Grown Up Drinks: Hearsay in Ashland Takes Adulting Up a Notch
When I was in college, my friends used to do this thing where they’d all go out and each buy a 5th of Gordon’s vodka and a chaser of choice. They’d all come over my place and I’d switch on the music and invite everyone we knew over for a night of drinking questionable amounts of alcohol. The goal of the night was to finish as much of the fifth of vodka as possible. Whoever was (un)lucky enough to finish their bottle of Gordon’s first would be pronounced the “Gord Lord” for the night. Their prize included bragging rights, as much water as they wanted and a possible visit to the Emergency Room. A psychologist would look at this as a prime indicator for alcoholism. I was never brave enough to participate. After my friend—who boasted at having an “Irish, Russian and German background”—won three times in a row, the rest understood they’d been bested stopped competing. They stuck with Busch light and tepid shots of Burnett’s and Southern Comfort. These were my people.
What I’m trying to say is I’m not what you would describe as a “Classy Person.”
So perhaps it’s not surprising that I walked into Hearsay bar and restaurant about 20 minutes from closing on a Wednesday. Not the busiest time, but there was still life in the bar. I grabbed a seat in the center and perused their menu. They serve over a dozen handmade cocktails, ranging from a Daiquiri to a Negroni to a Sidecar. Their ingredients are made onsite, house juices, a half dozen bitters and a handful of infused syrups. I tried their Old Fashioned and the Whiskey Sour, both made classically. (I’ve come some way from the Busch Light days.) Their Whiskey Sour was both tart and creamy, a lovely balance of citrus and well-shaken egg whites. Served with a bourbon that had been my first love, Woodford Reserve. How could I not enjoy it?
They have a dinner menu that boasts some exotic items like eggplant tacos and ash-dusted scallops. But they’ve also got the staples too, like fish and chips and steak. Hearsay is a perfect spot for play-goers, whether it’s before or after the show. And, with their great drinks, it’s a stellar spot for locals as well.
The centerpiece of the restaurant is a piano, where a local artist plays every couple of weeks. I was told it’s every other Thursday, during the height of the season. But, as with most seasonal towns, all that is subject to change. A couple Sundays past, they held a Tiki popup, with about a dozen authentic, specialty cocktails mixed by local Mixologists, Freddie and Tiffney. It was great.
My favorite part of Hearsay is their back patio. A terraced and enclosed area made vibrant by foliage and exquisite landscaping. It’s perfect for a midafternoon hangout, or a nightcap under a scattering of constellations.
I left Hearsay feeling a bit more refined. Gentlemanly. An adult. Like I could pay my utility bills on time. Hearsay is a place that can make a man feel classy. Even one who could condone buying plastic bottles of Gordon’s vodka.
10 am – 2 pm and 4:30 – 9 pm, Sunday
4:30 – 9 pm, Monday – Thursday
4:30 pm – 12 am, Friday and Saturday
40 S. 1st Street, Ashland