Thirsty for new tastes, I ordered two of the new seasonal cocktails at Bentley’s Pub, the charming Downtown Champaign bar with stiff drinks. Made with gin, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice, the stratosphere ($8) was a heavenly sip, not overly tart but well balanced and delicious. The drink started blue, but when the lemon juice and Empress gin combined, the cocktail did a little magic trick and turned purple, ooh, aah.
I also ordered the nectar ($7) off the seasonal drink menu, and though the presentation wasn’t as glam as the stratosphere, the cocktail’s house-infused strawberry rum was delightfully fresh. The pineapple cinnamon shrub tasted wild; cinnamon and pineapple together was a flavor sensation I’d never really had, and I loved sipping this fun cocktail, too.
Check out the full drink menu here, and then breeze by Bentley’s to sip the stratosphere.
419 N Neil St
3 p.m. to 2 a.m., daily