Cocktail Mary is on Munjoy Hill. Photos by Angie Bryan

You know how there are a few popular places in your town that you somehow still haven’t been to? Cocktail Mary was one of a handful of bars beloved by regulars that I kept meaning to check out but just never got there. I finally rectified that situation, and am kicking myself for not having done so sooner, so that I could come here and tell all of you how great it is.

Advertised as a queer craft cocktail bar, the Munjoy Hill spot has a fun and funky décor (disco balls are involved!), soft lighting and a variety of seating options. My drinking companions and I took one of the tables near the entrance and checked out the cocktail menu, which is divided into a $15 section and a $10 section. The $15 section features five original creations and a Negroni; the $10 section has seven options, one of which is a mocktail. There’s also a relatively good variety of wine options, but you know we weren’t focused on that part of the menu. While there aren’t regular food options, there is a highly eclectic limited selection of bar snacks, including oyster bites and Rice Krispies treats.

One of my friends went for the $10 rhubarb whiskey sour, a very traditional (well, except for the rhubarb) whiskey sour, which we all enjoyed. Another friend opted for the $15 Kitty Purry (Aperol, grapefruit, sparkling wine and orange), a light and refreshing drink served on ice that you could easily imagine drinking all summer (or, in our case, all winter). Given the ingredients, we had feared that it might be too citrus-forward for our taste, but it was the perfect amount, well balanced and enjoyable without any one flavor punching you in the face.

The two coupe glasses on the left make up the Sex Work and are joined by the rhubarb whiskey sour, center, and the Kitty Purry.

The crowd pleaser, however, was my drink, the $15 Sex Work (Passoa passionfruit liqueur, vanilla vodka, vanilla, cava and passionfruit). We had each gone up to the bar to order, and very much enjoyed chatting with the friendly and experienced bartender, who used to run the bar at Eventide. We were shocked when we later learned that it was only her second night on the job – we never would have guessed. As she finished preparing my drink, pouring the beautifully salmon-colored liquid into a coupe glass, I reached forward to take it. To my surprise, she handed me a second coupe glass as well, filled with cava. I thought there was some sort of mistake until she explained that in fact the Sex Work is a “choose your own adventure” cocktail – you can drink both glasses separately, or at the same time, in whatever ratio you want.

I would now like all my cocktail orders to be served like this, please and thank you.

We tasted the pink one first – delicious but unsurprising, with a lovely blend of passionfruit and vanilla, precisely as advertised. Definitely a winner. Combining it with the cava, however, took it to the next level, smoothing out the tartness and making the somewhat thick (presumably from a passionfruit puree) liquid thinner and easier to drink. None of us could believe the difference combining the two glasses made. Six thumbs up from the three of us.

Music played at a decent volume most of the time we were there, but at one point got just a hair too loud for easy conversation. No worries, said one of my drinking companions – if you’re on a date, just lean in closer.

The best part? The receipt showing I paid for Sex Work.

Retired diplomat Angie Bryan writes about Maine’s cocktail bars while making as many puns as her editor allows.

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