Yin & Yang | Photo by Robert Neroni
Last week I visited Hop Sing Laundromat for happy hour where North Korea’s biggest fanboy, Lê poured me a cocktail he had been working on. He wasn’t certain if the drink was better up and garnished with a Luxardo Maraschino cherry or served over a big ice cube with a an orange peel.
So Lê poured me half-measures of the drink up and on the rock and asked for my opinion. The difference in flavor between the two was striking. The breadth of flavor was made all the more striking since this was a two ingredient cocktail of Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof Bourbon and Averna Amaro.
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Philadelphia’s inaugural Craft Spirits Week hit the ground running during last night’s WhiskeyFest. The local craft spirits “corral” was packed all night as attendees were excited to try the local products. Several of the local distilleries used the opportunity to show off some new products. And in the case of whiskey, that usually means something old. Dad’s Hat was showing off its Straight Rye Whiskey, aged 36 to 45 months at its bar. Manatawny Still Works pouring its latest, almost scotch like Small Batch Whiskey #11. And Philadelphia Distilling surprised many by showing off “Tough Broad,” their aged whiskey collaboration with Yards Brewing. The whiskey starts with George Washington Porter being run through the still and then aged for over a year.
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Philadelphia magazine’s Whiskey Fest is of course about whiskey but that isn’t all. As you may have noticed, the exact branding is Whiskey and Fine Spirits Fest, which means all sorts of booze will be available for sampling, including from 12 spirit lounges. The event is also serving as the kickoff to the inaugural Philly Craft Spirits Week and 11 local distilleries will be set up to show you what’s happening in Philadelphia’s booming craft scene.
And since you can’t live by whiskey alone, there are also tons of excellent food options to choose from; including Village Whiskey, Zeppoli and Double Knot in the Infiniti Lounge, where there will be hand-rolled sushi and Japanese whiskey.
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Check out the cocktails and menus for James | Photo by HughE Dillon
James, the bar and restaurant owned by the same group as behind Mac’s Tavern in Old City, though this is a very different concept, opens today. Named after James Logan of Logan Circle fame and a former mayor of Philadelphia, James takes over the former Mission Grill location with 88 seats and 28 bar stools.
Aiming to have something for everyone, James houses private dining rooms in the back as well as in a vault, that speaks to the building’s former use as a bank. Though televisions dot the bar area, they double as mirrors when they’re not broadcasting sports, making the space more versatile.
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Cocktails with local herbs and produce at Reading Terminal Market
On Thursday, August 25th, Aaron Gordon, owner of 13th Street Cocktails, his company sets up bars at weddings, catered events, tastings and even offers a bar on wheels, and now he’s going to host a cocktail class at the Reading Terminal Market on how to make drinks using herbs and produce from your garden or local market.
Each participant gets their own mixing station and light bites will be served to go with the drinks.
The class runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and costs $60 per person. Each guest will receive a hand juicer and recipe guide, in addition to the cocktails created.
13th Street Cocktails [Official]
Ground to Glass: Interactive Cocktails with 13th Street Cocktail Catering [TicketLeap]
Earlier today we stopped by a.bar to check in on the summer cocktails that the Rittenhouse cocktail bar has added to their menu. Bartender Paul MacDonald joined us on Facebook Live to make us an Angostura Float, a rum-based cocktail made with Angostura bitters ice cream that is just perfect for this unbearable hot days and nights.
The cocktail is definitely rum forward in the best way and as the ice cream melts, becomes a creamy cooling and refreshing way to relax. The angostura ice cream worked remarkably well, definitely better than just about any beer-flavored ice cream I’ve come across.
More summer cocktails at a.bar »
Martini or Martinez
Tired of all the political talk? Here’s an election with two candidates that are a little easier to swallow.
Philadelphia Distilling is is the official gin provider of the 2016 Philadelphia Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention with their Bluecoat Gin. And in the spirit of the convention, they are hosting their own election between two drinks the “Martini” and the “Martinez.”
The “Martini” is the classic martini made with their American Dry Gin and is garnished with an orange twist or olive.
The “Martinez” is made with the Philadelphia Distilling’s Barrel Finished Gin, vermouth, bitters, luxardo, and finished with an orange twist.
The two drinks can be put to the test all over the city including some Foobooz favorites like Oyster House, Industry, Vedge, and a.bar (just to name a few).
To vote, head to the Bluecoat Gin Facebook page Drink-cision post and comment the hashtag of your favorite. Voting is open and will run until July 28th. The winner will be announced on Thursday, July 28th at 10 p.m. at The Franklin Bar.
Full List of participating bars »
Like us, Morgan’s Pier is enjoying visiting local distilleries this summer. The riverfront bar is offering tours of Stateside Vodka and Red Brick Craft Distillery. The tours start out at Morgan’s Pier with light snacks and a specialty cocktail made with spirits from the distilleries. Then everyone gets on a trolley bus and learns how those drinks came to be. Each distillery offers an exclusive tour and tasting to the guests.
After the two stops, the trolley heads back to Morgan’s Pier for a nightcap. The tours cost $35 and there are two more this summer, Tuesday, August 16th and Tuesday, September 14th. The events start at 5:30 p.m. at Morgan’s Pier, with the trolley leaving at 6 p.m.
Purchase your tickets online.
Morgan’s Pier [Foobooz]
Sara Justice at COOK
A cocktail dinner at a BYOB? Yep, that’s what’s happening on Tuesdays in July at Russet. Today, July 19th, sees The Franklin’s Sara Justice creating two cocktails to go with chef Andrew Wood’s four course tasting menu.
Justice is shaking up two cocktails for tonight’s dinner:
- Violent Femme Punch – with tequila, Fino sherry, falernum, ginger, pineapple, lemon, beet and cilantro
- The Woman in the Dunes – with gin, scotch, fino sherry, orgeat, lemon, lime and bitters
Tickets for the dinner are $65 per person (plus gratuity). Guests may call 215-546-1521 to reserve a space.
If you can’t make it tonight, you will have one last chance to attend a Tuesday Night Cocktail Dinner. Chris Arnone from Zahav will be making cocktails on Tuesday, July 26.
A Mechanic Street Mule at the Still in Doylestown
Out in Bucks County, just above the Doylestown Brewing Co. (52 East State Street, Doylestown), a speakeasy has been operating almost unnoticed for almost a month.
Run by Chris Hall, The Still is self-proclaimed Prohibition-style cocktail bar that is apparently still a pretty well kept secret.
The bar only uses spirits from local PA distilleries and have nine homemade infusions made with all local ingredients. The cocktail list covers the basics and includes some historically accurate drinks as well (which come with a lengthy explanation of their origins).
And while it’s no Hop Sing, this is definitely a cool addition to ‘burbs.
The Still is open Thursday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.
The Still Menu (PDF)