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LUSBY, Md. – In the latest episode of the podcast, “Get Real with Chris & Mark,” listeners were treated to a savory conversation with Carolyn and Shannon, the masterminds behind Barrel 9 in Lusby, Maryland. The episode featured a delightful journey through the flavors of their signature cocktails and mouthwatering small plates that have made Barrel 9 a local gem. 

Barrel 9, a unique establishment that stands apart from the typical bar, began as a liquor store with a strong emphasis on education. Carolyn Hart and her husband Mike, have been the proprietors of Paxuxent Wine and Spirits for 13 years. They had a distinct mission: to create an environment where patrons could savor and explore diverse libations. Their approach included hosting classes and tastings inside the liquor store, featuring unique bottles of bourbon and wine, and even live cooking demonstrations from local chefs. This commitment to educating the community was the genesis of Barrel 9.

One of the standout features of Barrel 9 is their dedication to offering small-batch, distinctive spirits. The shelves are adorned with meticulously selected bottles that you won’t find in most other bars. In a rare move within the bar industry, the duo recently purchased their own barrel of whiskey, creating a truly unique expression of their brand.

In the podcast, Chris and Mark had the opportunity to sample Barrel 9’s signature Smoked Old-Fashioned, a meticulously crafted cocktail comprising Old Forester 86 bourbon, luxardo cherries, Angostura bitters, orange bitters, cane sugar, and oak chips for a smoky twist. The hosts praised the cocktail’s smoothness and the artistry involved in its creation.

Shannon also revealed that Barrel 9 constantly introduces new signature drinks to the menu. One soon-to-be-added creation is the “Smoked Maple and Orange Old Fashioned,” expected to be a crowd-pleaser.

Turning to the culinary side of Barrel 9, the establishment offers an array of delectable small plates. One highlight was the Maryland Stuffed Ham Sliders, served on mini potato rolls with housemade mustard and horseradish dressing.

“It’s delicious. It’s not just good. This is like the day after Thanksgiving,” Chris expressed. 

Another standout was the Smoked Salmon Crostini, featuring Nova Scotia Atlantic smoked salmon on a slice of cucumber with lemon dill crème fraîche, capers, and fresh dill. The “Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread” was also a hit, featuring fresh-cooked chicken, housemade ranch, honey bourbon barbecue sauce, bacon, and scallions.

Shannon explained that Barrel 9 specializes in shareable plates, encouraging patrons to sample multiple items. The podcast hosts were impressed by the quality of the food, emphasizing that it’s not just about quantity but the depth of flavor.

Barrel 9 doesn’t stop at cocktails and small plates; they are also known for their extensive wine selection. They stand out as the only establishment in Calvert County with an Italian self-serve wine machine, allowing patrons to sample wines before investing in a full bottle.

“You would never be able to get those by the glass. And that’s the beauty of the machine. But because it is self-serve, one of the things that also makes us unique is everyone has to be over 21,” Carolyn explained. 

Listeners learned that Barrel 9 offers unique experiences throughout the week, such as Wine Day Wednesdays and Flight Nights on Thursdays. 

The podcast hosts concluded by urging their audience to experience Barrel 9’s offerings for themselves, emphasizing that the establishment is all about savoring the experience, not just consuming alcohol. 

For more information about Barrel 9 and their offerings, visit

Step inside Barrel 9 in the full episode:

Once a week, Century 21 New Millennium Realtors Chris Hill and Mark Frisco ‘Get Real’ with topics surrounding life in Southern Maryland while showcasing local business tastings and highlighting hidden gems in the area.

You can watch or listen to previous episodes at:

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