Category: Spirits

Mixology Spirits Event – Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton, FL February 13, 2016

Craft2 Craft5Combine incredible February weather with some of the finest spirits and food from local restaurants in one of South Florida’s beautiful locales and you have the makings of a great Saturday afternoon.

And so it was with Mixology: The Craft Spirits Event, held from 4 – 8 p.m. at the Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Hosted by Boca Raton’s own Kapow restaurant, Mixology was a celebration of Bourbon, Whiskey, Tequila and the requisite cocktail possibilities of each. With just under 30 spirit vendors on scene and food samples from Kapow and The Little Chalet, there was something for everyone – including a Montecristo “Cigar Lounge.”

We decided to focus our attention on Whiskey and Bourbon sampling, which was, by far, the most abundant at this event. Highlights were the High West Rendezvous Rye and the Double Rye; Irish whiskey from Tullamore Dew; the Compass Box Spice Tree Whisky (delicious); as well as the Whistle Pig 10-Year Whiskey and by far our favorite Bourbon of late, Widow Jane. Pours were moderate, but patrons were encouraged to try offerings at each station more than once, if they so desired. We did, of course.Craft7

We both ecraft3njoyed the Gin samples from Brooklyn Gin, a small batch maker that calls itself “Fresh American Gin” and was named one of the best Gins by GQ magazine. Even if you don’t consider yourself a Gin drinker, this citrus forward Gin with strong floral notes might make you a convert.

There were several hundred attendees, though it never felt overly crowded. Lines were relatively short at most of the stations, though food items seemed to take a bit longer to prepare, which is understandable when only one or two chefs are preparing samples for so many hungry patrons. The Small Chalet’s short rib sampler was amazing, as was Kapow’s Chicken Fried Rice.

Given that this is the first year of the event, I would consider it a success for Kapow and Mizner Park in general. People had a great time, and like we said at the beginning, when you combine great spirits and food with spectacular weather, you have a recipe for a fun event. Cheers to Kapow and everyone involved with putting on Mixology: The Craft Spirits Event.

 

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2015…A Year of Living Decadently

So, for any visitor to our site it must be obvious that we have been a bit neglectful in our updates.  As with many people, life, work and all the things that go with living it got in the way!  The good news is that we really enjoyed the living part this year and plan on doing more of the same next year.  Our intention is to actually add things as they happen, but we’ll just have to see how that goes!   Anyhoo…without further ado, our 2015 in photo review.  We hope you get an idea of just how much we savored it!

Cellars Bourbon, Beer & BBQ Whiskey Tasting September 27, 2014

IMG_2275It seems like on any given weekend here in South Florida you will stumble across some sort of tasting event happening around town, be it a simple in-store wine sampling to a full-blown, hosted sit-down food and wine/beer pairing event. Having too much of a good thing is not a complaint, mind you – it’s more of a delightful dilemma.

On this particular Saturday we decided to venture outside our wine and beer comfort zone and venture into the tremendously popular and growing world of boutique (small batch) Whiskeys and Bourbons. Cellars Wine & Spirits, in Ft. Lauderdale, hosted such an event ($20 per person), giving discriminating drinkers the unique opportunity to sample some of the finest Whiskeys and Bourbons from across the country and enjoy delicious barbecue fare from the carnivore-friendly Red Cow restaurant, also located in Ft. Lauderdale.

The tasting menu was extensive and the tasting glasses large, so rather than attempt to taste them all (bad idea) we instead focused on the few brands we had read or heard about as listed below.

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Red Cow’s grilled pork and barbecue sauce medley was the perfect companion for the Whiskey and Bourbon tasting (and helped fill our stomachs a bit), matching and even contrasting the sweet, smoky flavor profiles of the spirits with zesty BBQ goodness. The mac and cheese was also a hit, as evidenced by the nearly empty container sitting on the buffet table. (My large, second helping of it may have contributed also.)

As a bonus, the $20 price of admission included a discount on any of the featured spirits, so we picked up a bottle each of the Haas Brothers Cyrus Noble Bourbon (San Francisco) and the Ridgemont Reserve 1792 Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon (Barton 1792 Distillery, Kentucky) – which we thoroughly enjoyed that evening, and we will enjoy for many evenings to come! Cheers!

Sunday Brunch at Red Cow, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Smoked Bloody MaryDon’t look now, but Sunday brunch is back. Well, sort of…not that it really went away. To the legions of late-night denizens, drunkards and party hearty types, Sunday brunch is an indispensable meal, more an event, really, that welcomes the brain dead back to the land of the living.

And, even if you’re like us, with more late night adventures behind than in front of us, Sunday brunch is a nice departure from the usual Sunday paper, coffee and bowl of cold cereal routine. And South Florida has numerous options available for the brunch crowd, including Red Cow, one of Ft. Lauderdale’s newest restaurants, located at the site of the former Texas Hold ‘Em.

Red Cow is known for its down-home barbecue fare, but on Sundays it transforms the usual eggs-and-bacon into something quite Dizzy Chicken Hashremarkable. The service is friendly and welcoming, and the day we dined there we were seated right away.

The restaurant looks like your friendly, neighborhood eatery, a comfortable place you can kick back and relax. Red Cow has a bar, complete with a respectable wine and beer selection. We ordered Bloody Marys, including one that features a smoke-infused vodka. Garnished with beef jerky and a pickle, both were delicious and satisfying.

AustinFor our meals, we enjoyed The Austin and the Dizzy Chicken Hash.  The Austin features two eggs cooked to order, jalapeno cheddar sausage, a cowboy potato cake and corn bread. It was incredible, to say the least. The Hash is a big, delicious mound of breakfast goodness piled on the plate, consisting of pulled rotisserie chicken, an egg cooked to order and fresh pico de gallo. I cleaned my plate, barely.

I don’t know if food can cure what ails you, but Red Cow offers up exactly the type of food you’ll enjoy eating on a Sunday morning or early afternoon – regardless of your condition. Red Cow is Sunday Brunch done right, and definitely worth trying.

Craft: Spirits & Beer, Miami, Saturday, November 9, 2013

What is craft? What does it mean to ply one’s craft? These were questions that would be asked throughout the Craft Spirits & Beer event held in November at Soho Studios, in Miami.

Craft, in the strictest sense, is defined as an activity involving skill in creating things by hand. During this inaugural event this idea was evident in the distillers and brewers in attendance. Complementing the craft beer and spirits were chefs and food purveyors that also embraced that ideal.

Over 30 artisans attended the event, though it never felt overly crowded in the warehouse space.  It was a treat to sample some of the stellar and rare offerings.

In addition to the tasting portion of the event, there were panel discussions, bringing experts in the field of beer brewing, distilling, as well as the bar and restaurant industry.  We attended a panel discussing the idea of craft and what the future holds for the craft ideal. Craft is a highly subjective term that means many things to many people, but this panel focused on what they defined as craft as it relates to their particular industries. Is it quality over quantity? The artisan creating something unique in a world of cookie cutter products? These questions may not have an easily defined answer, but the conversation is worth having.

Although it may not have been the intention of the organizers (perhaps it was due to lack of advertising) but the event was not a crowded affair. We were able to try samples at each booth or table without a long wait. This gave us an opportunity for more personal interaction with the representatives.

We’re hoping that the crowd present was at least enough to give event organizers a reason to hold it a second year. Maybe craft is too subjective a term to define in black and white, but we’re eager to learn (and try!) more.  Cheers to the artisans who epitomize the true essence of craft.

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