When it comes to alcoholic beverages, Historic Downtown Sanford offers tons of options. By now, just about everyone knows that! But every April this drinking experience is elevated by Sanford’s very own historic drinking tour! The Sanford Historical Society puts on a unique event dubbed Smith’s Barroom Challenge, and, now in its third year, challenges local bars, breweries and restaurants to come up with historically inspired cocktails.

These drinks are inspired by one of Sanford’s original bars, Smith’s Barroom. The Sanford Museum recently uncovered a list of drinks and flavorings dating all the way back to 1892 in its archives! So as you try each cocktail, imagine Victorian-era bar room owner John Smith as he is serving up everything from Budweiser to brandy in his establishment right here in Downtown Sanford! 

Here’s what you need to know about the challenge/tour:

  • There are 11 bars/restaurants/breweries competing for the title “Best Drink” 
  • The challenge runs throughout the month of April.
  • You can take it as a challenge for the business owners, but also the patrons: will you be able to try and judge each one of these delicious and unique cocktails? Challenge accepted!
  • Download the handy scorecard below to score your favorite drinks
  • You’re drinking for a cause: 10% of the proceeds will benefit the Sanford Historical Society so they can uncover even more awesome facts about this cool town we live in (among other important things!)
  • Snap a photo of you sipping one of the competing cocktails and you could win as well! Just share on social media with #smithsbarroomchallenge 
  • This is meant to be a self guided tour (drink at your own pace!) but there will also be a weekly social night hosted by the Sanford Historical Society (see details below). During the social you get to mix and mingle with other cocktail and history enthusiasts and you get to tour select competing locations as you try their drinks (Socials are listed below and as always on our calendar!)
  • Patron Choice Winner will be announced on April 30th during the 5th Social Night. All other winners will be announced in May.
  • Keep up with everything historic and Smith’s Barroom Challenge by following the Sanford Historical Society on Facebook.  

And now without further ado, here are the drinks as well as ingredients and pricing:  

Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe

Smith’s Granny Smasher – $10

Smith’s Granny Smasher

Asbach German brandy, Apfel schnapps, ginger beer, OJ, lemon

The Imperial

Smith’s More Sour to Ya – $12

Smith’s More Sour to Ya

High West Double Rye, Tawny Port, lemon juice, OJ, simple syrup

Celery City Craft

Smith’s Addicting Benedictine – $9

Smith’s Addicting Benedictine

Old Forrester Rye Whiskey, Benedictine liqueur, fresh lemon juice & lemon/lime soda

Sanford Brewing Company

Smith’s Lost Tea – $8

Smith’s Lost Tea

Lost Weekender (Imperial Lemon wheat Ale) and sweet tea

The District in Sanford

Smith’s Citrus Shine – $10

Smith’s Citrus Shine

Loggerhead white corn whiskey, ginger liquor, Indian River grapefruit juice, grapefruit bitters

The Old Jailhouse

Smith’s Anachronism – $12

Smith’s Anachronism

Heaven’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey, Lo Fi Gentian Amaro, Pioneer Ferrand Day Curacao, Lillet Blanc, Pernod

Tuffy’s Bottle Shop & Lounge

Smith’s Squared Away – $13

Smith’s Squared Away

Rye Whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine liqueur, Angostura bitters, Peychaud’s Bitters, lemon 

The Basin

Smith’s Sour – $12

Smith’s Sour

Four Roses bourbon, lemon, simple syrup, cherry bitters, meringue powder, Luxardo

The Station

Smith’s Battalions Best – $10

Smith’s Battalions Best

Old Overholt Rye whiskey, Cointreau, lemon juice, orange juice, peach schnapps and muddled fresh jalapeños

West End Trading Company

Smith’s Irish Goodbye – $8

Smith’s Irish Goodbye

Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Amaretto, Coca-Cola, maraschino cherry

The Yardery

Smith’s Honey Davis – $10

Smith’s Honey Davis

Western Son Blueberry infused vodka, fresh lemon juice, local honey, fresh basil

Don’t miss the Social Nights, every Saturday throughout April

First Social Night – April 2
6pm – Hollerbachs
7pm – Celery City

Second Social Night – April 9
6pm – The District
7pm – The Imperial

Third Social Night – April 16
5pm – Sanford Brewing
6pm – The Yardery
7pm – West End Trading Co. 

Fourth Social Night – April 23
6pm – The Basin
7pm – Tuffy’s 

Fifth Social Night – April 30
6pm – The Station
7pm – The Jailhouse

Download the Scorecard below to your phone and share your findings in “drink research”! 

May the best drink win!!