It has been said that, in the early 1800s, one of the favorite places in the Village of Lewiston was Hustler's Tavern. It was so popular that, in 1813, when Lewiston was burned by British forces in retaliation for the U.S. attack on Niagara-On-The-Lake, Hustler's Tavern was the only building spared.
Now, just prior to this, American troops, fresh from their raid on the British, tasked tavern-keeper Catherine Hustler with making them a victory dinner using several roosters and hens they'd taken in. As she plucked the birds, she placed the tail feathers in mugs and glasses on the bar. Legend has it that when Catherine served the soldiers, she used a cock's tail feather to stir a special drink that she had created, and the "cocktail" was born.
The Lewiston Cocktail Festival was created in 2013 in celebration of Catherine's creation. The sold-out event attracted hundreds of patrons to come together and "Toast the Town." This year, the event returns - and has grown to two cover days. The second annual Lewiston Cocktail Festival will be held March 7-8, starting at 5 p.m.
More than 10 restaurants, bars and retailers will join together to encourage patrons to "Quench their thirst for History." The festival, put on by Sparkle! Marketing & Events and sponsored by Southern Wine & Spirits and Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare, will give participants an opportunity to venture from business to business, sampling signature alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) cocktails and small bites while learning about the famous concoction's historic invention in Lewiston.
One of the Lewiston Council on the Arts "Marble Orchard" players will portray Catherine Hustler. She and her brood of friends will be amongst those patrons stopping by various locations and telling their stories.
Tickets for the Lewiston Cocktail Festival can be purchased in advance for $25 at the following locations: the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, Angel to Apple Clothing & Shoe Boutique and The Village Bake Shoppe. Tickets are available online at www.lewistoncocktailfestival.com.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Lewiston Council on the Arts.
During the festival, tickets will be redeemable for a "passport," which allows for samplings at the following locations: Water Street Landing, The Brickyard Pub & B.B.Q., The Village Bake Shoppe, Town Hall Restaurant, Casa Antica, Hops-N-Vines, The Stone House, Lewiston Events Center, Angel to Apple, Tin Pan Alley and de la Casa Restaurant. Ticket holders will also have an opportunity to vote during the festival for their favorite "Absolut Lewiston Cocktail."
Responsible drinking is encouraged, and special accommodation rates are available during the festival at both the Barton Hill Hotel and Piper's Village Inn.
The Lewiston Cocktail Festival is a 21-and-over event.
For more information, visit www.lewistoncocktailfestival.com.