The Italian Job

We received a surprise note that the nocino barrel had been tapped and the cider was excellent.  What were those spices making up the complex profile?  We rushed over to Cider Riot! on a rainy afternoon earlier this week to tip a glass with Abram.  

It's an "Italian Job" he said, taking a break with us from refilling the barrel-  about 100 pounds of walnuts, spices, and nocino spirit (pinot noir brandy & rye) will likely flavor and fortify a second batch of cider, we think. 

The first glass was extremely fine- dark & dry, festive, strong and delightfully refreshing.  The aroma is a blend of the crisp cider apples, the walnut, vanilla and hint of clove from the nocino spices. Its on tap at Cider Riot!'s pub on Couch Street.

There are other 2017 Nocino barrels out there with surprises in store for us-  we seeded the beverage industry with 5 barrels- one for a whiskey, two for beer, and one went to a winery, our version of a 'guest tap' program.  Looking forward to the liquid collaborations....

Backstage Bar Takeover- Adrift Hotel

We snuck out to the beach a few weeks ago.  I wouldn't mention it  except was asked to make sure a cocktail recipe from the trip made it on-line.  Occasion was the Backstage Bar takeover by Stone Barn at the Adrift Hotel-

Long Beach,  Washington can be wet in 360 degrees in the middle of February. The drive along the Columbia River was scenic, even with wipers going.  I'd recommend the ferry to Wahkiakum  ferry from Westport to Cathlamet if you've never taken it. 

We set up the bar for Friday night guests of the hotel and local folk in for a meal and music. 
We served Champagne Cocktails, Quincy Gin & Tonics, and two of my recent favorites, Ramazzottii Blvd and the Hotel Nacional Cocktail.

Here's how its done:

Hotel Nacional Cocktail

1.5 oz rum
1.5 oz Stone Barn Apricot
1 oz Pineapple Juice
.5 oz (scant) lime juice

Shake, strain, serve in a frozen coupe with a lime wheel garnish.

 This tastes Carribean,

Ramazzottii Blvd

2 oz rye
3/4 oz Ramazzottii Amaro
1/2 oz Nocino

Stir and serve on the largest ice cube you can lay your hands on.  A piece of orange peel, twisted into convulsions.  This drink is dark and delicious, our current go-to until the amaro runs out.