The Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s PHeaSt brings farm-to-table dining to the extreme and the simply delicious. New additions to the festival this year include discounted tickets for PHS members and cocktails from Art in the Age and Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey. Proceeds benefit PHS’ City Harvest Program, which provides produce to more than 1,200 families each year. 7-10pm. $135-$300. PHS Warehouse at The Navy Yard, 5201 S. 13th St. 215.988.8800. phsonline.org
This morning there was a snap in the air that I hadn’t felt since the springtime. Not cold, but just another quickness to the day that it made me yen for a warming drink. Before you go hemming and hawing over what time it is, 8:28- please keep in mind that I’m a professional. This is what I am called to do. Not drink, but sip. Oh, I can see that is lost on you. Day drinking is what it is called. The morning often calls for a large mug of tea with raw honey added for fortitude. If I’m out on a yacht the mug of fortitude contains a healthy portion of rum. Since I’m land-locked so to speak, I’m forced by my good nature to use some bourbon whiskey, distilled down in Kentucky named Barrell Bourbon. You could say that I’m attracted to the good stuff because I like the very best. Barrell Bourbon is the very best because each bottling is different. It’s right up my alley because it is not chill filtered, nor pad filtered. It’s got stuff in there, like the natural fats and oils. The sediment is not taken out giving this bourbon a gorgeous appearance. It’s alive with possibilities!
Barrell bourbon is just like my wines that I enjoy. Unfined and unfiltered is what I seek in the wine world. Handcrafted with passion.
Seek and ye shall find.
Root tea from Art in the Age is a pre-Colonial ingredient that is featured in a number of body warming elixirs. I love to take exuberant doses of it and weave it into a mug of both hot chocolate and Barrell Bourbon whiskey. Just so you know, Root is eighty proof, so everything has its place in this drink.
What is a strong drink? Take it from your friendly cocktail whisperer. When you mix the salubrious root tea with a portion of potent whiskey and your favorite spicy hot chocolate, sweetened to your taste all good things can turn bad, very quickly.
Remember the orange bitters. In this case I’ve chosen Gary Regan’s Orange bitters. They are, quite simply my only choice for a day drink.
Let’s just say it’s just too easy to enjoy this concoction. I don’t want to be a bad influence but if you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning to all who follow! This drink is not going to hurt you in the very least, unless you have more than three. Then the world will be memorable indeed! Calling Fernet Branca! Fernet Branca!
From Whiskey Cocktails, a new book by Warren Bobrow
Professor Meiklejohn’s Pinky
Named for a professor made famous for his relationship with the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, this bourbon whiskey–based cold-weather cocktail is sure to restore and inspire. And the best part: It’s really easy to prepare. Whip up a batch of the hot chocolate so it can play host to organic root tea liqueur, bourbon, and—since this drink really has a flair for the dramatic—a pinch of cayenne pepper. It’s a very grown-up version of every kid’s favorite wintertime treat. Serve after dinner alongside a plateful of simple, buttery cookies, like homemade madeleines. Or, mix yourself a sneaky Pinky on Christmas morning—no one but you will know that there’s a little something extra in your cup of joy. Oh, and be sure to preheat your mug with boiling water beforehand to ensure that your Pinky stays toasty warm.
Professor Meiklejohn's Pinky
- 1 ounce (30 ml) high quality whiskey *like Barrell
- 1⁄2 ounce (15 ml) organic root tea liqueur (Art in the Age)
- 3 ounces (90 ml) Hot Chocolate
- Tiny pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 ounce (30 ml) Simple Syrup
- 1 dash Regan’s orange bitters
- Preheat your favorite ceramic mug by filling it with boiling water, and then pour the water out.
- Add the bourbon whiskey,the Root tea liqueur, and then top them with Hot Chocolate.
- Now add the Simple Syrup—about 1 ounce (30 ml), or to taste—and the cayenne pepper.
- Finish with a dash or two of orange bitters.
Lift your mug in a toast to the Professor.
And keep the Fernet handy should you enjoy the good Professor’s company a bit too much!
If you’re dying for something that gives you the warm fuzzies like freshly baked cookies does, check out Short Order’s Snap Krackle Cold Brew made with Art in the Age Snap, Lemon Hart 151 rum, Strauss half and half, 24-hour Verve cold brew, and cinnamon. “It’s a boozy version of the spiced latte phenomenon that seems to sweep the country this time of year,” said Bar Program Director Courtney White.
From Juniper & Dash… The weather in the Northeast has been simply amazing, and the evening of the Twilight Peach Dinner was no exception! We were able to sit outside under the lanterns and enjoy the nice breeze along with great conversation and delicious food. All the talented creatives that came together to put on this dinner were spot on. We wanted to subtly tie in our peach theme throughout the event and that’s just what happened. From the lush florals, with accents of peach and blue, to the mismatched gold flatware, every detail was accounted for and together it created a lovely evening.
FAMILY STYLE PLATES: Grilled Local Peach, Prosciutto, and Burrata on Crostini Salsa of Fresh Peaches and English Cucumbers with Homemade Kettle Chips Brioche French Toast with Warm Peach Compote and Balsamic Glacé
SOUP: Velvet Peach Purée with Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pancetta Lardoons
SALAD: Watercress Greens, Panko Peaches, and Seven Sisters Cheese from Farm at Doe Run with Rosemary Shallot Vinaigrette
MAIN: Beef Short Rib Rubbed with Grains of Paradise Peach BBQ Glaze, and Foie Gras Butter Grilled Haricoverts and Creamy Farro with Peaches
DESSERT: Warm Peach Cobbler with Crème Fraiche
SPECIALTY COCKTAIL: Peach Ginger Kombucha with Rhubarb Tea, and fresh peaches and lemons
Wheeler’s Western Dry Gin from Santa Fe Spirits captures the essence of place through the use of many botanicals native to New Mexico, and of importance to New Mexico heritage. For example, the Osha root[known to Native peoples' as Bear Root, so-called as legend says it was discovered by observing a bear consuming it] is a local medicine, historically used for aches. Then take the Cholla cactus, whose blossoms are reputed to have a faintly “cucumber” like flavor. Throw in sage [the aroma of the desert] and juniper, each individually distilled, then combined, and you have a distinctly New Mexican gin.
Vividly and powerfully aromatic, at even first blush, bright sage, with a wet sagebrush after a spring rain aroma, leading you into some deeper juniper notes, with earthy depth in the lower notes. Very bright and inviting, though it could easily be mixed up from aroma along with Art in the Age’s Sage Spirit, but more on that later.
The palate offer a significantly more complex bouquet or notes to unravel. At first, a touch of a floral lift, with a stab of sage oil, the mid-notes are richly complex with at first vegetal, crisp, green notes, then some sweeter, spicier hints. You get some crisp, recognizable juniper here, before a hint of citrusy sweetness giving way to a long sage note that dominates the finish. Crisp and bright. Although there’s no doubt that sage is the leading note here, the other botanicals compliment and round it out nicely.
Comparative Sage-Spirits studies
I decided to try Wheeler’s Gin in a side by side neat taste test with Art in the Age’s Sage spirit. Since I had the latter for a project I was working on around botanical spirits, it was worth comparing. While both compliment the sage with other botanical notes, it’s interesting how the fennel and rosemary lift in Sage, largely dominant in the finish, parallel similar balance and complexity in the gin. Whereas Sage has stronger Sage note up front and in the middle, Wheeler’s juniper, angelica, and coriander offer a spicier, definitely gin like, but more balanced middle note.
I quite like both spirits, but side-by-side, it’s very clear which one is a gin, and it also helps highlight the way some of the more traditional gin compliments can be used to color in the lower notes of a spirit.
Anyway, let’s get back to the cocktails.
At first, we mixed it up in a Dunhill’s Special. For those of you unfamiliar with this century old cocktail, it’s composed of equal parts Vermouth, Sherry and Gin. Add a dash of curacao, stir and strain. The nose was sweet sherry and brown sugar. The palate was wonderful and complex: safe up front, citrus in the middle, ripe grapes, cooked cherries and then lemon as the low notes unfolded with a touch of creamy richness. The sage note was lovely, and very complimentary.
We then put it to test in a 4:1 Martini. The Sage works beautifully side by side, adding a badly needed bright list to the darker herbal characters of the Vermouth. Hardly traditional, but very good as its own sort of cocktail.
We then tried it in a Gin and Tonic with Liber and Co.’s Tonic Syrup (). Surprisingly quiet at first, with cinnamon, nutmeg, sage and cloves in a bright spicy flourish. It has that nice bright sage-note quality, though this time complimenting it with a fresh floral lift, enhanced by the tart sweetness of the syrup.
Finally, we tried Wheeler’s Gin in a Gimlet. A little bit of the earthy spice complimented the acidic notes from the lime. There was a tart, puckering, citric acid punch, with sage again dominant on the finish. Quite nice.
Price: $32 / 750mL
Origin: New Mexico, United States
Availability: New Mexico and Online
Rating: People who don’t like it will probably say “too much sage” and not “enough juniper.” Fans of contemporary style gins will find that the sage, while certainly the star, isn’t singing alone. The balance here elevates Wheeler’s Gin above other strong, single-note contemporary gins. It’s a bold statement of a gin that rather than tossing out all the rules, uses the traditional gin formula as a stepping stone towards something new, and quintessentially “New Mexico.”
VIP and general admission tickets are now on sale for our second annual Holiday Spirits tasting event, a party at which you'll be able to sip spirits from New York and beyond while you cruise around the harbor on the Hornblower Infinity Cruise Ship. Today, we're announcing a new batch of distilleries that have been confirmed to participate in the fete.
We'd previously announced that the event will feature Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Barrow's Intense Ginger Liqueur, Brooklyn Winery, Mount Gay Rum, Sorel Artisanal Liqueur, Van Brunt Stillhouse, and Widow Jane.
Joining that group will be Art in the Age Craft Spirits, Atsby Vermouth, Breuckelen Distilling, Cooperstown Distillery, Greenhook Ginsmiths, Owney's Rum, and White Pike Whiskey.
The event will ultimately feature more than 25 distilleries, so watch this space for updates.
And this year, it includes a harbor cruise.
The ship sets sail from Pier 40 at West Houston Street at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, and returns to port at 9. You can choose from two tiers of ticket options -- general admission tickets ($50) and VIP tickets ($70). Both include unlimited sampling from more than 25 distilleries, a souvenir tasting glass, live music, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, and the cruise; the VIP ticket gets you access to the Captain's Lounge, a private VIP deck located on the top level of the ship, which will include a private bar. You'll also take home a VIP gift bag.
Each level of the ship will feature live entertainment; look for sets from the jazz quartet the Blue Vipers of Brooklyn and local New York City DJ Tim Martell.
Tickets are on sale now; head on over to the website to buy.