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HOPS TO IT

May 10, 2010

The Art of Pairing Food and Craft Beer
By Francine Cohen

Photo by Jason Littrell

Beer, in a stream of consciousness sort of way (putting winter coats at the back of the closet usually coincides with the opening of baseball season, which inevitably leads to hankering for a mustard slathered hot dog washed down by an ice cold brew), has held a seasonal place in our hearts and on our menus.

But really, why are we still relegating it to that Take Me Out To The Ballgame… time of year when throughout all four seasons there are so many styles of beers being brewed, and most of them can pair as well with almost any cuisine as wine does? This seasonal beverage changing of the guards has to stop. Year round pairings of craft beer with food opens up all sorts of dining options for guests, and potential revenue streams for bars, and restaurants; just two good reasons to go beyond the pale and dive into new territory.

Plenty of chefs around the country are embracing beer, going beyond the traditional food pairing options of looking only at distilled spirits and wines, and exploring the possibilities that this other bubbly drink has to offer. A couple of weeks ago 22 people dove for an opportunity to fill the seats available at The Mermaid Inn’s (www.themermaidinnnyc.com) Bivalves and Beer pairing dinner, Sure, it doesn’t sound like a large number, but don’t focus on the number of people who bought tickets; instead, focus on the fact that this dinner sold out in an hour. In just 60 minutes The Mermaid Inn had a house guaranteed to be packed on a Monday night Continue Reading…

Features

SMALL SPIRITS ARE A BIG DEAL

May 6, 2010

A Micro Spirits Odyssey presented by Hush Cocktails

Manhattan is about to be awash in an unprecedented celebration of small batch spirits.

The Micro Spirits Odyssey, created by Hush Cocktails (www.hushcocktails.com) expressly for the Manhattan Cocktail Classic (www.manhattancocktailclassic.com), is a daylong event co-hosted by Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter (www.butterrestaurant.com) comprised of a series of seminars and spirits tastings paired with the perfect small bites to honor the small artisan producers and welcomes the imbibers who love them.

Erin Williams of Hush explains why it came together, “What we at Hush Cocktails love about this event is that it is aimed at promoting the ‘underdog’ – that small producer who gets shut out of other events because they may not have the marketing budget that allows them to participate and get the exposure they deserve. The Micro Spirits Odyssey is being hosted in an elegant space, with exquisite cocktails and culinary pairings which is a luxury many of these small batch micro distilleries could not afford to produce on their budgets like many of the more prominent and established brands are able to do. As a small business ourselves, we understand the importance of support from our peers, and we wanted to extend that support to the folks who make our job possible- the creators and producers of spirits. Every big brand and company that exists today started out small, and with the support of our fellow boozehounds and connoisseurs alike making this event a success, we hope to create a community that can help build and shape our passions to evolve with success, and of course, a simply marvelous time!”

You can’t help but marvel at the lineup of seminars which will enable you to explore various aspects of the growing artisan distillery movement (see schedule below) and you’ll be wowed by the offerings of participating spirits producers (see list below) who will be pouring tastes in “Ground Control” as customized cocktails are offered by Hush Cocktails and guest bartenders: Eryn Reece of Mayahuel, Yael Vengroff of Pegu Club, Frankie Marshall of Clover Club, Continue Reading…