Tag Archives: Cocktails

CHANGE IS HARD, AND DELICIOUS

A good drink, is a homing device.
At different times during my drinking life I have been loyal and true to various concoctions; the long lost Gin Gimlet of my own roaring twenties, the more recent Boulevardier, my on again off again sweetheart, the Manhattan.
As a serial regular, I peruse the menu but ultimately never stray. Once I find my drink to adore, I continually return to it.

That’s what happened with me and the Lincoln at Pasture,
for the last 8 months, it was my only. A stimulating and yet soothing mix of bourbon, sambuca, angostura, and orange liquor.
Like an embrace from your grandfather, post cigar and Sen-Sen, the Lincoln was comforting and masculine. It was my leather easy chair.

But change was in the air.

Jeff and Beth, Pasture’s lovely bartenders had braced me for its eventual departure from the cocktail list, to make room for new exciting drinks, giving me ample time to get used to the idea of moving on. I smiled politely at them and imagined my future self simply continuing to order my beloved Lincoln, off menu.
I hardly expected that their recent revamp of their cocktail list, would lead me to my new flame!
Meet the Remington.

The Remington at Pasture

The Remington at Pasture (glam photo by Beth Dixon)

Similar to the Lincoln, though decidedly less grandpa, the Remington feels like an old friend that I need to catch up with. It’s served neat and serious and has a “let’s get this thing started” quality (the Cocchi di Torino, perhaps?).

Among the 5 new additions to the menu, the tart and vibrant tequila based Palmer also pitched some definite woo. You can acquaint yourself with the Remington and all of Pasture’s new cocktails here, and then mosey down to Pasture and taste for yourself.

NEW COCKTAIL PROGRAM AT LEMAIRE

Gator's Ghost

Gator’s Ghost

When word comes through that a restaurant in town has changed up their drink menu I make it my business to take a looksee. Yesterday I had the pleasure of trying 3 of the recently debuted cocktails at one of my most favorite places in RVA to enjoy an adult beverage, Lemaire at The Jefferson Hotel. Bar manager Scott Harris welcomed me with a plate of pimento cheese and I wasted no time getting to know the menu.

The new cocktail list features refined classics with an emphasis on exploring flavor. The most notable addition is a “Create Your Own Manhattan” feature where you can spend lots of time (and money if you are inclined) marrying numerous bourbons to vermouth and bitters. And I plan to.

Below are the three drinks I had of the 10 on the new list, 5 served up, 5 over ice.

Gator’s Ghost- Cathead vodka, Cointreau, Aperol, fresh juices, house made ginger beer

Named for the storied Jefferson alligator, it is lively and has a pleasant zing from the ginger beer. Quite delicious and it goes down very easily (blame it on the A-A-A-A-A-Aperol).

Shady Grove- Virginia bourbon, house spiced cider and sorghum.

Citrus cuts the syrupy sweet sorghum and hints of cardamom and anise come through on the cider. An apple pie love letter to Virginia, it is already very popular with guests.

Monument and Boulevardier- Bulleit Rye whiskey, Carpano Antica, Byrrh

This was my favorite of the three as the Boulevardier (which is a Negroni with a Southern identity crisis) is dear to my heart and liver. The addition of the French amaro Byrrh brings some woodsy, bitter-fruit depth. I’d like nominate it to be Richmond’s signature cocktail.

That is where I had to stop but tomorrow is another day and there was a rum Old Fashioned I had my eye on….

WINTER COCKTAIL CRAWL: PASTURE (RVA)

Though I heard Andrew Frieden this morning talking about temperatures in the 70s for this weekend- I am vigilant in continuing to bring you our city’s cocktail goings on!

(This is my 2nd to last post on the subject and if I am to come clean- I need to admit one of my absolute top, favorite restaurants in the city. The food and staff are near and dear to me, but for our purposes here today, we are sticking to the bar, which I happen to LOVE.)

Pasture calls itself a Southern restaurant, but I am a full fledged Yankee and I feel so very at home there. The bar itself is beautiful, long and roomy, with a wall of restored wood, hiding drawers in which are tucked the bottles normally displayed. The wall also sports a sleek and anonymous row of taps flush against it. Both of these aspects prompt immediate engagement with the bartenders and discussion of the drink menus, which I adore.

The folks who work behind the bar are some of the nicest and sincere I’ve ever met, in or out of town. The atmosphere, a large open space with high ceilings (criticized early on for being too noisy) has always been for me, a perfect backdrop for enjoying oneself at the bar, almost creating a separate bar feel, while still amidst the bustling dining room. I could go on, but it’s time to get down to business, the reason we are all here, Good thirsty ladies and gents may I present to you: The pickle back.IMG_1867

I kid!! While I love a pickle back and I am pretty positive Marty would step over me to get at one, its but a teaser for the real libations that await you at Pasture.

Meet Beth, here she is fixing me a bitters and (house made) ginger after a long evening of insobriety last summer.

BethatPasture.

She also made this, The Ringold, a peach, brandy, ginger beer and champagne fairy nectar for the holidays: IMG_1866

and this IMG_1873 which is currently one of my current obsessions, a curious and satisfying mix of bourbon, citrus liqueur, Sambuca, and bitters named for a certain President we all went gaga for last year and tasting of, as Beth aptly put it, “an old man”.
No, no, no she actually referred to it as an old man’s drink, but I tell people it tastes like old man, just to see the scowl on their face (hey, to each his, own).

Beth is also known to make her own bitters, and syrups such as the pickled pear syrup in a flirty Gin, rhubarb bitters and red grapefruit fizz whose name now escapes me.
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I would be remiss to not mention Jeff, whose gracious manner and Tennessee drawl are quite the draw to the bar at Pasture. I like to say “We come for the Beth, but we stay for the Jeff”. (That’s the first time I’ve said that.)
The cocktails (and beers and wines) change more than seasonally, giving you good reason to drink early and drink often. Please go visit the gang at Pasture, have a seat at the bar, order something to sip on, some Pimento Cheese and tell them Nicole sent you.

WINTER COCKTAIL CRAWL: RAPPAHANNOCK

Yes, we are still at it!
By ‘it’ I mean of course, the Food Punk Winter Cocktail Crawl! I’m very excited about this next spot. These guys, whom I met last year at a Lambs and Clams event, are top notch! In fact their restaurant puts another glorious notch in the ever expanding belt of Richmond’s food scene.
(Oh, and speaking of lambs- be on the look out in 2013 for Pared Pictures’ short film on Craig Rogers, Shepherd– The lamb half of that aforementioned power pairing.)
Rappahannock Restaurant opened a couple of weeks ago on Grace St and Richmonders are thrilled. Marty and I had been stalking the place prior to their opening -noses pressed up against the floor to ceiling windows like Ralphie in a Christmas story- as if the gorgeous 33 seat wrap around bar and the promise of truckloads of oysters were akin to an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

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Look at this guy! Whom else would one want to see as you take your perch at the bar?

Now as a lover of bivalves it was hard to resist ordering from the raw bar, but sadly, this is not an oyster crawl.
On to the drinks!
It took me a while to get my order together as the drink menu was more varied than I had expected with a bunch of tempting options, plus wine and a craft beer list.
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Take note of the non-alcoholic beverage section above, a testament to Kat Kinsman’s 2013 dining trends #2.

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I heard tell that they have a lady bartender extraordinaire from DC at Raoppahannock. My drinks that night were made by the fellow you see above and another cheerful gentleman. I went with a Pisco Alexander, a twist on two very storied drinks. It was perfectly diluted with tiny shards of ice and had an excellent spice to it, reminiscent of a brandied Horchata in taste.

After that creamy sensation, a cleanser was in order, a Prosecco Shrub was just the thing and it readied me for our next stop, a few doors down. (Tireless, in our pursuit of drinks are we!!)
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Though I am a chronicler and NOT a critic, I’d like to add that Rappahannock came out of the gate, not running, but flying. They excel at service and hospitality, every member of staff we came into contact with greeted us and chatted a bit. I look forward to what they bring to Richmond and I hope to be a frequent shoveler of oysters- ahem, I mean guest there.

THE 5 DAYS OF DRINKMAS

Hey! Long time no see! I still exist doing the whole working/baking/eating/drinking/thinking thing. Mostly working/baking/sleping as of late.
With so little time left between now and THE BIG DAY, I decided to latch onto the holiday frivolity the best way I know how- COCKTAILS! In the next days leading up to Christmas, I will drink at least 5, if not more cocktails around town and picture them here and on my twitter.
After a long day working/baking Marty and I decided to pop into Pasture, where the cocktail list has recently been revealed. I really appreciate how Pasture is blending modern and sleek with traditional and the bar is gorgeous.
Marty went with a Roanoke Rail lager and I decided on The SURRY: smoked ginger syrup, bourbon, lemon juice and peel, and a splash of ginger ale. The drink is listed on ice, but I requested it NEAT and do not regret it. I also asked for Old Overholt, a straight Rye Whiskey.
This is a complex little drink. The smokiness, while not for everyone I imagine, completely made the drink for me. Those other ingredients, (obviously no strangers to Whiskey) gained depth from that muskiness and made for a subtle but different treatment.
I highly recommend it.
CHEER FACTOR: 4 out of 5

The SURRY at Pasture

Stay tuned for more drinks from around town and elsewhere!