Over 300 cider enthusiasts including myself made their way to downtown Mesa last year for the inaugural Southwest Cider Festival. I’m happy to announce that tickets are on sale for the 2nd Southwest Cider Festival on Saturday October 19th at Cider Corps. Refreshing samples of local and out of state ciders will be poured along with live music, food trucks and more. People are still discovering this new and unique beverage according to Cider Corps co-owner Josh Duren.
“Craft cider is so different from mass produced drinks and even from traditional European ciders,” Duren explained. “We’re experimenting with flavor profiles and techniques that make this a really unique beverage without artificial flavoring or added sugars. The festival is a chance to sample the variety out there and really support the craft cider community.”
The festival goes from 4-8 p.m. and General Admission tickets are $35. Tickets include 15 sample tickets and a commemorative glass. VIP tickets are $50 and get early entry at 3 p.m., a t-shirt, 20 sample tickets and commemorative glass. Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.
The event will be outside at Cider Corps in downtown Mesa at 31 S. Robson St. 85210. For updates check out the Facebook page.
Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail and light bites or a sit down dinner the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North have something to offer. My last post about Talavera Restaurant dining experiences offers an epicurean adventure to Spain and Latin America. The resorts other restaurants Proof, An American Canteen, Onyx Bar and Lounge as well as Talavera, offer culinary treats created in time for summer.
I had the pleasure of tasting all of the dishes and drinks below. All cocktails below are created by the resorts beverage director in conjunction with the chefs of each establishment. The dishes are light and offer seasonal ingredients and the drinks were refreshing and unique.
Onyx Bar & Lounge at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North
Just of the lobby with a beautiful view to the south you can enjoy these specially created bites and cocktails. Talavera Restaurant Sous Chef Samantha Sanz and her culinary team created the these three dishes.
Chistorra and Peppers Flatbread with charred chistorra, pipperada, caramelized onion and mustard sauce, cotija cheese.
Cheesy Arepa Bite
Salmon Belly Tartare
Illegal Anejo Mezcal Old Fashioned
Proof, An American Canteen
Everything served in this roadhouse styled restaurant is from the good ol’ U.S.A. Take a road trip around the country in June, July and August with the specially created dishes and drinks.
Prepared by chefs Dell Morris, Joey Cavaretta and Conrad Butler “Proof Across America” along with Smokehouse Fridays where entrees are cooked low n slow in their outdoor smoker.
June- Stone Crab Cake with sea urchin and Key lime remoulade
July– Texas BBQ Plate with beef brisket, smoky beer cheese sausage and house made BBQ sauce. Watermelon Panzanella Salad with Crow’s Dairy goat feta and mint. I love BBQ!
August- Crispy cactus fries with cotija cheese and avocado ranch.
Havasu Heat (with Ixa Tequila, pineapple and charred jalapeño)
Huss Arizona Light Lager
Le Cumbre Elevated IPA
The Spanish steakhouse serves tapas styled small plates, desserts and cocktails unique to the Spanish culture. More from sous chef Sanz and dessert by Pastry Chef Lance Whipple.
Pan con Tomate – Noble bread, roasted garlic, heirloom tomato and Spanish olive oil
Queen Creek Olives
Summer Corn and Tomato Tapa with summer corn, heirloom tomato with tomato butter cilantro and charred lime
Charred Tuna with grilled peach and salted marcona almonds
Summer Corn Paella with chorizo Bilbao, prawn, peas, mussels and clams, and chermoula verde
Brazilian Carrot Cake with chocolate brigadeiro icing, and summer carrot purée. This was a personal favorite, like no carrot cake you’ve had before.
Leche Frita with cajeta goat milk caramel and sherry blackberries
Rose Sangria with watermelon, tangerine and strawberry
Tarragon Gin Tonic- Did you see my Instagram video of Beverage Director Laura creating this cocktail?
The Four Seasons Resort at Troon North is at 10600 Crescent Moon Dr. 85262
In Arizona we debate about who makes the best pizza, tacos, hot sauce and now coffee cocktails join the debate. Provision Coffee set the bar as they placed 5th in the “Coffee in Good Spirits” competition at the U.S. Coffee Championships. The Chandler coffee roaster was represented by Joel Cronenberg who was among baristas and roasters from around the country competing.
“We are so excited to be recognized in this category by such a prestigious organization,” says Dan Suh, co-founder of Provision Coffee. “The U.S. Coffee Championships brings together the best of the best in the coffee industry and we could not be more proud of Joel representing us among this talented group.”
The “Coffee in Good Spirits” competition gives baristas 10 minutes to create a cold and warm/hot coffee cocktails for judging. The Faema espresso machine must be used for one of the drinks.
The U.S. Coffee Championships were held in Kansas City in March and drew baristas and coffee roasters from around the country to compete. Categories included Barista, Brewer’s Cup, Cup Tasters and Coffee in Good Spirits.
Provision Coffee is a modern coffee roaster who is doing away with the rules of coffee-making and drinking. Suh and co-founder Lawrence Jarvey focus on making “really, really good” coffee while having fun at it. A variety of coffee beverages, Nitro Cold Brews, espresso & teas and coffee cocktails are served.
Provision Coffee is at 4501 N. 32nd St. Phoenix 85018 and with Palette Collective at 2100 S. Gilbert Rd. Chandler 85286. For more information check out their website.
With Spring approaching the need to keep hydrated becomes necessary and there’s no better way that with lemonade. Just in time is Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade releasing their new Spring Seasonal menu of lemonades, smoothies, bowls and more.
It also celebrates the Grand Opening of their new Happy Valley location. The Happy Valley location joins locations in Scottsdale, Tempe and Ahwatukee.
Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade Spring menu
The seasonal menu will be available from March 15th – May 31st. Here is the list of new Spring Seasonal menu.
Desert Vibes Lemonade – Served raw and cold pressed, this refreshing mango, strawberry lemonade is mixed with a hint of fresh turmeric. The ombré yellow, orange, red color reminiscent of the colorful desert sunsets.
Desert Vibes Smoothie Bowl. – Similar to the lemonade, the colorful bowl is flavored high with tropical coconut taste and a hint of sparkling kombucha.
Blue Hawaii Toast – Sea inspired toast topped with house made cashew butter spread with blue spirulina, and star cut kiwi, blueberry, organic coconut flakes and local honey.
Paleo Mint Chip Smoothie – A pastel twist on the fan-favorite drink. Nutrient dense and delicious, the mint chip smoothie uses fresh mint, kale and raw cacao, with a drizzle of cacao sauce.
Pea Flower Lemonade – Served raw and cold pressed, this lemonade’s rich purple color comes from Butterfly Pea Flower, which turns a pinkish lavender when fully mixed into the mojito lemonade. It features sprigs of mint and a hint of lime.
Adaptogen Cold Brew – Cold brew mixed with the new adaptogen* blend and coconut cream is a must-try.
Breakfast Cold Brew Smoothie – A morning kick bursting with flavor and nutrients. This smoothie is hand crafted with almond butter, adaptogens*, raw cacao, MCT oil, and paleo/grain-free/organic vegan protein. The best way to start your day!
*The local lemonade shop is introducing a new adaptogen blend on the menu that offers a hybrid of four of nature’s best adaptogen mushrooms which have a wide range of health benefits including immunity support, hormone balance, energy boost and many disease fighting benefits.
To find the closest Wow Wow Hawaiian Lemonade to you check out their website.
I’ve never been a fan of eggnog but from the looks of the ingredients in the recipe below I may have to start sipping on a glass or two. Eggnog dates back to when the country was first settled as the settlers were combining wine, spirits, eggs and sugar. Most are made from family recipes passed down from generation to generation.
Since eggs are a main ingredient in eggnog, Hickman’s Family Farms have provided their Grandma Gertie’s recipe. I’m probably not going to make it but if you do I’ll give it a try, preferably with the Maker’s Mark added.
Hickman’s Holly Jolly Eggnog
5 Hickman’s Super Jumbo egg yolks
5 Hickman’s Super Jumbo egg whites
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups Shamrock 2% milk
1 pint Shamrock heavy cream
3 Tablespoons favorite brandy eggs-tract (optional-Maker’s Mark Whiskey)
2 teaspoons nutmeg
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add one cup of sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved.
Add the milk, cream, egg-stract or whiskey and nutmeg and stir to combine. Set aside.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a clean stand mixer and beat to soft peaks.
With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the egg whites into the egg yolk and milk mixture.
Chill and serve.
For cooked eggnog, follow this procedure:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color. Gradually add one cup of sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
Return the incorporated mixture to the pot and cook until it reaches 160º.
Remove from the heat, stir in the egg-stract or whiskey.
Pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a clean stand mixer and beat to soft peaks. With the mixer still running gradually add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form
Once egg yolk and milk mixture is cool, slowly fold into stiff egg whites.