Food & Wine: Best New Bars

bestnewbarsThe Hunt & Alpine Club has been selected by Food & Wine magazine as a contender in their People’s Best New Bars readership poll.

In a city that’s only starting to show off its cocktail chops, PHAC features original craft cocktails such as White Noise, made with Cocchi Americano, elderflower liqueur and grapefruit zest, from bartender Andrew Volk.

Visit the F&W website to cast your vote Hunt & Alpine.

Gunpowder Rye: Exceptional

ned_gunpowderNew England Distilling has earned a rating of 90 (exceptional) for their Gunpowder Rye from the Beverage Testing Institute. The BTI describes Gunpowder Rye as,

Burnished amber color. Attractive aromas of honeyed dried sour cherries, toffee, suede, and sandalwood with a satiny, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a well balanced cinnamon rye toast, creamy milk chocolate, peppery spice, and mineral accented finish. Very tasty and versatile.

Obscure Holiday Cocktail Party V

Last weekend the some members of the Portland food blogger crew got together to for the 5th annual Obscure Holiday Cocktail Party. As in past years, each of the 6 entries were custom paired with cheeses selected by Shannon Tallman, CPP.

My entry this year was the (mostly) locally sourced Want Knot:

1 oz. Maine Craft Distilling Alchemy Gin
1 1/3 oz. Cochi Americano Blanco
1 oz. White Grapefruit Juice
1 oz. Honey Syrup (1 part Japanese Knotwood Honey from The Honey Exchange, 2 parts water)
1/2 tsp. Beast Feast Maine Ghost Pepper Infused Maple Syrup (available at Vena’s Fizz House)
4 drops Coastal Root Cocktail Bitters
1 Orange Twist

Check out these articles from The Blueberry Files, Vrai-lean-uh, and Map & Menu for more recipes and details on the party.

Sergio Ramos, Tequila Sommelier

The Bangor Daily News has published an article about Sergio Ramos, the certified tequila sommelier and managing partner at Zapoteca.

The beverage formerly inspiring the cry “let’s do shots” is now a top-shelf contender. In a corner restaurant in Portland, one man is doing his part to bring tequila to its richly deserved prominence.

“I’m a defender of the spirit,” said Sergio Ramos, who notes he is one of only four tequila sommeliers in the country.

Allen’s Coffee Brandy

The Morning News has published an article about Maine’s top-selling spirit, Allen’s Coffee Brandy.

Portland (and the state beyond it) may have bars full of local taps; its brewers guild may be growing so fast that it actually needed to hire an executive director. And the state may even be moving past the micro-brew renaissance toward craft liquors made of nothing but Maine potatoes, but if there’s any drink that holds Maine’s heart, it’s Allen’s, a liquor made in Massachusetts.