Saturday, May 31, 2008

Brachetto, Nice To Meet You!

So last night was dinner out, and did we hit the jackpot at a place called Whisknladle. I'll leave the food to your imagination and your ability to read menus, but since cocktails and mixology are part of the passions driving this blog, there are beverages to discuss.
First was the opening cocktail for each of us: Jess, being a fan of all things lavender, was all over the lavender cosmo. A beautiful presentation, with the infused vodka, cassis, and white cranberry juice all together in a fluted glass. To finish, a small measure of Chambord, which, being more dense than the other ingredients, sank to the bottom, leaving a faint purple comet trail through the drink.
The flavors mixed well, the vodka nicely showing through the other ingredients. There was quite a bit of sweetness, but stayed just inside of being cloying. Served ice-cold, this was really delicious, and absolutely gorgeous.
I went with the passionfruit sangria. So we're talking white wine sangria, passionfruit juice, ice. Should be all perfect, right? Probably, but the absolute genius of this drink was the addition of Maker's Mark bourbon. Over the top!
As I've come along in the cocktail world, it's been during the reign of clear spirits; gin and vodka primarily. These have been the alcohol base for many drinks that have been staples in college and beyond. In the midst of this KetelTanquerayBelvedereAbsolute craze, we've been neglecting bourbon, and whisky in general, and this is to our detriment.
Of course these spirits have a much more robust flavor profile than vodka and most gins, but that does not mean that they lack for versatility. Maker's Mark, for example (which happens to the choice of The Tipsy Historian) is a brilliant blend of sweet, smoke, and caramel that can accent or be the foundation of just about any drink.
Including sangria! Oh my, was that drink ever delicious!
Here's another fun drink, especially now that we're into summer
The Major Sunrise
1 and 1/2 oz Jack Daniels
1/2 oz grenadine
3 oz orange juice (fresh squeezed is ideal)
Pour Jack Daniels into highball, fill glass 2/3 with ice. Add orange juice and give quick stir. As drink is spinning, pour in grenadine. Spend a few seconds reflecting on how beautiful the bright red grenadine looks as it cascades through the whirling juice/Jack combo
Garnish with lime and enjoy.
Anyway, moving onto the rest of our beverages, Jess ordered the coconut margarita. I'm not a huge coconut fan, nor a fan of the salted rim, but this drink was just perfect. The coconut milk smoothed out the tequila perfected, and the salt was a unique spicy blend.
The highlight of our escapade, however, was what came after dessert. First off, it came compliments of the house, which was a very nice touch after a wonderful, long menu. Secondly, and best of all, it was a totally unique experience.
Friends, may I introduce you to Brachetto! Made from grapes from the Piedmont region of Italy, this digestif comes out of the bottle scarlet-red, ice cold, slightly frizzante (sparkling), and absolutely breathtaking! Apple, cherry, and berry, mixed with the fizzy texture. Unbelievably refreshing after a long meal and lovely to sip, especially because of its low alcohol content, this drink will definitely be a part of our bar, especially since it's on the shelves at Bevmo. This one is highly recommended, so try it out for yourself.

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