Gahanna's Herbal Cocktail Trail is open for business, offering six herb-infused libations at local restaurants, distilleries and bars through Sept. 30.
The Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau's Herbal Cocktail Trail has kicked off for the summer season with beverages designed to continue inspiring more happy hours, date nights and gatherings with friends, according to Madison Ashby, Visit Gahanna marketing and communications manager.
Born from Gahanna's official status as the Herb Capital of Ohio, the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, also known as Visit Gahanna, originally launched the Herbal Cocktail Trail in 2017, Ashby said.
Lori Kappes, Visit Gahanna executive director, said all the locations on the Herbal Cocktail Trail offer outdoor seating areas so guests can stay safe while enjoying the cocktails.
101 Beer Kitchen, 397 Stoneridge Lane in Gahanna, has been a stop on the trail for a few years.
Chris Grable, the restaurant's general manager, said dine-in traffic has been slow.
"I think that is, in general, because of (the COVID-19 coronavirus)," he said.
But he has seen a couple of people a week trying out the trail.
101 Beer Kitchen is featuring lavender blueberry lemonade made with Sobieski Cytron vodka infused with fresh lemon juice, lavender, soda water, blueberries and vanilla bean.
"We sell a lot of it," Grable said. "It's probably our highest-selling cocktail drink. It's refreshing."
Shawn White, owner of Nostalgia Brewing Co., 81 Mill St., said, "The trail itself changes every quarter, so it's a great way to be innovative with a cocktail and bring in a group who may have not visited in a while.
"Our drink, the 'Rasp-Barry Manilow lemonade' has been very popular since it was released," White said. Ingredients include raspberry vodka with lemonade, a splash of sour and Sprite.
"We advertise it as the Gahanna Herbal Cocktail Trail summer drink in hopes that it sparks a curiosity to what the trail is, and they grab a book and continue to check out the other places around us. Building awareness of the community is extremely important and this is just one of the vehicles that helps with that goal," White said.
A new participant this summer is Stadium, a sports bar in Creekside at 101 Mill St.
Its cocktail is called Summer Fizz, with watershed four-peel gin, fresh lemon, rosemary-infused syrup, black pepper tincture and club soda.
It is garnished with a rosemary sprig and lemon peel.
Other participants and the names of their featured drinks include:
* Barrel & Boar Creekside, 121 Mill St., Gahanna, offering a strawberry mojito with Bacardi rum, mint leaves, soda water, fresh lime juice and strawberry puree.
* El Arepazo Latin Grill, 93 N. High St., Gahanna, with a mojito. Ingredients include Bacardi Silver rum, fresh lime and fresh mint with a choice of blackberry, strawberry or pineapple.
* Wyandotte Winery, 4640 Wyandotte Drive, Columbus, with Razzle Dazzle Sangria. Ingredients include red wine, raspberry and lemon. It is served by the glass or the quart to go.
Participants who complete the Herbal Cocktail Trail will receive a T-shirt boasting their "Herbal Cocktail Trailblazer" status. They must visit the partner restaurants and pubs and purchase the signature herbal cocktail, Ashby said.
Trailblazers can pick up a passport at any partner business as well as the Gahanna Visitor Center, 167 Mill St., and the Ohio Herb Center, 110 Mill St.
Participants will receive a passport sticker for each of the signature herbal cocktails purchased.
Once Herbal Cocktail Trail participants receive six stamps at any one or more of the libation stations, they can take their passports to the Gahanna Visitor Center Mondays through Fridays during business hours to redeem them for the branded T-shirt.
"Several people have stopped by our office to pick up passports and have been excited to get started on the Herbal Cocktail Trail," Kappes said. "I have one stamp in my passport so far, having tried Creekside Barrel & Boar's strawberry mojito, and I'm looking forward to trying the other cocktails on the trail."
Kappes said the strawberry mojito is a delicious summer drink and the mint they use is grown on their patio.
"We are so excited to be able to offer the summer edition of the Herbal Cocktail Trail," Kappes said. "The venues have selected delicious, refreshing beverages and we hope that area residents and guests will get out and enjoy them this summer."
For more information, go to VisitGahanna.com or call 614-418-9114.