every head in the pub stares. "Why," says the man behind the mahogany, "It's local." And everyone should know that the Irish love their local brew. But I also came to find out that many foreign beers in Ireland are brewed under license, right there.


Only in Brooklyn could anyone conceive a drink that combines a bit of the Irish and a famous local product. It's called a "Pickleback." And "what" you may ask, "is a Pickleback?" Simple, and to my taste, well worth having a second. It is a straight shot of Jamison's Irish whiskey in a sipping glass to be slowly chased by a sip of sour pickle juice. After all, they are awash in pickle juice. Might as well make some use of it. Take the East River Ferry from 34th Street in mid-town or Wall Street in Manhattan to the DUMBO stop in Brooklyn (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Walk into the first bar or pub you see. They'll have it. Or go straight to the 68 Jay Street Bar.

Ferry to Dumbo
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There are many tales of toddies to be told. But some are a bit embarrassing. Cheers.