Two spirit oriented events coming up fast:
Friday May 3rd: Bourbon 101. A tasting featuring small-batch bourbons. This is part of the Frederick First Friday celebration. I had no idea this existed. If you check out their web page you can see they have a whole series of spirits tastings lined up for 2013. I’d love to try the Bourbon one, but can’t make it on such short notice. But scotch in September and rum in October? I’m there.
Saturday May 4th is the 2013 Cigar and Whiskey Night to benefit Pry House Museum and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. More information HERE
I know I’ve been MIA around here. I’ve been out of the country for a stretch and have returned rested and ready to resume blogging. I have a new cocktail that I grew fond of while I was abroad: The Paloma. Anyone guess where I was? In my exhaustive research I noticed a wide variation in the making of this cocktail. I always asked the bartender how they made it. Not sure I can remember all the answers though. I have been experimenting with my own recipe and as soon as I perfect it I will post it here. Anyone care to share their favorite recipe? It’s certainly in the running for pool drink 2013.
Also of note the Drink Local Wine’s Fifth Annual Conference is going to be in Baltimore this weekend. You can find more information HERE. The grand finale taste-off looks especially intriguing. The list of participants is exciting. At $40 it seems like a really good deal as well and a unique opportunity to taste all these fine Maryland wines in one place. This conferene moves around the country so this may be your one chance to go when it is close by.
A few tidbits: Eight Loudoun Wines you should drink this spring
The Maryland Drink Local Wine Conference will be held in Baltimore April 13th, 2013
The Frederick Wine House is having a tasting (tonight March 14th 6-8pm) with the owner and winemaker of Roots Wine.
I have to admit that I am such a geek that I regularly read the liquor board minutes. Having attended a few hearings in my other capacity I am always stunned by how antiquated the laws and procedures are. It offends the libertarian in me how controlled the process is (and that other owners can get up there and protest the issuance of a new license because there are already other stores in the area). However as an avid beer wine and liquor consumer you can find some interesting tidbits in the minutes. From the most recent hearing on February 11th, 2013 besides the usual transfer requests I did note the following items:
A store called Spin the Bottle was granted a conditional license for 220 East Patrick Street. Another store called Viniculture put their license application on hold because they could not come to terms with the landlord at their proposed 57 East Patrick Street location. If memory serves that was the location of the old Deli?
Lastly a conditional license was issued for a new store down in Urbana in the Fingerboard Plaza shopping center (same place where Mangie e Bevi is located). The name on the application is Orion Wine and Spirits.
Filed under Beer, Booze, Stores
Well apparently the 22nd was National Margarita Day. I’m not sure how I could have missed such a momentous milestone, but I did. Not sure who’s behind it, but probably a bunch of tequila marketers! Honestly seems wrong to me to have it in February. I drink my fair share of margaritas, just not in the middle of winter.
I am not a big fan of the chocolate infused wines as you can see from my review of the industry leader Chocovine HERE. So it was with passing interest that I saw a recent report that sales of chocolate flavored wines are down 13% overall, and Chocovine in particular was down a whopping 35%. Looks like a clear case of the novelty wearing off. I’ll shed no tears for the passing of the fad. You can see all the data here.
Tried a new cocktail this past weekend that was a smashing success: The Cherry Noir mule. A variation on the venerable Moscow mule, this one was made with Grey Goose Cherry Noir vodka:
Take 4 sweet cherries (In this case I used Wegmans frozen sweet cherries, thawed) and muddle them with 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice and about 1/2 oz of simple syrup
Add 1 1/2 ounces of Grey Goose Cherry Noir and a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake with some ice and then top off with about 2 ounces of ginger beer. If you only have ginger ale don’t bother. I used some Appalachian Brewing Company’s Ginger Beer and it was fantastic. The spicy, gingery soda made the drink. If you are feeling fancy you can garnish with a cherry or two and a lime wedge. Enjoy!
So busy enjoying I almost forgot to take a picture.
Don’t forget the bitters! On the third round I was busy chatting with my guests and forgot to add them. Everyone felt they were a bit off and I couldn’t put my finger on it until I had a d’oh moment when I mixed up the next batch. It was really surprising what an undercurrent of subtle tastes a few drops of bitters made to the drink.
Vinotrip has a nice review of Orchid Cellar, local makers of fine mead. I really have to get there one day!!
I posted a new entry on the FredList page: the top five pool drinks. The recipes are fairly easy and all delicious quenchers to help you beat the heat. Check them out.
With fresh limes and a muddler the future is always bright.
Well actually some of them already do. But they are anomalies or grandfathered in. The vast majority cannot. Most people really do not give this much of a thought, but the application for a liquor store above the new Columbia Wegmans has really brought this issue to the forefront lately. Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws does a great job of summarizing the controversy here. The money quote “Why do package good stores have any greater right to have their business protected than a five and dime? We have a capitalist marketplace. In every other industry, they have to deal with the competition. The booksellers have to deal with Amazon, Blockbuster has to deal with Netflix. Why do customers have to lose out?”
I believe that any store should be able to get a liquor license. Heck I should be able to get it shipped on the internet to my home. What do you think? I know a lot of people, especially in the southwestern part of our county, go to the Leesburg Wegmans or Costco. Wouldn’t Maryland rather have those tax dollars as well?
We were in an Italian restaurant in Savannah last fall. I can’t even remember the name of the place, it was close to the hotel and we were tired and hungry. The food was average Italian-American, I can not remember what we ate, but boy do I remember the cocktails we had. It was on the menu as an Italian mojito and we loved it so much that upon leaving we made a point to track down the bartender and interrogate him about his creation. He gave us the macro view, but was a little vague about the finer points. So with high mojito season approaching (ok- I’ll admit it’s in full swing at stately Fred Manor) I have been working to perfect my version. Here it is.
Muddle some basil leaves (6-8) in about 1 1/2 ounces of lime juice with a few wedges of lime for effect To this add 1 1/2 ounces of limoncello. Fill the glass with a good scoop of crushed ice and then top off with prosecco. Enjoy!
Grocery stores seeking way around alcohol sales ban. I have mixed feelings about this. Comments anyone? I do admit that I stop at the Leesburg Costco from time to time to get wine.
Good op-ed piece in the Sun on this issue by Adam Borden president of MBBWL.
And finally on Monday I posted about the best rose I have had in ages. Well it seems that I am not the only one who feels this way. In today’s wine column in the Washington Post Dave McIntyre gives the Alexander Valley Vineyards Dry Rose of Sangiovese the highest rating out of all the rose he reviewed. Refined palate or just plebeian tastes? I know which theory I’m going with.
Filed under Booze, Stores, Wine
This blog got a mention in the Marylander’s for Better Beer & Wine Laws 2012 Alcohol Legislative Roundup for my April 23rd post on some of the changes to Maryland’s alcohol laws. This is a good time to reaffirm what a great organization MBBWL is, and not just because they gave me a shout out. I’ve been plugging them on this blog from as far back as October 2009. They are the only organization in this state that fights for the consumer on these issues and they have been instrumental in the incremental progress that has been made in bringing a measure of sanity to Maryland’s alcohol laws. They wage a David versus Goliath battle against the beverage wholesalers lobby. Send them some love by liking them on facebook, following them on twitter and most importantly giving them a little money by going to their home page and clicking the please donate button on the right.
In anticipation of the impending changes (on July 1st I believe?) in the alcohol laws are two new ”farm breweries” in Frederick County that are slated to open soon: Frey’s Brewing Company and Milkhouse Brewery. Exciting times. Ever so often the legislature actually does something good. I look forward to their opening and as soon as possible I shall visit them and report back here. Maybe I can get a sneak preview on one: Milkhouse Brewery is on Stillpoint Farm which is where FirkinFest, the grand finale to Frederick Beer Week , is being held.
This past legislative session saw some changes in the laws which will be of interest to readers:
Corkage: The practice of bringing your own bottle of wine to a restaurant to drink is commonly known as corkage. Up until now this has been illegal in Maryland (in fact I believe that Volt got into a bit of trouble last year for allowing this). As of July 1st, 2012 patrons of Maryland restaurants will now be permitted to bring that special bottle when they dine with a couple of conditions: the restaurant must allow it and have a permit to do so from the local liquor board, the wine must be consumed with a meal, and the wine is not available for sale on the restaurant’s wine list. As an aside the last condition should be honored simply as a matter of proper etiquette law or no law.
Middletown Wine Festival: A bill passed the legislature that allows a wine festival to be held within the municipal boundaries of the town for no more than two, one-day festival per year.
Packing Heat: Lastly I’m sure you will all feel better and safer that the Legislature will now allow Frederick County’s alcoholic beverage inspector(s) to carry firearms in the course of their duties. I predict that a SWAT team will not be far behind.
There are all sorts of boozy events coming up:
Toast to Frederick wine festival- April 21st and 22nd at the Frederick fairgrounds
The Maryland Craft Beer Festival at the Frederick fairgrounds. May 12th from noon to six.
Frederick Beer Week- May 12-19th. Events all over the Frederick area.
Wine in The Woods- May 19 and 20th at Merriweather Post Pavillion.
Just goes to show you how stupid the State’s liquor laws are: Comptroller Blasts County For Illegal Liquor Purchase
Did you know that Frederick had beer trail? I didn’t. Here is the article from the Downtown Frederick Partnership. With the exception of Roast House Pub I’ve hiked the whole trail, however I’m not sure I agree with all the listings. Certainly Flying Dog, Barley & Hops and Brewer’s Alley deserve to be on there. What about the others? Does simply serving good beer warrant inclusion? Let me know.
The Senate’s bipartisan plan to shore up the postal service’s shaky finances includes a provision to allow the USPS to ship wine and beer. Currently only UPS and FedEx do so. Sen. Lieberman is quoted as saying the plan would pull the mail service ”back from the brink of bankruptcy.” Alcohol has certainly saved me from the brink a few times so why not the mail?
Full article here.
Is this the future of the USPS?
Had a Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter this weekend. I thought it was awesome. Not really a food beer, too distinctive in its flavor, and probably too heavy for the weather we are having around here now, but in front of a campfire in the highlands of West Virginia it was magical. I think during the cooler months it will become a regular in my rotation. Anyone know where I can get this in Frederick?
Excellent front page article in today’s Frederick News Post. Talks about Bryan Voltaggio’s collaboration on a new brew with Flying Dog Brewery: Backyard Ale. The beer is designed to go with “smoked and barbecued foods.” Downside is that FNP says it goes for $5 for a 12 ounce bottle. Ouch- seems pricey for a regularly brewed beer.
Also in a sidebar the article talks about Voltaggio’s new TV show that he’s working on that might air on PBS in the fall. Equally interesting is the tidbit that he is now considering the old Carmack Jay’s property for his new second restaurant.
Frederick Beer Week starts today. Word is that the beer judging class is sold out, but there are still tickets for the grand finale fest on Saturday. Anyone doing anything?
As promised: It was very good and smooth as silk. Delicious malty undertones with some faint hops on the finish. Milder as bitters go. The hard part was limiting myself to one!
A neat article in today’s Frederick News Post about Brewer’s Alley’s Amber Fields Best Bitter. This new British-style bitter is a result of a ten year (!) project between their brewmaster and a local farmer to brew the first commercially produced beer from locally grown barley. Pretty cool. I’m going to go down and have a pint. Well maybe not right now since its only 7:55 in the morning as I write this.
Full article can be read here.