Cocktail Crawl your way through downtown Chandler

Spirit House, SanTan Brewing Company’s cocktail lounge in downtown Chandler is the starting point for a Cocktail Crawl visiting other local cocktail bars nearby. Saturday November 16th guests will then visit The Local, Puro Cigar Bar and The Ostrich to sip on cocktails and taste small bites from each.

With the growth of downtown Chandler it’s hard to visit all the new bars and restaurants so this is a novel idea. Crawlers will have the option to choose from 3 cocktails at each location that will be made with SanTan Spirits. Cocktails to choose from are……

French 75- featuring Saint Anne’s Citrus Rose Gin

Highball – featuring Saint Anne’s Limeleaf Botanical Vodka

Old Fashioned – featuring the award winning Sacred Stave American Single Malt Whiskey

Crawlers can start at 4, 5 or 6 p.m. at Spirit House. The Cocktail Crawl is a 21 and over event is $55 per person. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.santanbrewing.com/crawl

Spirit House is at 8 S. San Marcos Pl. Chandler.

 

“Smoked” to feature local chefs & cocktails at unique food event

Diana Brandt a.k.a Arizona Foodie is looking to blow your mind with “Smoked”, her food event on March 23rd. Bringing together local chefs and creative cocktails she wants people to hang out and enjoy what the local culinary scene has to offer.

“I wanted to create an event that captures the quality and talent of the Arizona Food scene but also keep it very intimate,” says Brandt. “There’s something primal about cooking with fire and it’ll be really cool for the guests to interact with the Chefs and watch them as they prepare distinctive dishes. It’s going to be lit. You will be amazed how creative these Chefs will get. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!”

Smoked foods

Chefs will be left to create whatever dishes they want as long as there is an element of smoke. Expect to taste dishes from these chefs scheduled to participate.

Matt Carter from The Mission, Zinc Bistro and Fat Ox

Stephen Jones from The Larder + The Delta

Aaron May from Malibu Burger, The Goodwood Tavern, The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen and Over Easy

Jason Alford of Bulthaup Az

Walter Sterling from Ocotillo

Alex Levine from Starlite BBQ

Adam Allison of Handlebar Diner

Chef Dell from Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

Chef Paulo from Obon Sushi Bar Ramen

Justine Dachel of Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe

Smoked Cocktails

Ketel One, Seagram’s, Bulleit, Johnnie Walker and Union Mezcal are sponsoring the event and guests will be able to sip on their creative cocktails in the Bulleit Smoked Lounge.

They won’t just be creating cocktails but their own brand experience. Wander over to the Seagram’s Airstream trailer with a photo booth and dry ice cocktails. Ketel One Botanicals will decorate their space with fresh flowers and guests can created their own smoked candles. Johnnie Walker and Union will create their own fun experiences too.

Purchasing tickets

“I truly want the Smoked experience to be available to everyone. So I’m keeping this upscale event affordable so the ticket price doesn’t kill the budget,” says Brandt. “I’m hoping that this event will show many of the people that follow me how amazing our food scene is and get them out of their routines and into these restaurants.”

This is at 21+ over event. Tickets for the event are sure to sell out and are available at https://www.arizonafoodiemag.com/events/smoked-hosted-by-arizona-foodie . Tickets are $35 and get all food and drink samples with entry at 1 p.m. VIP tickets are $50 and gain entry at 12:00.

Smoked will be at Ocotillo Restaurant at 3243 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85012.

A visit to 888 Distillery, Cisco Brewers and Nantucket Vineyards

A short bike ride from Nantucket harbor, amongst the farms and fields sits a small complex of unsuspecting barn like building that houses Cisco Brewers CiscoBrewers.com which is a distillery, a brewery and a winery. Not something you would expect on this island with its early American settlements and hub for whaling of centuries gone by, but in 2012 anything is possible, after all early settlers to this part of the country are said to have drunk more beer than water and always made room on ships for barrels of rum and other libations.

On a recent visit I got to meet some of the fine people who have made these business’s thrive dating as far back as 1981.

Nantucket Vineyards was the 1st of these 3 establishments. When owners Dean and Melissa Long tried to grow grapes on the island, they realized this was not going to happen they decided to source grapes for their wines from Washington, California and New York. Using old world wine making techniques and 21st century technology they are make 10 wines, a port and sangria with traditional varieties and some island favorites such as Blueberry Sangria, Cranberry Pinot Gris and Peach Viognier just to name a few. All wine are very drinkable and are refreshing on a summer’s day. Most retail for under $20. The wines are found throughout Massachusetts in restaurants and retailers and can be shipped out-of-state.

Cisco Brewers began to take shape in about 1992 when Randy and Wendy Hudson returned to the island and started home brewing. Listing 13 beers in various styles it looked like there were more available in the tasting room as they do a couple of ciders and seasonal beers as well. A few beers were tasted on this visit including the Moor Porter which has a full-bodied taste as well as some chocolate and coffee nuances. The cider was crisp and clean and went down really well on this August afternoon. Cisco beers can be found up and down the east coast in 14 states and D.C.


In 1997 Dean and Melissa applied for a spirits license in the hopes of making grappa and fruit brandies, but it wasn’t until 2000 when the license was granted making 888 Distillery a reality. Being named after the 888 well where they get their water they are making several different vodkas plus gin, bourbon and rum. Made in small batches and using natural ingredients and both the cranberry and blueberry vodkas use locally grown fruit. Despite all the spirits being above 68% proof none of those tasted came across as “hot” but well-balanced and flavorful and very obvious aromas. The Hurricane Rum, Nor’ Easter Bourbon and Gale Force Gin were all very pleasant and made my mouth water for more. Several of the vodkas have scored well in the World Spirit Championship including the original that outscored Ketel One and the distillery has garnered national press in both print and on TV.

3 of the more interesting spirits I tasted were the Pineapple Jalapeno liqueur which definitely had the kick one would expect from the spicy jalapeno that seemed dominant. To cool my mouth down I was presented with a taste of Blueberry Mint vodka which had cleansing mint taste with a hint of blueberry. What really caught my eye on the back bar was the jar of horseradish, garlic and peppercorn infused vodka which is in the experimental phase and has a dominant garlic flavor. A very popular choice for their Bloody Marys. The 888 spirits are found in most states on the eastern seaboard and D.C. and some have made their way out west to Colorado.

All 3 producers make very worthwhile libations that are worth not only your business but also a visit to their humble alcohol amusement park. Thanks to Tyler, Pete and Frazier for their hospitality and knowledge. Cisco Brewers are at 5 Bartlett Farm Rd. Nantucket, Ma. 02554 (508)325-5929

Wine & Spirits Trends of 2011

As we enter 2011 here are some trends to look for in the coming year.

Malbecs from Argentina are still hot.

Carmenere from Chile will be one of the next grapes to see influx of. Brought from Bordeaux over 100 years ago, it’s no longer common in Bordeaux.

Root beer & cotton candy are next in the flavored vodka segment. Root beer floats to be a cocktail we will see.

Obscure varietals such as Ruche & Grignolino, etc. from Italy will make some head way.

Micro brewed beers are still gaining steam & fans.

New Zealand’s sauvignon blancs will continue to see their rise and the emergence of NZ pinot noirs may give other pinots a run for their money.