NBMAA’s Pop-Up Bar Cures Your Mid-Week Blues

By Sheridan Cyr and Olivia Jablonski

Lifestyles and Managing Editors Respectively

During July and August, the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA), located at 56 Lexington Ave., hosts a pop-up bar event every Thursday evening featuring a drink based on one of the works of art from the museum. The event is catered by Chief of Staff, LLC, based out of Hartford. Bartender, Brett Brookman has been contributing his time at the museum for the event to serve specialty drinks to guests.

This week’s drink was based on Dale Chihuly’s sculpture called “Blue and Beyond Blue,” which is a 3-D glass-like sculpture that hangs from the ceiling on the second floor of the museum.

Dale Chihuly's "Blue and Beyond" glass sculpture hanging from the ceiling in the museum. Photo By Olivia Jablonski.

Dale Chihuly’s “Blue and Beyond” glass sculpture hanging by the staircase in the museum. Photo By Olivia Jablonski.

Chihuly’s is an American artist who is well known for his sculptures. He specializes in blown glass, which involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a blow pipe or a blow tube. Working with a glass medium has its difficulties, but Chihuly uses it as a primary medium for installations and environmental artwork.

“Glass itself is so much like water. If you let it go on its own, it almost ends up looking like something that came from the sea,” Chihuly said on his official website.

The drink, “Blue and Beyond Blueberry Spritzer,” included blueberry vodka, soda water, simple syrup, a blueberry rock candy stick, and is topped off with maraschino cherries. The whole program was created this year by Sarah Rohlfing, from the Visitor’s Services at the museum.

Blue and Beyond Blueberry Spritzer drink topped with maraschino cherry and blue raspberry rock candy. Photo by Olivia Jablonski.

Blue and Beyond Blueberry Spritzer drink topped with maraschino cherry and blue raspberry rock candy. Photo by Olivia Jablonski.

“We just wanted to add something to the experience,” said Rohlfing, “something fun and different for our guests on a typical Thursday night.”

Due to a weather inclement, the event was held inside the museum this week, but typically the pop-up bar is held in Walnut Hill Park across the street from the museum. The turnout is just better when the event is held outdoors, according to Rohlfing. The indoor version provided board games such as Chess, Loaded Questions and Trivial Pursuit.

“I am enjoying my cocktail greatly,” said Jen Dudanowicz with a laugh. “I especially like the rock candy stick.” Dudanowicz, also mentioned it was her first night attending.

Pop-up Bar Night is held every Thursday from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. There is no cover charge, and drinks are five dollars each. Museum admission is not included with the event.

Next week on August 18th, the pop-up bar event will feature “Modernism Mule.” Ingredients include vodka, ginger beer, lime juice, and slice of lime.

Bar table with prepared supplies for drinks to be made. Photo by Olivia Jablonski.

Bar table with prepared supplies for drinks to be made. Photo by Olivia Jablonski.

The New Britain Museum of American Art is an enchanting venue in the city that holds a collection of over ten thousand of works of art by local and national artists ranging all the way back to 1739. First chartered in 1853, the Museum has been central to the community and brings life to New Britain as one of the first museums in the country dedicated solely to American art. Featured are oil paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, sculptures and illustrations.

The Museum is always offering new gems to guests. They regularly offer workshops, concerts, special art exhibits, food and drink expos and more. Inside, every wall beholds masterful work from renowned professionals such as John Singleton Copley, Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, Georgia O’Keeffe, Thomas Hart Benton and Sol LeWitt in the two-story museum. Guided tours are offered, or guests may explore on their own.