Tag Archives: spirits

Kiuchi No Shizuku: A gin-like spirit from Japan

16 Mar
Photo by Kevin Chan (http://flickr.com/crumbs)

Photo by Kevin Chan (http://flickr.com/crumbs)

Last night I dined at EN Japanese Brasserie, which serves some of the most authentic cuisine this side of the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the sweet and spicy Local Honey cocktail ($18), made with Yamazaki 12-year-old single malt whisky, Beefeater gin, honey, wasabi and bee pollen, I sampled a small pour of Kiuchi No Shizuku ($15) from Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery, the producer of the Hitachino Nest beer line. As a gin fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this 43-percent abv spirit, which is distilled from Hitachino Nest White Ale, a Belgian-style brew that features coriander, nutmeg, orange juice and orange peel. Additional coriander, hops and orange peel are incorporated during the distillation process, after which the spirit is aged in oak barrels for six months. The finished product is a pale golden color with a refreshing botanical flavor that’s reminiscent of gin minus the juniper. I sipped it over ice and loved the crisp taste of citrus and herbs, with a slight sweetness that mellows into a dry finish. I would also recommend drinking the spirit mixed with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and soda. Kiuchi No Shizuku is imported to the United States by specialty beer and spirits purveyor B. United International and can be found at Drink Up NY for $17.99 a 200-ml. bottle.

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The New Black: NOIR NYC exudes a 1930s supper club vibe with modern touches

28 Jul

NOIR, the upscale restaurant and nightclub that opened in the old Nikki Beach space in June, hearkens back to its early 20th-century origins, first as an opera house and later as a speakeasy. The design attempts to recreate the old-school glamour of Sinatra’s hey day with tile flooring, marble staircase, dark wood banisters and leather banquettes. The elegant dining room takes up the first floor, while the glitzy lounge area comprises the second story.

The bar program features $220-to-$300 punch bowls that contain 20 servings and a premium spirits cart offering top-shelf Cognac and whiskies, including Scotch, which can be pour over a signature Macallan ice sphere.

The drinks menu highlights handcrafted cocktails ($15) developed by award-winning mixologist and beverage director Adam DelGiudice, who previously worked at the Florida Room in Miami’s South Beach. The list features twists on classics and original concoctions, including the Manhattan En Noir, made with rye whiskey, vermouth, Port, Grand Marnier and bitters, and the Five Point Sour, mixing Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, applejack, lemon juice and a float of red wine. NOIR also offers an extensive wine list.

I started with the Garden Variety, which blends vodka, muddled strawberries and basil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice and white pepper. The cocktail perfectly balances the fresh fruitiness of the strawberries with the acidic tang of the lime juice and vinegar. Plus, the basil and pepper exude herbal and spicy aromas.

I also tried the sweet and floral Lavender Aviation, made with gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and house-made lavender syrup, as well as the tart and refreshing Ghost of Mary Pickford, comprising light rum, lime and pineapple juices, and house-made grenadine.

The cuisine—from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Yves Schillinger—combines American and French elements. Items include salmon and arugula flatbread pizza, Kobe beef sliders, red snapper with Asian sauce, and salmon, tuna and steak tartares, the last of which is topped with raw quail yolk.

NOIR is definitely the place to take a date, meet colleagues for drinks or host an extravagant birthday party in Midtown. Whatever the occasion, it’s sure to impress.

© 2012 Amber Drea and New York Drinkie. Unauthorized use or duplication of images and text without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be quoted, provided that clear credit is given to Amber Drea and New York Drinkie with links directing to the original content.

Get Blasted: Buy discounted tickets for the Ultimate Blast through September 15th

12 Sep

Next month, the wine and spirits evaluation company Ultimate Beverage Challenge is hosting the second annual Ultimate Blast at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. The three-hour wine, spirits and cocktail tasting event takes place on Friday, October 14th, and will feature renowned brands and bartenders from all over the world, as well as a full buffet of hot and cold cuisine catered by the hotel and a live band playing a mix of lounge music and upbeat tunes. Mixologists and cocktail experts—including Punch author David Wondrich, “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff and PDT co-owner Jim Meehan—will also be on hand signing their books.

Attendees will have the opportunity to taste about 250 different spirits, 80 to 100 cocktails, and roughly 100 still and sparkling wines and Champagnes. The 2010 event featured bartenders and mixologists from venues like Pegu Club, Little Branch, Highlands and Eleven Madison Park, alongside such brands as The Dalmore Scotch, Banks 5 Island rum, Broker’s gin and Cognac Ferrand, and this year promises to be equally exciting. General admission tickets cost $125 for unlimited food and beverage tastings from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., while the $175 VIP tickets include an additional hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. And if you order tickets online by this Thursday, September 15th, you’ll get 30% off!

© Amber Drea and New York Drinkie, 2011. Photos by Michael Gold/TheCorporateImage. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of images and text without express and written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be used, provided that clear credit is given to Amber Drea and New York Drinkie with links directing to the original content.