Monthly Archives: February 2011

Salon pics

A big thank you to Anne, Ethan, and Marcella and her team for putting together a fantastic event this past Sunday!

I remembered to take a picture before diving in.

This was the line-up:

1st pairing
consider bardwell farm
west pawlet, vt
raw cows’ milk

mellow corn
heaven hill distilleries
bardstown, ky

 2nd  pairing
cabot clothbound cheddar
aged by jasper hill farm
greensboro, vt
pasteurized cows’ milk

hudson four grain bourbon
tuthilltown spirits
gardiner, ny

3rd   pairing
pleasant ridge 16mo.
uplands cheese co.
dodgeville, wi
raw cows’ milk

us * 1: unblended american whiskey
michter’s american whiskey co.
bardstown, ky 

 4th  pairing
jasper hill farm
greensboro, vt
raw cows’ milk

mckenzie rye whiskey
finger lakes distilling
burdett, ny

5th   pairing
bayley hazen blue
jasper hill farm
greensboro, vt
raw cows’ milk

templeton rye
templeton rye spirits
templeton, ia 

6th    pairing
shaker blue
old chatham sheepherding co.
chatham, ny
raw sheeps’ milk

death’s door white whiskey
death’s door distillery
madison, wi

Ethan and Anne doing their thing. Anne told us about the 22,000 sq ft cheese-aging cave in VT, how cheddar is made (did you know cheddar is both a noun and a verb?) and how those blue-green veins get into the center of a big wheel of cheese. Ethan compared the harmony of wine and cheese pairing to the grace that Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire shared, while noting that pairing cheese with whiskey was more akin to the "grace" that Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield shared.

Happy guests Tim, Michael, John and Alice

Some take-aways:

*When you pair Winnemere with McKenzie rye, the finish is similar to an atomic fireball (in a good way).

*The surprise pairing hit was #6:  white whiskey and strong blue – who would have thought? 

*I need to get a bottle of Mellow Corn and Michter’s #1 for my house.

Looking forward to the next Salon in 60 days!

1 Comment

Filed under Events, Spirits

Hibiscus Rose Vesper

A cocktail of mine made it into Saveur’s March Issue.  I also figured out how to embed documents into wordpress.  Big day. 

Use the zoom key at the bottom so you can actually read what it says.  Does my crooked scanning make you feel like you’re reading it from the magazine?


Filed under Cocktails, Noteworthy articles

Sunday Salons

Chanterelle, Karen and David Waltuck’s beautiful TriBeCa restaurant, hosted a series of Sunday Salons a few years back.  They were some of the best food-related events I had ever been to.   

An exploration of food and art, the topics ranged from blues and beer to poetry and cocktails to Champagne and caviar (this was an especially decadent one).  With the sad closing of Chanterelle in the fall of 2009, we at L’Ecole have decided to carry on their tradition.

Our first event is (early) on Oscar Sunday, 2/27.  From our website:

The Next Salon: Whiskey & Cheese
Anne Saxelby and Ethan Kelley
Sunday, February 27, 4:00-6:00pm 

The pairing of cheese and wine is well-charted territory. Our guests speak to a more contemporary question: can American whiskey pair with artisanal cheese?  

Anne Saxelby opened Saxelby Cheesemongers in 2006. Located in NYC’s Lower East Side in the Essex Market, the shop offers a premier selection of domestic artisanal cheeses and hosts regular tasting events.       Ethan Kelley is a spirits educator with over 17 years experience behind the bar. He’s created menus for notable bars and restaurants, including The Brandy Library where he was formerly the beverage director.

Prep work for our upcoming event. Hope to see you there!

Leave a comment

Filed under Events

Beer on the rocks

The articles just keep coming this week.

Gothamist reported that Mayor Bloomberg refused to sample any of Brooklyn’s new brews at the ribbon cutting for their recent expansion, as they didn’t have any ice on hand. 

To each his own, but ice in your beer in the middle of winter?  Also, I’m sure there’s an ice machine somewhere at the brewery.

The author is attempting to determine where the mayor picked up this habit, but his press team has so far refused to comment.

1 Comment

Filed under Alcohol in the News, Beer

Big Flats 1901

As you know, I am a big supporter of local booze.  Guess I haven’t been doing enough beer shopping at Walgreen’s. 

It is worthwhile to read the full article that came out on Tuesday in my home-town newspaper about this “premium” and “genuine” brew that retails for $2.99 a six-pack.  I hope the traffic up there doesn’t get out of control this summer when I’m trying to visit friends and family.

Stephen Colbert featured the beer in a segment at the beginning of this month.

1 Comment

Filed under Alcohol in the News, Beer, Videos

Wine for Oscar Night

Last week I wrote a piece pairing wines with Oscar-nominated films.  So far, it got picked up by Variety and NYPress picked it up from there.

Update: On Saturday, 2/26, Cork Savvy posted it as well.


Filed under Alcohol in the News, Wine


Noah recently picked up these bitters at Formaggio Essex:

Sriracha (pronounced SIR-rotch-ah) bitters by Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters. A bit spendy, at $12.95 for 4 oz., the flavor is true to the beloved "rooster sauce".

I opted for the recipe printed on the back label of the bottle: Srirazerac. Step 1 is to coat a rocks glass with Absinthe.

In a stirring glass with ice, I added 2 1/2 oz. rye (I used McKenzie). This is 1 teaspoon of simple syrup going in. Next was 2 dashes Peychaud's, followed by 2 dashes Sriracha Bitters. The dropper in the bottle yields less than a dash would, so that, combined with how spicy you'd like your drink, should dictate how much you add.

The finished cocktail, garnished with a lemon peel and a few additional drops of Sriracha Bitters. It's not terribly complex, but I really like rye, so I'm not the best judge in this instance. The best part is the finish - an intense, yet pleasant heat creeps up on you. These bitters are definitely worth experimenting with. Stay tuned.

1 Comment

Filed under Cocktails

Trenta is not an Italian wine

Trenta is, however, a new cup size at Starbucks that will hold an entire bottle of wine.  31 oz.  Wow.  I’m no scientist, but I think it’s safer to consume this quantity of wine vs. this quantity of Starbucks coffee.  This video will help clarify things for you:


Filed under Videos, Wine

Italian Love Bite

Plenty of Aperol in stock inspired Marcella to create her “Italian Love Bite”.

Marcella working her magic behind the bar. Join us at L'Ecole for a Love Bite starting today.

The recipe:

1.5 oz. Aperol
1 oz. Dolin Blanc
1 oz. Finger Lakes Distilling Pear Brandy
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 egg white (equivalent to 1 oz.)
dash salt
dash club soda

Combine all ingredients, except for club soda, and dry shake.  Add ice and club soda, shake again, and strain into chilled martini glass.  I asked what the garnish was and was told, “it’s so pretty, it doesn’t need one.”  See for yourself:

Candy-heart pink with notes of ripe pear and herbs, and a beautiful froth on top. Girly, without being sweet.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cocktails

USQ Martini Bowl

From the website of Union Square Wine & Spirits:

Event Date: Saturday, February 05, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Description of tasting:
Join USQ to kick off Superbowl weekend with one our most spirited tastings of the year! Martini Bowl 2011 is set to erupt with over one dozen selections offered in classic and seasonal martinis!  Whether you like them dry, extra dry, dirty, or totally twisted, cocktail connoisseurs are encouraged to stop by The Salon for an afternoon of imbibing pleasure!  Attendees may look forward to Swedish stylings from Martini Bowl 2010 champion Karlsson’s Gold Vodka and Heavy Water Vodka, a juniper-fueled UK Invasion from the #1 contender for the 2011 title Bulldog Gin and Hendrick’s Gin, as well as righteous elixirs from Uluvka Vodka, DH Krahn Gin and Double Cross Vodka!  This year’s Bowl features a full roster of New York State spirits as well!  Supporters of local libations will be pleased to sip and savor Finger Lakes Distillery’s Seneca Drums Gin and Vintner’s Wild Berry Vodka, Westchester’s own Comb Vodka and Comb 9 New York Gin, Long Island’s LiV Potato VodkaBreuckelen Gin, and the Hudson Valley’s Core Apple Vodka

Here’s what we’ll be serving:

Come join us for a tipple this weekend!

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Spirits