Mezcal Night Party

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

On Sunday evening August 20th I attended a Mezcal night party. The event was held at Salvation Taco, a restaurant in the Pod 39 hotel located at 145 East 39th Street in Manhattan.

The event was a benefit for El Rosario A. C. library in Santa Catarina Minas in Oaxaca, Mexico and was a walk around tasting of over 50 mescal from 16 of the top producers.

I have to admit that before attending this party my knowledge of mezcal was very limited. I always thought that mescal was the tequila wannabe with the worm in the bottle. I learned that much mescal is made from small, family run producers using traditional methods.

To put it simply, all tequila are mezcal but not all mezcal are tequila. Tequila must be made from the Blue Agave while mezcal can be made from many varieties (over 30, many of them wild) of the agave plant. Tequila is site specific while mezcal can be legally made anywhere in Mexico though most come from Oaxaca. In tequila the agave are baked in a stone oven while in mezcal the agave are slow roasted in pits lined with volcanic rock which give it its signature smokiness.

On a bottle of artisanal Mezcal you should find information about he village, state and type of agave used in the production stated on the label. In addition, numbers on the label (2, 3, 4 etc.) show the age of the agave plant when it was harvested.

There were an overwhelming amount of spirits poured, I would have like to sit down with a couple of producers and have a horizontal tasting but in the spirit of the walk-around tasting I sampled many.

Some of the bottles I tried:

 

Gracias a Dios “Cuxie”

Gracias a Dios “Tobala”

Nuestra Soledad “Santiago Matalan”

Nuestra Soledad “San Luis del Rio”

Meteoro Joven

Mezcales de Leyenda “Guerrero”

Mezcales de Leyenda “Puebla”

Bruxo “N° 1”

Bruxo “N° 2”

Fidencio “Unico”

Fidencio “Clasico”

Montelbos Mezcal Joven

Siete Misterios “Coyote”

Siete Misterios “Mexicanos”

Del Maguey “San Pablo Ameyaltepec”

Real Minero “Barril”

Real Minero “Espadin”

 

 

Advertisements

More Rosé On Long Island

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

We’re now at the dog days of Summer which in New York City usually means hot sweltering days and muggy nights reminding me of some the lyrics from the 1966 Loving Spoonful song “Summer in the City” about the back of me head getting dirty and gritty.

But not this Summer. It has been unusually mild and comfortable with Spring like temperatures and low humidity. It still is rosé season though and I drove out East to try some more.

 

Winemaker Studio  2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic

The Studio is a 100 year old general store owned by winemaker Anthony Nappa as a cooperative tasting room to showcase and taste his wines as well as the wines of Vineyards that don’t have their own tasting rooms. Since I was there last the deli next door was converted into another tasting room.

2016 Saltbird “Roseate”

This is the first wine I’ve tried from this producer. Made from a Syrah and Cabernet Franc blend, medium pink, crushed strawberry on the nose, light fruit, low acid, a little neutral but easy drinking.

 

***

Kontokosta Winery  825 North Road, Greenport

This winery is a fairly new one on the east end wine scene with the North Fork’s “first and only waterfront winery and tasting room”. About as far East as you can get on the north fork of the island near the town of Greenport. It’s a huge if a little sterile, property with views of the Long Island sound.

2016 Rosé

A blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Light copper in color, honeydew on the nose with green herbs on the fruit, low acids.

 

***

Laurel Lake Vineyards  3165 Main Road, Laurel

A small vineyard owned by Chilean and American vintners.

2016 “Lake Rosé”

Made from Cabernet Sauvignon. Pale pink in color, cantaloupe on the nose, juicy melon notes on the fruit, moderate acidity.

 

***

Paumonok Vineyards  1074 Main Road, Aquebogue

One of the original wineries founded in 1983

2016 Rosé

A Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend. Rust in color with asparagus notes on the nose with crisp cherry notes on the fruit.

 

 

Secret Summer Cocktail Party 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

This past Sunday afternoon on August 6th I attended the 3rd annual Secret Summer Cocktail Festival.  The event was a “farm to bar” cocktail party featuring drinks curated by RAPT NY using premium spirits and ingredients grown at the hydroponic gardens at Farm One urban farms. In addition to cocktails, beer from Queens Brewery and chilled coffee drinks from La Colombe and illy were available.

The event was held again this year at The Foundry event space at 8-03 43rd Avenue in the industrial riverfront of Long Island City, Queens. The venue is a former 19th century steel foundry, an ivy covered brick building with an outdoor courtyard and various rooms overlooking the Queensboro (Ed Koch) bridge and the Manhattan skyline. Music was provided by DJ Kieren Taylor and Momentum Drums.

The cocktail stations were scattered around the building which kept the crowd flowing throughout the venue. Something new this year were the Haiku guys and gals typing out poems to order and unlike the previous events, there were no ballerinas or faeries prancing around. The unusually cool weather made for an enjoyable afternoon of cocktails.

Cocktail List:

 

Resting Birch Face

Woodford Reserve Bourbon, foraged black birch, Wilklow Orchard cherries, variety of Farm One mints.

 

Another Night, Another Dream

The Real McCoy Rum 5 year, La Colombe bitter coffee, demerara, coconut puree, pineapple, cardamom.

 

Talk To Me, Goose!

The Real McCoy Rum 3 year, Phillips Farm gooseberry cordial, Bespoke spiced falernum, Farm One anise hyssop.

 

Figgedaboudit

Zacapa 23 Rum, Murray Farms mission figs, Harmless Harvest coconut water, Rooftop honey, thyme.

 

Stone In Love

Herradura tequila, chipotle, Thorpe’s Farm nectarines & serrano peppers, cilantro, blossom & hibiscus heart.

 

The Dirty Lowdown

Spring 41 gin, Hepworth Farms heirloom tomato dashi, dry vermouth, laitue de mer, sungolds.

 

Highgarden

Peony vodka, Hepworth Farms yellow watermelon, Bespoke rose syrup, sweet vermouth, dry rose petals.

 

Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock & Rye

Old Fashioned

 

Dingle Gin

Gin & Ginger Beer

 

 

 

Chefs & Champagne 2017

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past Saturday afternoon, July 29th I attended the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs & Champagne Summer tasting party held at Wölffer Estate Winery in Sagaponack, just east of the town of Bridgehampton on the south fork of Long Island.

The event raises funds for the philanthropic work of the foundation and this years honoree was Chef, author and philanthropist, Marcus Samuelsson.

There were 40+ Chefs serving tastings of their signature dishes to be washed down with wine and cider from Wölffer Estate, beer from Ommegang Brewery and cocktails from Tito’s vodka. This year the free-flowing Champagne was provided by Barons de Rothchild which poured their Brut and Rosé.

The weather looked liked it might be a factor this year with dark clouds looming on the horizon in the morning but the day turned into a gorgeous, comfortable afternoon, unlike the sweltering sauna-like conditions of last year.

 

Some of the bites I sampled:

Greg Baxtrom  Olmstead: Radish Top Gazpacho

Matt Abdoo  Pig Beach: Deviled Eggs with Country Ham Salad

Jefferey McInnis/Janine Booth  Root & Bone: Shrimp and Grits with Melted Tomato, Charred Corn, Pickled Onions and Bacon-Beer Jus

Domicic Rice Calissa:  Montauk Fluke Crudo with Watermelon Finger Limes, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Radishes, Sesame Seeds, Olives and Basil

Galen Zamarra  Mas Farmhouse: Trout Piscator

Daniel Skurnick  Le CouCou: Le Crêment d’ Anjou with Local Goat Cheese and Summer Berries

Stephen Bogardus  The North Fork Table and Inn: Chilled Sweet Corn Mousseline with Fermented Berries

Graeme Cockburn  Windstar Cruise: Seared Oak-Smoked Salmon

P.J. Calupa  The Spainard: Lobster Filane Toasts with Charred Corn, Crème Fraiche and Tarragon

Britt-Marie Culey  Coquette Pattisserie: Smoked Ohio Peaches-Elderflower Crémeux with Champagne Chartogne-Taillet Rosé Aspic

Andy D’Amico  Nice Martin: Moroccan Shrimp Burger

Brian Cheewing  Wölffer Kitchen: Montauk Tuna Tacos with Avocado Puree and Pineapple Salsa

Oliver Lange  Zume: Wagyu Beef Tartare with Saikyo Miso Bun and Australian Winter Truffle 

Marcus Samuelsson  Red Rooster: Jerk Pork Belly with Stone Fruit, Pickled Cabbage and Cornbread Crisp

Bryan Hunt  Fowler & Wells: Hamachi with Celery and Sea Urchin Lemon Posset with  Blueberries and Cornmeal Cake