Monday, September 22, 2014

The Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1964 and 1966 - and A Distillery Tour

Gastronomista The Glenlivet Winchester Collection
The Glenlivet Winchester Collection - Vintage 1964

Welcome back to part 2 of my trip to Speyside with The Glenlivet!

So you're probably reeling with anticipation wondering what was this special whisky that I went all the way to Scotland to taste?

I had the privilege to be one of the first to taste The Glenlivet 1964 Vintage and the 1966 Vintage the first two releases of the The Winchester Collection, a series of 50 year old single malts named after master distiller Alan Winchester

Friday, September 19, 2014

Speyside Scotland with The Glenlivet



Last month I was invited on a gorgeous trip to Aberdeen Scotland to visit The Glenlivet distillery, and to taste an exclusive product launching in October.   

Going in, I knew that this trip was going to be a special one.  I was one of three journalists from the United States invited to be one of the first to taste this new whisky!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Summertime Champagne Punch

Gastronomista Summertime Champagne Punch

A good friend of mine recently reached out to me to ask for a punch recipe I made last month, so I figure I would share it here as well!

I got this recipe from somewhere, but of course, I did not save the link and now have no idea who to credit for this delicious recipe.  As always, I recommend buying provisions for at least two rounds of punch.  For some reason the punch bowl always goes dry much sooner than I anticipate!  Plan ahead and keep your guests happy!

Summertime Champagne Punch

12 oz Fruit Punch
10 oz Frozen Strawberries
2 C Fresh Strawberries
1 Package of Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
24 oz Ginger Ale
3 C Water
1 Bottle of Champagne (can substitute sparkling white wine or prosecco)
1 Lemon
1 Large Ice Block

Freeze your ice block the day before.  Extra points for freezing strawberries or lemon slices into your ice block!  (Note: I used cubes because I foolishly did not plan ahead)

Add ice block to punch bowl.  Add all of the ingredients, and stir gently.  Slice the Strawberries and Lemons into thin slices and float on the top of the punch.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

21 Club Wine Cellar with Tanqueray Old Tom

gastronomista tanqueray old tom gin

I recently went to the most gorgeous dinner in the legendary wine cellar in the 21 Club in Manhattan - hosted by Tanqueray to celebrate one of their new limited edition releases, Tanqueray Old Tom.  For those of you who are not familiar with the 21 Club, just know that it is a New York institution.  The website lists the preferred tables of celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway, Rod Stewart, George Clooney, and Bill Clinton, so pick your table wisely.


After cocktails and canapes of foie gras, we were lead through the lively dining room, through the kitchen, down a flight of dubiously steep stairs, and asked to line up in the hallway.  Accidentally, we locked a poor chef in the walk-in, and after hearing her pounding on the glass, quickly jumped aside to free her!

gastronomista tanqueray old tom gin

gastronomista tanqueray old tom gin

In a dark recessed brick archway was the entrance to what was once the speakeasy of the restaurant.  A long thin key that resembled a BBQ skewer was inserted at a specific angle, releasing the latch, and allowing us into the incredible secret chamber.

 gastronomista tanqueray old tom gin

We passed through the hidden passage, and were led through a small but amazingly full wine cellar that was lined floor to ceiling with bottles of wine.  These weren't your typical house wine bottles, these are rare vintages set aside for movers and shakers.  Martha Stewart, President Ford, and Sammy Davis Jr were a few reserved bottles that I spotted. 

Gastronomista Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at The 21 Club

Gastronomista Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at The 21 Club

We were seated at a long and thin table designed specifically for the narrow room, covered in wood veneer inlays of the iconic 21 Club jockeys.  I was seated next to Tom Nichol, master distiller of Tanqueray, a lovely and charming man who not only makes some of the best gin in the world, but also loves a good pint.  (We did not selfie, although I really wanted to.) 

Gastronomista Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at The 21 Club

The meal started off the meal with Caviar served with Hackleback, lemon creme fraiche, and buckwheat blinis paired that was followed by a side by side tasting of Tanqueray Old Tom and Tanqueray London Dry.

But first, you might be wondering what Old Tom Gin is, and what makes it unique.  Old Tom gin originates from 18th century England, is made in a pot still, and is sweeter than a London Dry Gin yet not as sweet as Dutch Genever.  Mr. Nichol has developed the recipe for Tanqueray Old Tom using notes from Charles Tanqueray's recipe books, dated from 1835.  Tanqueray Old Tom is a sweeter variation of the classic London dry recipe, that has a silky mouth feel and flavors of juniper, lemon-lime, with a spicy undercurrent of peppercorns, anise, eucalyptus, with a distinct creaminess.

So why has this recipe been recreated?  To make historical cocktail recipes more accurately!  Many of Jerry Thomas' recipes call for Old Tom gin, and using a London Dry gin would completely change the taste of the cocktail! 

I especially loved the Tuxedo Cocktail that was paired with the Crab Cakes served with grilled corn, pickles jalapenos, dill butter, and celery ribbons.  The Tuxedo cocktail is a classic gin martini made with dry vermouth, orange bitters, absinthe, and a touch of maraschino liqueur. 

Behold:

Gastronomista Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at The 21 Club

The crab cakes were followed by an epic Wild Mushroom Risotto that I am still having dreams about, and then a Steak "Diane" Filet of Beef served with pomme tournee, asparagus, wild mushrooms, and garlic chips.  Swoon!

We finished the meal with a Valrhona Chocolate Souffle with salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, paired with an Old Tom Alexander - a classic cocktail made with Tanqueray Old Tom Gin, Creme de Cacao Liqueur, Heavy Cream, topped with grated nutmeg.   

Gastronomista Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at The 21 Club

New York never ceases to amaze me with its history and its secrets.  For those of you who have had the opportunity to dine in the wine cellar of the 21 Club, you know what a special place it is.  And to be there in the legendary wine cellar (a room that holds more secrets than the Situation Room), drinking Tanqueray Old Tom Tuxedo Cocktails next to the man who makes the stuff, was beyond amazing.

I was without a doubt the last to leave, reluctant to return to the real world.  As I ascended up the steep stairs, past the dishwashers in the kitchen, through the already empty dining room, and out onto the noisy street, it was clear to me that I was just a part of something very, very special. 


Want more?

Make Old Tom cocktails at home!

Gastronomista Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at The 21 Club


Tuxedo Cocktail

1-3/4 oz. Tanqueray Old Tom Gin
1-3/4 oz. Dry Vermouth
3 dashes Orange Bitters
1 dash La Fee Parisienne Superieure or a preferred Absinthe
1/8 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

Stir all ingredients with ice, fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Help Gastronomista Become a Quarterly Curator!

I have exciting news!!!

I have been asked to curate a cocktail tools and toys box for Quarterly!!!

But FIRST I need YOU to sign up and show your support!!!  I need 1500 people to say they are interested in Gastronomista becoming a Curator for Quarterly.

support gastronomista on quarterly

Ideas for the box:

-Exclusive Bottle Opener designed by yours truly
-Stylish Cocktail Picks
-Recipes
-Gastronomista designed cocktail napkins
-Selections of some of my favorite products, including bitters and brandied cherries!
-Emergency Cocktail Kits!!

So much more!!!

Please go to Quarterly.com - and show your support by this Friday 9/12!!!

Let's make this happen!!

emily

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Indian Summer Wines

All the kids might be back in school, but I stand by the calendar - summer is not over!!  We've got two solid weeks until the official start of fall, and I plan to maximize every second of it!  Which means, lots of grilling, eating garden fresh veggies, and of course, drinking lovely summery wines. If you're looking for a great wine to serve with a burger, or just to sip outside on the porch, look no further, here's my list of my favorite wines for the Indian Summer!

Gastronomista Wines for the Last Days of Summer


Friday, August 29, 2014

Survival Guide: The Dog Days of Summer

I can't believe it's Labor Day weekend already - summer really flew by this year!  Even though Labor day is considered the finale of summer - we technically have a few more weeks of glorious summer to enjoy!   Celebrate, we must - break out the pool toys and the pineapple rum!
 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Watermelon Aperol Spritz at Saxon + Parole

Masa Urushido's Watermelon Aperol Spritz at Saxon + Parole in NYC

If you haven't heard of Masa Urushido by now, you should.  He's running the bar program at Saxon + Parole, The Daily, and Public, in addition to winning global cocktail competitions!  In my opinion, he's one of the insanely talented young guns of the cocktail world creating delicious cocktails that are sophisticated, seasonal, and yet approachable for even the most novice imbiber.

Masa Urushido's Watermelon Aperol Spritz at Saxon + Parole in NYC
S+P Monthly Cocktail Cabinet

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