A Summer Nuisance Gets a Positive Spin: the Black Fly Bite Cocktail

A winged, six-legged phenomenon plagues Mainers every summer from May to July. Do you know what it is? Black flies! Their annual appearance is so well-known, Northeast folks have given it a name: black fly season. Black flies, which predominantly hang out near water (which of course, Maine has plenty of), bite frequently and are an all-around nuisance to anyone enjoying hiking, fishing, or boating.

Beverage manager, Chris Gatchell, pays homage to Maine’s annual summer swarms through one of Two Lights’ bestselling cocktails: the Black Fly Bite.

Photo: Barry Brecheisen

Photo: Barry Brecheisen


House-infused black pepper bourbon is the dominant ingredient in the Black Fly Bite. Bourbon, which is normally known for soft notes of oak, vanilla, or char, gets a little spicing up from the addition of black pepper. Lemon juice, our house-made peach gomme, and Thai basil join the mix, rounding out this balanced cocktail.

“It’s a loose variation—or even a grown-up version—of a Bourbon Peach Basil Smash,” says Gatchell.

While black flies aren’t common in Chicago, this cocktail is an excellent fit for anyone looking for a little “bite.” Let us shake one up for you at Two Lights tonight! We look forward to seeing you. ••