While it will take about 3 months for the cocktail to finish, we started to make it this week. Yes, that’s a 3 month window of production. Sounds like a long time to wait for a drink? Not really once you taste the results.
The Barrel-Aged Cocktail has been making it way around the country and is now firmly in Connecticut at the Max Restaurant Group. We started this week with a variation on the Manhattan by blending Hudson White Corn Whiskey from New York’s Hudson Valley with Doling Dry Vermouth from France and just a touch of Regan’s Orange Bitters from Louisiana. We didn’t make just one drink, though – we made a barrel full of it – 5 gallons to be precise. This mixture is taking its time mellowing and coming together in an oak barrel that previously held whiskey from Hudson Distillery. The idea is that over the next few months the cocktail’s elements will have the opportunity to really meld with each other, pickup some color and sweet vanilla flavors from the barrel and be affected by the slow integration of oxygen – an element typically not found in cocktails.
The end result will be a smooth and mellow Manhattan that is easy to drink and delicious to sip. We plan to make it available early to mid-June, or when the drink is ready.
We will be expanding this concept at Max Fish, as well as introducing it at Trumbull Kitchen and Max Oyster Bar. We are planning on doing a tasting event featuring all the variations we mix up sometime in June. Perhaps you can let us know which are the best combinations??
Max Fish Brunch starts this weekend (Sunday from 11-3), and we had Scot Haney come in a visit with Dave Bouchard and see what the Bloody Mary Bar is all about. Check out the video and come on in for great, custom made Bloody Mary.
Tonight Dave Bouchard and Dave Sellers presented a great dinner featuring some innovative cocktails based on classic styles and food pairings to match. Despite (slightly off)weather we had over 40 people venture out to experience this dinner and enjoy the creative process happening at Fish. Dave Bouchard has created a serious craft cocktail culture with his staff and they are creating delicious cocktails, as was on display for dinner tonight. Here is the lineup that we featured:
Gougeres / Trout mousse / caviar
Kir Royal-classic sparkler with a twist
Massenez de Dijon, fresh orange, Prosecco, lemon oil
Cuban Wedding shrimp / Jumbo shrimp / myers rum / orange juice / jalapeño
Lemon Thyme-the original daiquiri, elevated; savory and refreshing
Puerto Rican white rum, lemon-thyme syrup, citrus, Jamaican dark rum
Thai steamed red snapper / tamarind / ginger / lemongrass
Tamarind Kiss-exotic but familiar; each sip invites another
Ginger infusion, tamarind and citrus, notes of vanilla
We tasted the Ilegal Mezcals this week and decided that these were must haves for our bar. The style of the mezcal is much different than its cousin Tequila as the agave is usually roasted in stone lined pits where the smoke from the charcoal is allowed to mingle and add to the flavor of the final beverage. Ilegal is a great brand and we will be offering the three styles (Blanco, Reposado and Anejo) either individually or in a flight of three.
Check the atatched video for a great discussion and explanation on the Ilegal Mezcals.
Tonight was another enticing evening at Max Downtown with a great culinary adventure based around the wines of Bonny Doon Vineyard from California. Owner Randall Grahm has made a few appearances over the years at Max’s, and tonight added another chapter in this adventure as he discussed and amused guests with his fabulous wines and Max’s cuisine. Randall is as lively as ever and we really enjoyed the wines, most focusing on Rhone varietals but with a few side-trips to Spain and other regions. Tasty food pairing wines all the way. Great stuff…Thanks Randall!
A double batch of Bretwus Maximus was created this morning starting at 4am. We will have these in house in about three weeks – fresh as can be. The smell of the hops as they are going in the kettle is delightfully spicy, herbal and fruity all together, Mixed with the sweet, malty aromas of the grain – and you have beer heaven.
While you are still deciding what to do for Valentine’s Day (we suggest a visit to one of our locations with your favorite person) consider attending this great dinner next week with one of our favorite wine producers, Jean Trimbach.
The Trimbach family has been making wine in Alsace since 1626, and we are very fortunate to have Jean Trimbach (pictured on the left) and his family’s wines at the Oyster Bar for this dinner. We will be featuring the classic wines of Trimbach along with some very special selections from their Grand Cru sites and Late Harvest sweet wines. Executive Chef Scott Miller has prepared a very intriguing menu based in large part on ingredients found in and around Connecticut. Join us for what should be a culinary winter highlight.
All of our MAXologists have been working hard to create new and innovative cocktails to feature over the next few days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Each cocktail has a unique style created by the local bartenders at each of our locations, and most of them will be featuring Mionetto Prosecco, a lovely sparkling wine from Italy, as the main ingredient. Loads of fresh ingredients from raspberries to edible orchids are being used. Make your reservations today or just stop by one of our taverns for a great, original cocktail, such as Mike Mills’ “Downtown Love” from Max Downtown in Hartford.