New Liberty Distillery Has A “Restaurant Week” Menu

And it's all booze, all the time.

Ahhh, Restaurant Week. Love it or hate it, the late summer and midwinter promotion of inexpensive dining brings out something special in Philadelphia’s dining community. Patrons get the chance to try a three-course menu at a fixed rate, which means that budget-conscious diners can experience new places at a discount. For restaurateurs, Restaurant Week is a chance to turn tables and burn through high numbers of guests, albeit at discounted rates–a welcome relief during the slowest times of the year.

One of the hoops that restaurateurs participating in Restaurant Week must jump through, however, is that of featuring the spirits of the event’s official cocktail sponsor. And whomever it is selecting the sponsors? They must have a wicked sense of humor.

Last winter’s sponsor was Pinnacle Vodka, and the obligatory flavors were peach and Cinnabon (Yes. Like at the mall food court. Cinnabon flavored vodka.). This year it’s Effen Vodka, in black cherry and cucumber flavors. What this means is that some of the city’s great restaurants are required to place special orders for flavored vodkas and other spirits and feature them in restaurant week cocktails. That’s right. Brauhaus Schmitz, Zahav, The Olde Bar, and all the rest have to have black-cherry flavored vodka on the rail for this week and next.

A welcome alternative to these flavored vodka monstrosities, the New Liberty Distillery in Kensington is offering an alternative. Unaffiliated with the official Center City District Restaurant Week, New Liberty is nonetheless playing along, this weekend and next, with the restaurant week format, offering a flight of cocktails each made with their distilled spirits to model an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.

To begin, the “Smoked Tea Amuse” matches Kinsey 7-Year Whiskey with caramelized Earl Grey tea, smoked lapsang tea, Cynar, and lemon. In place of the safe, red meat entree you’ll find all over Restaurant Week menus, an “Old Fashioned Au Poivre;” Kinsey Bourbon and Rye with cranberry, black walnut bitters, and black peppercorn. Dessert is a drink called “Just Like Momma Used to Make” matching Kinsey Bourbon with apple, chai tea, lemongrass, coconut and lemon bitters.

This tasting will be available all weekend, this weekend and next, as part of a $10 upgrade to VIP brewery tours ($20). Reserve your spaces here.

Everything you need to know about Restaurant Week [F8b8z]