Category Archives: BRANDS

Drinks At Bird In Westfield, N.Y.

Saturday was a gorgeous day in Western New York and I spent a portion of my afternoon at Bird in Westfield, N.Y.


Bird is located on the back porch at Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing in Westfield and has ties with 1201 Kitchen in Erie, Pa.

The venue itself is a walk-up, open-air kitchen & service counter/bar situated under the spacious pavilion on Five & 20’s back patio.

On Saturday there were two cocktails advertised at the back bar. I’m not sure whether drinks are limited to the daily specialty cocktails Bird creates or whether simple drinks like whiskey & ginger ale can be purchased, but I was there for their suggested beverages anyway and didn’t even think to inquire.

Saturday’s Cocktail Offerings


Buffalo Negra 


Gentleman Johnson


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Filed under BARS, BOURBON, BRANDS, BREWERIES, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, DISTILLERIES, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

Opening Weekend At Southern Tier Distilling Company

I couldn’t make it Friday or Saturday, but I finally made it this afternoon to Southern Tier’s new distillery:


That’s the distillery’s London Dry gin mixed with ginger beer in the pic.

I also tried their 100 proof corn whiskey and Maple Spirit — made with local syrup.

The distillery offers single shot tastings, flights of four different 1 oz samplers or cocktails. Today being Sunday, the distillery workers were making Bloody Marys with their house vodka — as well as the Mojitos, Moscow Mules and other drinks they’d been mixing all weekend.

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Filed under BARS, BRANDS, DISTILLERIES, NEW PRODUCT

Whiskey For Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to me! Thanks, sister!

 

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Filed under BRANDS, HOLIDAYS, NEW TO ME, WHISKEY

24 Hours In Buffalo — Cecelia’s & Blue Monk

For the second half of our overnight in Buffalo, we started Sunday morning with brunch at Cecelia’s.

Cecelia’s a small restaurant located on Elmwood across from Blue Monk. I’ve blogged about it before.

Cecelia’s Ristorante & Martini Bar:


And the exterior:


The last time my wife and I were at Cecelia’s was a weekday, and we ordered off the lunch menu — a salad, pizza, hamburger and other delicious lunch items. However, the first time we ever ate at Cecelia’s was several years ago on a Sunday, and the brunch we had was one of those meals that the two of us have brought up to each other time and time again throughout the years.

Thankfully, we were lucky enough to get seats at the bar this trip. We didn’t have reservations for brunch and there weren’t any tables available.

Since it was 11 o’clock, no one could drink (as per New York State law). But like clockwork, the mimosas started flowing right at noon.

Everyone who orders one of the restaurant’s premium brunch dishes is entitled to a free mimosa.

By 12 o’clock though we were just about done with our meal: a crepe to share and a dish of their eggs Benedict for each of us.


Even though we were each entitled to a mimosa, we passed on them — and that would have been the end of our Cecelia’s experience but I saw a bottle of Strega behind the bar.
The last time I was at Cecelia’s I got to try an amaro is never had for the first time. And so similarly this trip I decided to end my meal with a shot of Strega.

STREGA

Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur that’s been in production since 1860. Like so many bitter digestifs, it contains saffron which gives it its yellow color — though it’s a little less yellow than Galliano.

Although it’s termed a liqueur, Strega is 80 proof (40% abv) and among its 70 herbal ingredients are mint and fennel.

It is slightly sweet, semi-viscous, and has a bold, complex flavor with strong minty or coniferous notes.
Another neat fact about Strega is that it’s the Italian word for “witch,” which made it an appropriate drink for the Halloween weekend.

One last thing about Cecelia’s, as if I haven’t gushed enough, is that I love the natural light they get in their bar from their skylights:



BLUE MONK

Also along this section of Elmwood is Blue Monk.

I had a quick beer at the popular beer bar after Cecelia’s, but we didn’t stay long. We’d purchased some sponge candy at Watson’s and were itching to get back to Resurgence to pair the candy with the brewery’s stout.

My short stop at Blue Monk did yield me two badges though:

  
 

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Filed under AMARO, BRANDS, BUFFALO BARS, BUFFALO RESTAURANTS, BUFFALO SHOPS, CRAFT BEER, NEW TO ME

24 Hours In Buffalo — Savoy & Vera Pizzeria

The reason I went to Buffalo over the weekend was to get myself some quality craft cocktails for my birthday.

My first stop though was for a quick beer, as I detailed in my last post, but the plan for the evening was very much about craft cocktails. We checked into our hotel and got gussied up for Halloween, then headed first to Savoy for a drink and Vera Pizzeria for dinner.

Savoy’s Beet Around The Busch:

  

My wife had a non-alcoholic cocktail which the bartender shook up and topped with ginger beer.

The first drink I had at Vera was a cocktail called Dill Breaker:

  

My second drink at Vera was a cocktail called Vice Admiral:

  

By the time we got to Vera it was very dark out, and the house lights were low (for Haloween I’m guessing) — and so I brightened the above pictures as best I could. Apologies for all the graininess, but I’m happy I at least got a pic at all for the blog. I easily could’ve left my phone at home and just enjoyed the atmosphere and overall experience. 

Our meal was excellent and the staff members at Vera were knowledgable and friendly. I finally got to try Amaro Di Angostura and the bartenders were kind enough to chat with me about their Fernet-Branca on tap!

The two cocktails I had are on Vera’s new Fall 2015 cocktail menu:

The Dill Breaker:

  

The Vice Admiral:
  

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Filed under AMARO, BEET, BIRTHDAYS, BRANDS, BUFFALO BARS, BUFFALO RESTAURANTS, DESTINATION COCKTAILS, DILL, HOLIDAYS, PISCO, RYE WHISKEY, WHISKEY

A Tribute To Maureen O’Hara

STARS AND SPIRITS

Cocktail: The Maureen O’Hara
Inspiration: Actress Maureen O’Hara
Base Ingredient: Irish Whiskey
Why today? O’Hara died yesterday, Oct. 24, 2015.
Origin: March 2013, from the blog The Straight Up
Cocktail Groupings: Old Hollywood, Actresses & Calendar Cocktails

Actress Maureen O’Hara died yesterday, Oct. 24, 2015.

You can read her obituary in The New York Times here, and The Guardian here.

Despite being known as the “Queen of Technicolor,” I grabbed a black-and-white photo from Google images because I liked the contrast and general look of O’hara in this photo.

In March of 2013, the blog The Straight Up posted the following original cocktail and named it the Maureen O’Hara:

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1.5 Irish Whiskey
  • .75 Dry Vermouth
  • .75 Domaine de Canton
  • 12 Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub
  • 8 Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
  • Lemon Twist

PREPARATION

Add the Irish whiskey, dry vermouth, Domaine de Canton and habanero shrub and hopped grapefruit bitters to a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

All The Stars & Spirits:
There are dozens of cocktails named after actors and actresses, and I’ve written about a few of them here:
•Charlie Chaplain — (Link)
•Clara Bow — Link)
•Fay Wray — (Link)
•Ginger Rogers — (Link)
•Lauren Bacall — (Link)
•Lillian Gish — (Link)
•Mary Astor — (Link)
•Mary Lee — (Link)
•Mary Pickford — (Link)

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Filed under BITTERS BRANDS, BRANDS, COCKTAIL CALENDAR, COCKTAIL RECIPES, IRISH WHISKEY, OLD HOLLYWOOD

The Bitter Truth’s Apricot Liqueur

Just bought a bottle of The Bitter Truth’s Apricot Liqueur!

Now to make some classic cocktails! 

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Filed under BRANDS, LIQUEURS