Wine, Beer, & Cocktails
The cocktail menu at the Hancock Inn reflects the Inn’s place in history. It has been serving drinks to travelers since 1789, the year George Washington was inaugurated president. Back then, cocktails were concoctions developed as much to muffle the “butane” of the alcohol as to impart rich and fanciful flavors. But, as the quality of ingredients improved, the warm grog steeped with fruit and frothy cream mixtures evolved into more refined, classic combinations—like Manhattans, Old Fashions, Alexanders, Collins, and Sidecars.
Today, the cocktail is more popular than ever. People are rediscovering the enhanced notes in their drinks that result from exacting combinations of today’s quality ingredients. A fine rye whiskey, easily enjoyed on its own, opens into something new and memorable when paired with equally fine Italian vermouth, bitters, and Maraschino liqueur.
Our menu places a premium on the classic cocktail recipes that have established their place in history. It is a small but sturdy sample of grown-ups, reveling in the fact that what’s old is new again while preserving decorum throughout.
The wine list at The Hancock Inn is another place we offer guests pleasing new experiences that make the visit special. We do this with our wine list by sourcing all our wines from outside the United States. On our list there are wines from France and Italy, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. But there are no wines from America. It’s not that we don’t like American wines, it’s simply that we prefer to delight our guests with the chance to discover new, less familiar wines from great wine makers around the world. Happily, we can offer new and interesting wines from around the world for reasonable prices compared to American wine. Some of the best bargains are wines from makers in places like South Africa, Spain and South America. This helps us keep our wines within affordable reach for diners, which is the other important fact about our wine list: we don’t treat it as a decoration. Place a bottle of wine on the table and we have a party! Leave it stuck on the shelf (because it’s too expensive) and we have a library.
If the wine on our list has traveled from around the world to get to the Inn, the beer has come from down the road. All of our beer is bottled and most of it is from brewers close to home. We make exceptions for classics such as Guinness Dark Stout, which feels at home in New Hampshire’s oldest tavern as much as Henniker Brewing’s Working Man Porter or 603’s Winni Amber Ale or Long Trail’s Vermont IPA. And any time of year in New England there will be cider such as Pup’s Cider from just over the hill in Greenfield, New Hampshire. We serve it all in chilled glasses for maximum refreshment.