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Tidbits for Feb. 4

By Emily Burnham, BDN Staff

Blues Sunday

Sunday morning never tasted so good — and was never quite so funky. The Bar Harbor Blues Authority and Mainely Meats BBQ are co-hosting a Sunday Champagne Jam every Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Blues Authority on Pleasant Street in downtown Bar Harbor. The usual brunch treats are offered, along with your choice of a Bloody Mary or mimosa, all for $13.99. This is a blues club, however, and along with your food and drink you get the sweet sounds of local blues artists. Todd McLeod and the Cool Swells will play music during the jam, and if you can play a mean harmonica or feel like bringing a guitar along with you, you can join right in. Sounds like a great way to wrap up your weekend. For details, including a list of the other fine artists who play at the club other weekend nights, visit

Cold comfort

I never understand people who say, “How can you eat ice cream in the winter? It’s cold out!” What, ice cream is suddenly less delicious in February? No way! Just because the thermometer dips below freezing doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying frozen treats. The National Ice Cream Retailers Association proclaimed Gifford’s chocolate ice cream the best in the biz at its annual convention last November, garnering the competition’s only perfect score, based on best flavor, texture and color. Its classic vanilla won second place in the competition, and at the World Dairy Expo Championship Produce Contest last October its orange sherbet was also named the best. Let ’em eat ice cream, we say, whether it’s July or January.

Vodka victorious

Cold River Vodka again racks up the accolades. The Maine-made potato vodka was recently recognized by Wine Enthusiast magazine as one of the “Top 50 Spirits,” a list of the best domestic and international spirits. Cold River was also the highest-ranking vodka on the list, with the Freeport-crafted liquor also maintaining the distinction of being one of the few potato-based vodkas in the world. Cold River Vodka recently won a double Gold Medal at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and it was named Best American Vodka of 2008 by industry expert and author F. Paul Pacult in his new book, “Kindred Spirits 2.” The vodka was also recently featured on an episode of The History Channel’s “Modern Marvels.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, Cold River’s blueberry-flavored vodka is also the world’s only gluten-free flavored vodka. Not bad, for a little Maine business.

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