When someone tells you there are cocktails being served at 11:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning- you hit the ground running to get the first row seat. Hey, it is five o’clock somewhere, right? Well, actually it really is- Germany is six hours ahead. Perfect!
A few weeks ago the Whiskey Women of Charlotte met up at Passion 8 restaurant for an Iconic Cocktail “Cooking Class.” Passion 8 shared four classic cocktails and paired them up with some amazing treats… some were a mystery, too.
They started the day off with caffeine of course, every morning should start with coffee after all. This specific Irish Coffee dates back to the 1940’s- it’s said that a man from Ireland was traveling and after a long day he added some whiskey to his coffee. When the other passengers asked if it was Brazilian coffee he was drinking, his answer was, “No, it’s Irish Coffee.” They paired the strong cocktail with a sweet beignet.
Next, and probably my favorite cocktail of the day- Sazerac. This drink is a local New Orleans variation of a Cognac or whiskey cocktail- it’s traditionally combined with Cognac or rye, absinthe, bitters, and sugar. It’s said to be the oldest known American cocktail with origins in pre-Civil War New Orleans. Others argue this and claim this cocktail can be traced back to the dawn of the 19th century. They paired the delicious cocktail with a scallop cooked in duck fat- so good!
Now let’s enjoy my father’s favorite cocktail- a Manhattan. This drink has a lot of history and dates all the way back to the 1860’s. Hence the name, of course you guessed it- the name originated in New York. The original name was “The Manhattan Cocktail,” but that is not confirmed, it’s possible to be fiction and just stories shared. They do have recipes found with the name, Manhattan, as the title and served in the Manhattan area. The original recipe shows from documentation found that the Manhattan included American whiskey, Italian vermouth, and Angostura bitters. They paired this Iconic Cocktail with thinly sliced venison served on a crisp cracker- amazing!
Last but certainly not least- we enjoyed the Boulevardier. This recipe dates back to the late 1920’s and early 1930’s- an American-born writer who founded the magazine called the Boulevardier in Paris is said to be the creator of this classic. The cocktail called, Negroni, used gin- whereas the Boulevardier uses bourbon whiskey or rye whiskey. Real connoisseurs will say, “The Negroni is crisp and lean. and yet the Boulevardier is rich and intriguing.” They paired this cocktail with the mystery portion of the day- cow’s brain. Now, don’t freak out on me here- I promise you this, it was absolutely amazing and paired perfectly. The creamy, rich flavors were wonderful with this rich and intriguing iconic cocktail.
Here’s the thing everyone, I have a new found appreciation for cocktails, the flavors combined, and the food paired. The moment you have that “Ah-ha” moment with how the flavors should be on your palette, and not like the cheap booze you bought in high school (Shhhhhh … don’t tell my mom and dad) everything changes.
Thank you so much to the Whiskey Women of Charlotte putting on such a wonderful event. Huge thank you to Passion 8 restaurant for sharing all the history with all the amazing food and drinks.
Disclaimer: Passion 8 provided a hand-out of all the drink recipes and the history behind each one. I did not copy from the information, but did use the information to help write this post.