By Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group
Congratulations to Jason Sowik, Bar Manager for Max Burger in West Hartford, for winning the Bronze Medal at last night’s WNPR Food Smooze Martini Competition.
Using a combination of fresh blueberries and limes, Jason’s drink was simple yet elegant and delicious. A Blueberry Moji-tini, is a take on a traditional Mojito, to which Jason adds fresh blueberries. He served this up in a mini-martini glass for the evening, hence the “tini” twist. Pretty simple but very drinkable recipe.
Jason can be found tending the stick at Max Burger in West Hartford, where he and his team have fun mixing all kinds of modern and traditional drink combinations.
Click Here to see the link on the event round up and all the competition results.
By Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group
Last night we had the pleasure of kicking off our new season for the Max Chef to Farm Series, now in its 7th season. This dinner series is a popular series where we take the Max experience out to local farms and present meals based on the ingredients available at that point in the season and what we can source locally.
This series has become so popular that we routinely sell out each event, and often have a wait list. Chef Scott Miller along with a number of the other Max Chefs creates thoughtful, delicious meals with locally sourced farm produce as well as locally sourced meats, cheeses and seafood. For my part, I get to start the evening off with a welcome cocktail when guests arrive, and in line with the locally sourced ingredients I try to find not only local produce or other ingredients to make this cocktail. I also like to find local, or at least hand-crafted / artisanly produced, spirits for the base of these drinks.
For the summer of 2014, I have decided to theme my drinks under the umbrella name/concept of Forager Cocktails, and will be producing a series of these drinks for each C2F dinners through the season, each making best use of local ingredients available at that point in the season.
I had so many requests last night for my recipe that I am posting here for any to see and use. Please feel free to contact me if you need assistance or have questions on how to recreate this cocktail or any others in the series.
For the Forager Cocktail #1, I made a drink based on a slightly obscure, but well thought out drink called the Artemis Flower. This drink combines fresh ingredients that fit perfectly with what is available in early summer – berries. For my part, I called this drink the Rosedale Flower, as we were serving the dinner at Rosedale Farms in Simsbury, Ct, and the main ingredient here were the strawberries picked fresh that morning.
I used the berries with some Bourbon, fresh lime juice, house made “sambuca”, and a thyme syrup that I made in the morning. The “sambuca” actually makes use of a few other locally sourced items for a great flavor twist that is hard to replicate. I use Rime Vodka, which is made by Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford, Ct as the base, to which I infused about a dozen (per 750ml of vodka) fennel blossom heads into slowly for about 3-4 hours. This process allows me to pull the flavor out of the fennel, but not the harsh green components that would detract from the lovely licorice flavors. I added some sugar to balance and the result is very similar to a Sambuca.
My Bourbon of choice for the night is a small production bourbon called Corner Creek Reserve Bourbon, from Kentucky. This is an 88 proof whiskey that is actually aged about 8 years for mellowing. I like the power this bottling has, along with the deep bourbon flavor, and the extra touch of proof did not hurt at all. In fact, the tempering of alcohol by the sweetness from the fresh thyme syrup was perfect. Very simple to make, I used a big fist of thyme sprigs and added them while the water was still cool and then let it steep as it came up in temperature. Once I could smell the thyme strongly, I pulled it off the heat just before boiling. I let it sit for a few minutes and then strained out the leaves and stems. While still hot, I mixed in equal parts (by volume) of granulated sugar to make my syrup. Very flavorful and delicious – adding a great extra flavor element to this drink.
anyone can make this drink at home, and if you are willing to go a little extra for the local and the home-made ingredients, then you will have an even more special experience – something we try to achieve out on the farm.
Forager Cocktail # 1 – The Rosedale Flower
In a mason jar –
Add 3-4 fresh picked strawberries – lightly crushed, but not pulverized
Then combine in jar
2oz Corner Creek Bourbon
½ oz House-made fennel-buca (you can use regular Sambuca like Meletti)
¾ oz Thyme Syrup
½ fresh lime juice
Let sit for a few minutes to absorb the strawberry juice
Fill with ice, add splash of Club Soda and serve with Thyme sprig for garnish
Founded in 1997, Jefferson’s is the brainchild of Trey Zoeller and his father
Chet, a famed bourbon historian. They were continuing a family tradition that
goes back to Trey’s 8th generation grandmother who was arrested in 1799
for the “production and sales of spirituous liquors.” To personify the brand,
they chose Thomas Jefferson, known for his curiosity and experimental spirit.
This is a mindset to which Trey has dedicated himself, pushing the boundaries
of the definition of bourbon. Upholding tradition, yet always discovering
new possibilities.For more information on Jefferson’s Bourbons, click here.
Join us for a very special evening of bourbon, cigars,
and the cuisine of Executive Chef Christopher Torla.
Cigars from The Tobacco Shop of Hartford, Inc.
Kobe Beef Slider
Bourbon BBQ sauce, Cajun corn maque choux
Monticello Old Fashioned with Jefferson’s Bourbon
Brown Sugar Crusted Hanger Steak
Vidalia onion crust, Yukon gold purée
Braised Veal Breast
Apple and bacon stuffing, Bourbon Demi
The Ciderhouse Cocktail with Jefferson’s Chef Collaboration
Grilled Angus New York Sirloin
Gorgonzola potato Napoleon, winter kale
Vieux Carré with Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon
Jaime Garcia Cigars
Jefferson’s Ocean Bourbon
$125 per person, not including tax & gratuity
Limited seating, please call for reservations: 860.493.7412
Max Fish in conjunction with Manchester Wine & Liquor presents the next installment of our fabulous cocktail dinner series with Special Guest Eddie Varsalona CSS, CSW, Spirits Specialist for Troy & Sons Whiskies from Ashville Distilling Company, located in Ashville North Carolina.
Ashville Distilling and Troy & Sons Whiskey are some of the newest and most modern approaches to whiskey in the United States, but their heritage goes back generations. Using an almost lost strain of corn, the Crooked Creek Corn™, grown in the hills around Ashville for decades, as well as the collected recipes and shared stories of moonshiners and whiskey makers of North Carolina provide the inspiration and the stylistic approach of owner, Troy Ball, and her Husband Charlie. You can read all about them and their story on the company website (click here for the link).
For this dinner, Dave Bouchard (our head drinks guy at Max Fish) has paired a fabulous selection of contemporary cocktails (including a unique Barreled cocktail that is already aging in one of our Troy casks) to a menu prepared by Max Fish Chef Robert Peterson. A great combination of styles and flavors, we think you will find this to be an intriguing selection and a fun filled evening.
The menu –
Cocktail: Ashville Spiked Tea
Grilled Oysters, whiskey apple bbq glaze Yam & Bacon Fritters, chile-maple aioli
Course 2 –
Paired with: Slow Roasted Monkfish, jalapeno cheese grits, butternut squash, leeks, sherry-lobster nage
Course 3 –
Cocktail: Barrel Aged
Paired with: Horseradish Crusted Pork Loin, creamy mustard hominy, braised collards
Cocktail: Old No. 43
Paired with: Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding, quince jam, lemon-whiskey glaze
$65 per person, plus tax and gratuity
Please call Max Fish in Glastonbury to reserve your seat (860) 652-3474
The TK classic El Jimador Blue Agave Margarita (one of our most popular drinks from the catalog), pair it with Chef Torla’s Pueblan-style Mole Poblano – tortillas, pumpkin seeds, queso fresca. All for $6, just this Thursday.
We love making tequila drinks and El Jimador is a great selection which we use for our standard drinks selection – it is made from 100% Blue Agave, and has a rich, salty, smokey taste, perfect for making classic styled margaritas. This drink has a touch of blue in it to add a twist to the classic. Perfect for the Mole Poblano.
At Max Restaurant Group we are very pleased to announce a new initiative at each of our locations: Thursty Thursdays @ Max. Come into any Max location on Thursdays and discover a great special only available that night. Each month our locations will have new promotion that will be available on Thursdays. These will change from week to week and month to month, so check back here or subscribe to our Social Media sites to get the latest updates on what we are offering. Some of the creative offering may include drink and food specials, half-priced wines, or special tastings – the choices are limitless and are designed to give our loyal patrons another great reason to join us. Whether you are winding down your week or getting your weekend kicked-off, this is a great opportunity to discover the fabulous sections of beers, wine, and cocktails at each of our locations.
Thursty Thursdays @ Max, just another great reason to join us.