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Entries in Cocktails (101)

Thursday
Sep252014

Bourbon and Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser

The Norwalk Historical Society is hosting a fun-spirited Bourbon and Whiskey Tasting Fundraiser, with speaker Gregg Glaser, publisher and editor of Modern Distillery Age, on October 3, 2014, 7:00-9pm at Mill Hill Historic Park - Town House Museum, 2 East Wall Street, Norwalk, CT.  

A sampling of six selections will be tasted from around the world. Join us for an entertaining and informative discussion on the history, production, style and character of each. Appetizers are included. Must be 21 years and older to participate in the tasting.

Tickets - Early Bird until 9/26: $35-After 9/26: $40-At the door: $50. Purchase tickets here.

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Tuesday
Sep162014

Top 10 Craft Cocktails in Lower Connecticut

“We've come through the Dark Ages of the Cocktail," observes Gretchen Thomas, Director of Wine and Spirits for Barcelona and Bartaco.. "There was a time here when the spirit of choice was mainly Vodka, and the best we could do was flavor it.”

Though Connecticut may be a bit late to the party, the Craft Cocktail has finally, fully arrived. In fact, the drinks created at many local bars are as artful and artisanal as what's cooking in the kitchen.

Today’s barcraft is almost culinary … reflecting the way we now cook and dine: with fresh seasonal ingredients, locally sourced and often hand crafted.  Re-mixes of the old classics are updated with super premium, small batched spirits and served with stunning visual presentations and precisely balanced flavor constructions.  

“Cocktails have become part of the meal,” notes Jeff Marron, who heads up the beverage programs at Bill Taibe’s restaurants in Westport.  They are enjoyed for flavor and complexity more than potency.

The much celebrated legacy drinks of the Prohibition Era were often filled with unreliable spirits that were masked by powerful mixers.  And the boozy indulgences at Mid-century served as Mad Men escapes more than savored enjoyment.  After Viet Nam, mixed drinks barely survived the counter cultural revolution.   It took a new millennium to revive the cocktail’s pleasurable role in America’s drinking and dining.

Indeed, the eras of Gatsby, Draper and Joplin have long passed, and the Golden Age of Cocktails has come to the Gold Coast. So here’s our toast to the 10 top local Craft Cocktails…  and the men and women who are raising the bar.  Cheers!

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Sunday
Sep072014

NEAT Opens in Westport: The Art of the Beverage from AM to PM

Coffee bar by day, craft cocktail bar by night, NEAT is now open at 6 Wilton Road in Westport from 7 am to midnight, seven days a week.

If you are familiar with NEAT’s location in Darien, the approach will feel instantly familiar, if distilled into a much fuller and complete café experience. NEAT retains its unpretentious devotion to the art of the beverage, extending its reach into the evening as your palate naturally shifts from caffeine to spirits, seamlessly maintaining its full attention to the craft beverage experience.

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Tuesday
Aug262014

15 Great Spots for Happy Hour in Fairfield County

Why limit happy to an hour? Many of your favorite restaurants are inviting you to weekday happy hours where you can enjoy signature drinks, discounted beers, special appetizers, and more!  See which of your favorite hotspots are offering specials below.

  1. The Fez, Stamford
  2. Gingerman, Norwalk
  3. Bar Sugo, Norwalk
  4. Taco Loco, Bridgeport
  5. Butterfield 8, Stamford
  6. Barcelona, varying locations
  7. Tomato and Basil. Fairfield
  8. Napa and Company, Stamford
  9. Morello, Greenwich
  10. Craft 260, Fairfield

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Sunday
Aug102014

Kawa Ni: An Exclusive First Look at Bill Taibe’s Izakaya-inspired Restaurant in Westport

CTbites was invited for an exclusive first look inside Chef Bill Taibe’s new restaurant, Kawa Ni, in Westport’s Bridge Square this week. Kawa Ni means “on the river,” an apt name for a restaurant in Saugatuck whose cuisine and service will take its cues from the informal Izakaya joints found in the Japanese cities of Kyoto and Osaka.

Is it an american restaurant with japanese aspirations? Or is it a japanese restaurant with american inspirations? Both, says Taibe, who distills his love of post war japanese culture and a farm house style approach to japanese food within the walls of the intimate Kawa Ni.  

Equal parts food and drink, with a capital F-U-N atmosphere, the 40-seat Izakaya-inspired restaurant will get the party started by the end of the month.

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Wednesday
Aug062014

116 Crown 7th Anniversary Party

116 Crown in New Haven will celebrate its 7th anniversay on August 16 with a garden party, dinner, and (naturally) some of the best cocktails in Connecticut. Admission will be $60 per person. Reservations are recommended as space will be limited, call 203.777.3116 or email 116Crown@gmail.com

From 116 Crown:

On August 16, we're going to celebrate our 7th Summer years, with our third annual anniversary party. The night prior we're firing-up the slow cookers, and at 6pm on Saturday we're going to mix-up the punchbowls and light fires and we ask that you join us to celebrate the last 7 years and look forward to the future. Admission to the garden will be $60 and we will keep the drinks flowing and the food cooking until 10 pm and you're welcome to all you can enjoy. Think of it as a family reunion without the awkwardness and embarrassing photo albums.

The Menu

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Wednesday
Jul162014

Island Life Cocktail Recipe via The Whelk's Jeff Marron

Jeff Marron is the new Barman and director of all things cocktail related at The Whelk & Le Farm. 

I like to work closely with the kitchen staff at The Whelk in Westport. The talent in that room is outstanding. I'm always trying to learn something new from them. A couple of months ago, they came to me with with a bottle of coconut white balsamic vinegar from a cool local oil and vinegar store called Olivette in Westport & Darien. It smelled and tasted delicious. As I like to get inspiration from the people around me, I asked Chef Lazlo what the vinegar reminded him of. He said that it reminded him of vacation and suntan lotion. 

Vacation and suntan lotion. Okay. Well, what vacation and suntan lotion bring to my mind are Pina Coladas, Margaritas and delicious rum drinks. Somehow, I wanted to put all of those drinks in one glass. I wanted to put summer in a glass, in other words. 

The base of the Island Life cocktail is an expansion on a Rum Old Fashioned which satisfies my craving for summer rum drinks. The aromatics of the foam are what bring all of the other flavors and memories together. Between the grapefruit and orange bitters that tie into the fresh lime juice and lime zest lies the coconut white balsamic vinegar. No one particular flavor stands out. They all play well together.

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Wednesday
Jun252014

Espresso Neat to Open 2nd Location in Westport: Coffee by Day, Craft Cocktails by Night

Coffee and cocktail drinkers unite at the latest hotspot in Westport, C.T. From the owner of Espresso NEAT in Darien comes NEAT, the collaborative concept experience where coffee enthusiasts can enjoy Connecticut’s finest during the day and cocktail drinkers can wind down at night. NEAT will be located at 6 Wilton Road in Westport as part of the National Hall re-development. The bar is expected to be open in early August from 7:00 a.m. -12:00 a.m.

Customers will receive the exceptional, distinctive coffees and popular offerings that they have come to expect from Espresso NEAT by day, as well as innovative breakfast and lunch offerings prepared in-house. By night, patrons will be able to enjoy well-tailored cocktails. Both coffee and cocktails will be crafted in the constant pursuit of excellence with regard to ingredients and skillful preparation.

The NEAT bar will have an innovative spirits program including artisanal beer featuring seasonal craft beers and carefully selected wines that allow patrons to “take a trip around the world” in order to expand their palate. A selection of simple and locally cultivated house crafted bar snacks will also be available with new takes on traditional bar food.  There will be live music from local artists with a strong focus on Jazz, Bluegrass and Folk.

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Thursday
Jun192014

Deux Amis Chez leFarm: Spend Friday Nights with leFarm 

This just in from our friends at leFarm, who are kicking-off a new late evening food & cocktail gathering beginning this week:

Starting this Friday @ 10:30 pm LeFarm will be hosting our first "Deuxamis." Deuxamis is two friends, Chef Arik Bensimon and Barman Jeff Marron, pairing up to serve great food and great cocktails-late night! Yes...cocktails, food, late night and LeFarm all in one sentence. No reservations necessary, just stop in and hang out. 

Sounds great, count us in!

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Monday
Apr212014

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo in Fairfield County CT

It is said that Cinco de Mayo originated when Mexican-American communities wanted to commemorate freedom during the first years of the American Civil War.  Now you can commemorate freedom from winter with these awesome Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Here's what's going on at Bartaco, Bodega, Baró, Taco Loco, and more. Ole! 

The Cinco de Mayo celebration lasts for 5 days at Taco Loco in Bridgeport!

Thursday May 1: Get competitive with a taco eating contest at 7pm and a guest bartending mixology showdown at 7:30.  You can sign up for the events on facebook.

Friday May 2: Free tequila tasting from 6-9pm featuring over 15 tequilas. 

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