Hello Stranger | Login | Create Account
 
 
 
 
 
  SAUCE MAGAZINE
|
Sep 02, 2015
|
Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
|
SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
Email | Text-size: A | A | A

Posts Tagged ‘Drinking’

Drink This Weekend Edition: Square One’s Social Devyat

Friday, March 13th, 2015

031315_dtwe

 

I was three sips in to my inaugural glass of Square One Brewery’s Social Devyat, a complex Russian Imperial stout, before the man who brewed it told me he was drinking it for the first time, too. I shot him an incredulous look.

“I’m surprised that there’s this interesting smokiness to it,” said Square One’s brewmaster John Witte, sounding like someone tasting someone else’s beer. The barrel had been tapped a mere 20 minutes before.

What made Witte’s revelation so startling was that Square One’s ninth anniversary party, which took place Feb. 25, was already well underway. The Devyat (Russian for “nine”) and a single keg of barrel-aged barley wine, held in reserve from last year’s shindig, were being poured and passed around the tables in the already full bar room. Now that’s confidence.

In our moment of high-concept beers (peanut butter-chocolate milk stout!), it seems risky to expend the malt and barrel space on high-gravity, unsessionable styles like barley wine and Imperial stouts. But wait until you take a sip. Aged in Square One’s J.J. Neukomm’s whiskey barrels, the Social Devyat begins with a rush of deep malt that gives way to the oakiness imparted by the cooperage. Stormy, even king-like in character, it’s not surprising this style is ascribed monarchical qualities – Russia’s Catherine the Great was such a fan she special ordered it from Britain throughout her reign.

“It’s like marrying a stout and a barley wine together,” he said. “You pick up flavors that have been impregnated into the wood.”

The more fruit-forward but slightly less distinctive barrel-aged barley wine is, at 11.2-percent ABV, the stronger beer. It’s also a collaboration between homebrewer Troy Woodburn and Witte, who called it a “pro-am beer.”

Well, perhaps I should say “was.” With such a strong turnout to raise a glass to another year of Square One’s fine brewing efforts, there isn’t likely to be much of the barley wine left. The Devyat, however, awaits you in all its fine Imperial glory. Na zdorovie.

Drink This Weekend Edition: 4 steps to ordering the perfect glass of wine

Friday, March 6th, 2015

030615_dtwe

 

Everyone should be able to peruse a restaurant wine list with confidence. Personally, I love when someone hands me a heavy leather-bound wine bible, but I realize that even a simple one-page list can be daunting for some. Here, how to order your perfect glass of wine in four simple steps:

Step 1: Order a glass of bubbly. Look for something from one of the traditional European sparkling wine regions: Spanish cava, Italian prosecco and French Champagne. The crisp, dry flavors in a sparkling wine whet your appetite, and bubbles always make the evening a celebration. Choosing one will be easy, as most wine lists only include one or two options. The budget-conscious can sip a cava or a fruity prosecco, while those looking to indulge can try a slightly more expensive glass of Champagne.

Step 2: Now that those bubbles have boosted your confidence a bit, turn your attention to the rest of the list and decide how much you are willing to spend on a glass (or bottle). Don’t be swayed by the first bottle of cabernet sauvignon you see; they can often be pricier, while more unfamiliar wines are often better values.

Step 3: Go outside your comfort zone. Order something outside of your usual repertoire. If you’re enjoying a steak, skip the cabernet or Bordeaux and instead try a red from South American or France’s Cahors region. The more obscure picks are often gems on wine lists, with a little more age and a much better quality for the price ratio.

Step 4: Still confused? Ask for help. Servers at quality establishments are trained to guide you toward a great wine pick. Ask for something special and out of the ordinary, then enjoy what comes.

Put your newfound skills to the test this weekend at Bar Italia in Central West End or Truffles in Ladue; both establishments have amazing by the glass and full wine lists – and attentive staff in case you get stuck. Choosing a wine should be fun; don’t let it stress you out.

 

Ben Wood has more than 10 years experience in the wine industry. He currently works as a sales representative for St. Louis-based wine importer Terra Firma.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Heavy Riff and Excel Brewing’s Two Frenchmen

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

021915_riffbrew

 

Even a brew-savvy city like St. Louis can overlook a beer style every now and then. Heavy Riff Brewing Co. in Dogtown and Illinois-based Excel Brewing set out to change that with their bière de mars Two Frenchmen, debuting Saturday, Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.

Bière de mars, or “March beer,” is related to the more common saison and bière de garde. This classic French style is often floral, slightly fruity and was traditionally made in late winter or early spring for quick consumption. Two Frenchmen is brewed with orange peel and a touch of elderflower for added complexity. This amber beer is mildly malty with a slightly dry finish. The French farmhouse ale yeast strain gives the beer an added spicy character. The restrained hop character puts the focus on the fermentation characteristics and the subtle spice additions.

If you haven’t been to Heavy Riff lately, this is a perfect opportunity for a visit. The brewery, which celebrated its first anniversary last fall, now regularly has eight to 10 of its beers on tap. In addition to the bière de mars, Heavy Riff will also feature a cask of its new IPA Left Coast Envy and its Dark Days American rye stout. Excel is bringing its new double IPA, Plague Bringer.

If you miss the party, you’re in luck – Two Frenchmen will soon be on tap at better craft beer establishments around town.

Eric Hildebrandt is the moderator and ambassador for STL Hops. Find him on Twitter at @EricSTL6.

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: Get schooled on sherry

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

010515_dtwe

 

Sherry is one of the greatest values in the wine world right now, but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding these fortified Spanish wines. Here, a crash course on three types of sherry – and why you should drink them:

1. Fino: These sherries are not oxidized, which makes them crisp, clean and beautiful. They are a perfect start to a meal with olives and charcuterie or even a more substantial fish course. A fino labeled “Manzanilla” means that sherry was created exclusively in the costal town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

2. Oloroso: The aging process for this sherry allows for plenty of oxidation. This means they are rich, complex and often some of the oldest wines you can get for the money. Olorosos are aged in a solera system, a series of barrels that contain different ages of wine. The average oloroso solera is well over 30 years old. Some date back to the 1800s; this means that some portion of every bottle in that solera is that old. At least 17 percent ABV, oloroso is one of my favorite wines to enjoy with cheese plates loaded with strong varieties, honey, nuts and quince paste.

3. Pedro Ximénez: Got a sweet tooth? This classic dessert wine is the one sherry made with the Pedro Ximénez grape instead of the palamino. So dark they appear brown or almost black, these are amazingly sweet wines. My favorite way to enjoy PX is poured over vanilla ice cream (just like grandma used to!), but it’s quite good with honeyed desserts like baklava or halvah.

The Wine and Cheese Place in Creve Coeur and Starrs both have excellent sherry selections. Ready to try a bottle? Look for Valdespino Fino Inocente, an excellent start for sherry novices.

Prefer to shake that sherry instead? Try our recipe for a Tongue & Cheek cocktail featuring fino sherry and click here to learn more about this resurgent wine.

 

Ben Wood has more than 10 years experience in the wine industry. He currently works as a sales representative for St. Louis-based wine importer Terra Firma.

Drink This Weekend Edition: 2015 wine trends with Jon Dickinson at Parker’s Table

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

010814_johnd

{From left, Parker’s Table manager Jon Dickinson and Jon Parker}

 

The new year brings new talk of trends throughout the food and beverage scene, from those we eagerly anticipate to those we wish would just disappear already. I recently popped by Parker’s Table to chat with manager Jon Dickinson about what’s up next for the St. Louis wine scene – and picked up a few bottles for myself.

What trends did you see here in 2014?
We found an acceptance with consumers of wines outside the areas they were used to … wines from Hungary, Turkey, Greece … wines that are excellent, unique, historical, Old World, really cool wines that just (didn’t) have the exposure before.

Why were St. Louisans interested in these more obscure wines?
A new crop of younger sommeliers (is) getting really excited about obscure wines and actually putting them on restaurant wine lists … It’s a lot easier to get someone to try a cool glass of wine in a cool restaurant than it is to get them to invest in a full bottle. Having cooler glass-pour programs around town has been great in increasing consumer education, getting customers to … open their minds a little bit about wine regions St. Louis has not really seen before.

What can we expect in 2015?
People are getting more acclimated to high-acid wines, more food-friendly wines, understanding that wines and foods go together. The two can play off each other and create really unique flavor combinations.

Why are people interested in higher-acid wines?
People are just getting tired of the big, overdone style with high alcohol and massive oak flavors. They seem to be looking for wines that are more refreshing.

What wine resolutions did you make this year?
I’ve resolved to drink even crazier! Trying new things I haven’t tried before, new grapes, wines from new places, and wines made in unique ways.

Can you share a trade secret for choosing good wines?
Even if you don’t know the wine, pick an importer or two you like, and check the back label for that importer… (I like) Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Louis/Dressner Selections and Rare Wine Company.

Here, my two picks to get into Dickinson’s 2015 trends, both from a suggested importer:

1. Chateau Soucherie Anjou Rouge is a Loire Valley blend of cabernet franc and grolleau grapes that’s earthy and spicy, yet approachable and refreshing.

2. Kiràlyudvar Tokaj Furmint Sec is a delicious dry white from Hungary’s famed Tokaji region. It’s bright and crisp with a high level of acidity balanced by melon and lemon.

 

By the Book: Charles Phan’s Hot Buttered Rhum Cider

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

122714_btb_cover

 

Flushed and teetering slightly, I executed my final By the Book dish of the year more liberally than others, multiplying the yield by many times, swapping some ingredients, fudging others. If the writer’s occupational hazard is drinking, I’ll ration the danger by making my poison in batch form, thank you very much. Heaven forbid I drink alone.

The opportunity came to me at Sauce’s holiday party this past weekend, where my potluck contribution was a steaming jug of Hot Buttered Rhum Cider. The recipe for the festive concoction came from Charles Phan’s The Slanted Door, the cookbook inspired by his eponymously named Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco which happened to win Outstanding Restaurant honors at the 2014 James Beards.

Phan – who claims no professional culinary training – styles himself a home cook, and his recipes show it. Each dish is engineered in a straightforward single page of instructions opposite stark, colorful photography. Think uncomplicated dishes like halved lobster tossed in melted herb butter, an easy Vietnamese fisherman’s stew and a stout lineup of simple cocktails.

Mulled cider makes an amiable base for this drink, which masks (and yet is enhanced by) the flavor of the dark rum. For additional texture and richness there’s the spiced compound butter, a degenerately sugary concoction that I stopped eating with a spoon only because our party guests began to arrive. Into the drink the rest of it went, forming a soupy froth on top. The final product needed a few minutes to steep and recalibrate itself to unify the flavor. When it did, I simply left it on low for the roaring duration of the party, guests ladling steaming cupfuls for themselves throughout.

 

 

122714_btb_01

 

The recipe outlines the proportion for making one serving, but it’s easily scaled up as needed. I again summoned my ancient Crock-Pot from a few months ago, using it first to mull the cider with spices, then to warm the finished batch of grog. Leave cider to mull for at least an hour in the slow cooker on high.

 

122714_btb_02

 

Let the butter rest at room temperature for a few minutes so it can soften enough to cream with a fork or spoon.

 

 

122714_btb_03

 

The finished batch totaled approximately three quarts, the mere dregs of which remained at party’s end. The recipe is quite customizable. Leave the mulling spices in or out, add more rum or butter as your palate desires. This is holiday time, people – you get to decide. Just make sure you don’t spill any on that nice sweater.

 

Hot Buttered Rhum Cider
Makes 1 cocktail

1½ oz. aged Haitian Rum, preferably Barbancourt 8 year
1 Tbsp. spiced compound butter (recipe follows)
6 oz. mulled apple cider (recipe follows)
Cinnamon stick
Clove
Star anise

• To prepare this drink put the alcohol, mulled cider and compound butter into a saucepan and heat until the butter has dissolved and the drink is steaming. Pour into a 10-ounce handled heat-proof mug. Garnish by floating a disc of orange peel studded with a clove, star anise and a cinnamon stick.

Mulled Cider
• We juice apples on a hydraulic press daily for this drink. Unless you have an apple press at home, you should find the best unfiltered apple juice available. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, Philo Apple Farm Bates and Schmitt makes a good one. Add apple juice to a pot with the skin of an orange studded with the clove, cinnamon stick and star anise. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

Spiced Compound Butter
• Soften and cream 8 ounces of unsalted butter with a paddle in a mixing bowl. Slowly add 2 ounces of brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and allspice, a pinch of ground ginger, cloves and kosher salt. Scrape the sides to ensure that all of the spices are blended. Roll the butter into a log and wrap it in wax paper. Refrigerate.

Reprinted with permission from 10 Speed Press

What’s inside those glasses you clink with family, friends and loved ones during the holidays? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of The Slanted Door.

 

The Scoop: Alcohol delivery service Drizly arrives in St. Louis

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

121014_drizly

 

Remember those nights you wished booze could be delivered to your doorstep like pizza or Chinese food? Dreams are about to be fulfilled when Drizly, an alcohol delivery service company, launches its smartphone app and website in St. Louis tomorrow, Dec. 11.

The Boston-based company has partnered with St. Louis liquor retailer Randall’s Wines and Spirits to bring beer, wine and liquor delivery to customers and businesses. To shop, users download the free Drizly app on their iPhone or Android device or order on Drizly’s website. Once the beverage selection is submitted and paid for online, the order is fulfilled and delivered by a Randall’s employee in 40 minutes or less. Delivery drivers authenticate and validate IDs upon arrival.

Customers can choose from a wide selection of beer, wine and spirits, as well as mixers, bitters, juice and even ice. Everything costs the same as Randall’s in-store prices with an added $5 delivery fee. Delivery hours are the same as Randall’s store hours of operation.

Drizly will be available throughout St. Louis city and the surrounding communities, including: Ballwin, Boulevard Heights, Brentwood, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Frontenac, Kirkwood, Ladue, Manchester, Maplewood, Olivette, Princeton Heights, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, Town & Country, University City and Webster Groves. Drizly founder and CEO Nick Rellas said he hopes to add more communities in the area. “As awareness grows, we’ll bring on more new retailers in suburban areas,” he said.

Rellas said he introduced Drizly to St. Louis after studying our city’s food and drinking culture, consumer use of technology and our sports culture. “It makes for a really great market,” Rellas said. “Randall’s is a fantastic retailer. You won’t find one as sophisticated as Randall’s. An overwhelming majority of their products are online. Randall’s is so tech-savvy that we’re able to do that.”

Drizly launched in Boston in early spring 2013. This year has seen expansions into New York, Chicago, Austin, several cities in Colorado, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washington DC. “We went from one to 12 this year,” Rellas said. “You’ll see us in quite a few more cities by the end of next year.”

 

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: Dandelion cocktails at Water Street

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

120514_dtwe

{From left, Water Street’s Bobby Burns, The Lion Who Came to Tea and a Dandy Lion}

 

“All the railroad men just drink up your blood like wine,” Bob Dylan croons over the speakers at Water Street in Maplewood. Here, Dylan recycles an old folk apercu, a surprisingly good fit for Gabe Kveton’s petite eatery in a still gritty industrial part of this burgeoning community, where railways crisscross the landscape like scars and the storefronts are a dim-lit miscellany of contracting firms, car rental lots and dining establishments.

While the warm environs of Water Street are an antidote to all that cold and dark outside, up the ante further with one of the bar’s craft cocktails made with Lion’s Tooth, the small-batch dandelion liqueur ginned up by Kveton, his sister and executive chef Maria Kveton and friend Bethany Holohan. Now that the first bottles perch on a shelf above the bar, Kveton said he plans to add Lion’s Tooth cocktails to the menu next week – though if you pay the bar a visit this weekend, he’ll shake up one by request.

“I haven’t seen a liqueur like this before with the dandelion flavor,” Kveton said. “The brandy base brings a little bit of sweetness to the dandelion root. Brings a bit of earthiness.”

While I had a nip of the liqueur neat, bartenders Christy Lucido and Brett Bell mixed up a pair of Lion’s Tooth cocktails (the recipes for which are available here) for me, explaining some of the lore as they went.

The recipe is a fairly simple infusion of dandelion roots with Crown Valley brandy. By itself, Lion’s Tooth smells almost like – there’s no other way to say it – a Band-Aid, that kind of invasively floral aroma you smell when rubbing out dandelions on your hand. This shouldn’t deter you, though. After all, the best Gruyere still smells like mold and kimchee like, well, nothing pleasant.

What matters is that first taste: the sweet fruitiness from the brandy, the delicious herbal notes and that strong rush of alcohol at the end to cleanse the palate. This is a versatile liqueur that destabilizes, then reunifies whatever it’s mixed with.

The Lion Who Came to Tea combines Jeremiah Weed sweet tea, Lion’s Tooth and a brace of lemon wheels for garnish – think a boozier, more botanical Arnold Palmer. The inevitably named Dandy Lion is a tart concoction of vodka, Lion’s Tooth, lemon juice and simple syrup upon, which floats a tiny skiff of a mint leaf. Like Dylan and his folk repertoire, Water Street’s cocktail program riffs courageously on old standards like sours, sangria, Collins and more.

Of course, there’s plenty else to explore on the rest of the cocktail menu, including the vintage cocktail of the week – which is currently a Bobby Burns, a smokier Manhattan that opts for scotch instead of rye, and a splash of Benedictine. Shelter from the storm? Yes, you’ll find it here.

 

Drink This Weekend Edition: I Don’t Want No Shrubs

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

112814_dtwe

 

One of the most exciting things about creating cocktails is rediscovering old techniques and ingredients. Shrubs have been around since the Colonial period and were enjoyed by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Martha Washington.

Consisting of vinegar, sugar and fruit, shrubs were originally used to preserve and incorporate fresh ingredients in the days before refrigeration. Now they add excellent flavor and dimension to cocktails. I Don’t Want No Shrubs combines a homemade apple shrub with rye whiskey, Benedictine and Velvet Falernum to create a sweet-yet-tangy, boozy, smooth drink that’s perfect to warm you on a chilly day – and it makes dealing with your crazy uncle just a little bit easier during the holidays.

 
I Don’t Want No Shrubs
1 serving

2 oz. Rittenhouse rye whiskey
½ oz. Benedictine
½ oz. Velvet Falernum
½ oz. apple shrub (recipe follows)
2 dashes Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters
Orange twist to garnish

• Combine the whiskey, Benedictine, Velvet Falernum, apple shrub and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until cold and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Apple Shrub

4 to 5 apples, cored and sliced
Sugar to coat
Apple cider vinegar

• Toss the apple slices in a bowl with enough sugar to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 day.
• Strain the sugar syrup into a measuring cup. Reserve the sweetened apples for another use or discard. Add an equal amount of apple cider vinegar to the sugar syrup, pour into a resealable jar and let sit 1 day. Apple shrub will keep up to 1 year.

 

Drew Lucido is a member of USBG St. Louis and bar manager at Juniper.

Drink This Weekend Edition: 8 fall cocktails to shake on Halloween night

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The jack-o’-lanterns are carved, your costume is ready, and the candy bowl is stocked. Time to kick off Halloween with a toast. We’ve got eight perfect sippers for All Hallows Eve, whether you’re dressing for a ghoulish night out or hosting a spooky soiree of your own.

 

103114_dtwe1

{Odd McIntosh}

Apples and fall go together like pumpkin and pie. Shake up a round of Apple Cider Martinis with cider and rum, or Odd McIntoshes with ginger and applejack. Of course, you can always combine bourbon, cider and ginger beer and declare yourself Mr. Autumn Man (or Ms. Autumn Woman).

Sick of cider? Try a boozy, apple-free Fallspice Cocktail with bourbon, Aperol, orange juice and grapefruit bitters.

 

103114_dtwe2

{Pumpkin Buttered Rum}

 

If your Halloween night  means traipsing through the neighborhood monitoring a pack of trick-or-treaters, warm your bones and regain your sanity with hot Spiced Cider or Pumpkin Buttered Rum.

 

103114_dtwe3

{Amsterdam Punch}

Hosting this year’s costumed festivities? Pull out a big bowl and fill it with bloody red Vampire’s Punch or the less gruesome but equally delicious Amsterdam Punch, loaded with baking spices like allspice, cloves, anise and cinnamon.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with a St. Louis favorite: pumpkin beer, and we’ve got 17 local options to choose from.

Looking for more fun Halloween ideas? Click here to find out how to make your own taffy ghosts and candy bars, and click here for some of our favorite pumpkin desserts from Pumpkin Mousse Shortbread Bars to gluten-free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 -Odd McIntosh photo by Brian Fagnani; pumpkin buttered rum photo by Jonathan S. Pollack; Amsterdam Punch photo by Jeff Cardin

RSS FEEDS
Keep up with one or all of your favorite Sauce Magazine columns
Conceived and created by Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC 1999-2015, Bent Mind Creative Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Sauce Magazine 1820 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63103.
PH: 314-772-8004 FAX: 314-241-8004