Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bar News

Stolen directly from myself and the new email newsletter I'm working on called Mix. Sign up here.
Bar Artisanal, the casual off-shoot of Terrence Brennan’s NYC Artisanal restaurant, has revamped the specialty cocktail list with seasonal additions including the Grape Fizz made with Bacardi, lime and concord grape juices, and the Peppery Pear made with bourbon, pears and pink peppercorns. The list features cocktail and cheese pairings as well.

Concord grapes are  suddenly hot in New York bars: autumnal treats from Rick Pitcher, beverage director at NYC’s famed Gotham Bar and Grill, include the PB&J (made with Montecristo rum, Castries Peanut Rum liqueur and fresh concord grape juice with a crushed peanut rim). He’s also added the Bartlett, (Charbay green tea vodka, Bartlett pears, sage, Tasmanian leatherwood honey and fresh lemon juice).

Here’s an innovative reason to host a party - your back bar has a birthday. No, not that ancient bar back; the back bar, in this case, the imposing structure behind the stick at Seattle’s cocktail haven Tini Bigs, which turned 100 years old this week.

In Los Angeles, the fall menu at Akhasha, which focuses on local, organic and handcrafted ingredients, includes a Pumpkin Pie (Tru vanilla vodka, Modern Spirit pumpkin vodka, soy milk, agave syrup and a graham cracker dusted rim) and Autumn Harvest (Jefferson small batch bourbon, organic apple juice and cinnamon).

The anxiously awaited Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco will be opening its doors to the public on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, owner Martin Cate informs us. Cate, late of Alameda’s Forbidden Island and one of the premier rum and tiki barmen in the country, will offer more than 80 grogs, Tiki drinks, Havana cocktails and other beverages, 200+ rums including an exclusive house rum from St. George Spirits called Eurydice.

Seafood chain McCormick & Schmick a couple of years ago moved to all fresh juices and made to order drinks. Last week, the chain’s execs announced they’d introduce seasonal cocktail menus as well, setting the bar higher for other high-end chain restaurant beverage programs.

Newly renovated Dovetail restaurant in Manhattan has a new sommelier, Amanda Reade Sturgeon, formerly of Babbo and The French Laundry, who has spearheaded a revamped cocktail list to herald the bar’s rebirth. The list takes an old-school turn through classic drinks using ingredients from smaller producers, local distilleries and seasonal juices. Drinks reveal a serious interest in sherry as an ingredient in such drinks as the Dovetail Manhattan (Sazerac rye, Morenita cream sherry, apple cider, bitters, bourbon-soaked cherry) and the D’groni (gin, Cynar and sherry).

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