**All Collective Members receive invites to these events
For the second July in a row, we found ourselves at 28 Liberty for Good Beer. This year, the beautiful weather stuck around the whole time, which meant we all got to comfortably and leisurely enjoy tastes from 40+ vendors while basking in a balmy summer night.
Not a single stand disappointed—of this I’m sure as I made it my mission to stop at as many booths as I could; I lost count after the second dozen, though—and the options were both plentiful and diverse. Brewers representing the entire beermaking spectrum were in attendance, from large to small, international to local, which made the event feel like a delicious metaphor for our fair city.
Move over rum—gin is poised to finally stage a takeover as the ultimate summer spirit.
Not only is the juniper-derived liquor lighter and more refreshing, with a citrusy undercurrent that makes it ideal on a hot day, it’s widely perceived to be infinitely more sophisticated than rum. Which means, it’s the perfect go-to for discriminating imbibers who don’t groove on sugary, tiki-esque tipples, furnished with umbrellas and sipped out of coconuts (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
So as a timely kick-off to the season, we invited Sipsmith to take center court at our latest Collective event on Monday, June 18, at Pier A Harbor House. Being based in London (as essential to the drink’s popular identity as Champagne is to champagne and Cognac is to cognac), the distillery served as seemly ambassadors, to our crowd of assembled, drink-interested members.
While spring generally conjures images of guzzling rose on rooftops, a nippy June afternoon proved just the thing, for sipping on tumblers of smoky mezcal.
The promise of getting up close and personal with the spirit also served as a draw for New York bartenders, making the most of their day off in the Pier A Harbor House stateroom, perched high above the Hudson.
The latest in our series of Collective events, which gather food and drink industry insiders together to share ideas, skills and insight, the June 4th workshop and contest was a serious showcase of agave; courtesy of single-village distillers, Sombra Mezcal.
In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of chef Charlie Trotter’s self-titled restaurant, Edible Chicago hosted a 30-day “Pairing and Sharing” program. For a month over the summer, Woodford Reserve committed to sharing $1 for every Woodford Reserve cocktail sold at participating restaurants to benefit the Trotter Project, an organization that connects budding talent interested in the culinary arts and hospitality industry through the Pillars of Excellence Mentor Program.
This organization is something of an extension of the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian Award-winning chef’s restaurant, which has launched hundreds of culinary careers. In addition to the positive impact that Charlie Trotter’s has had on the city of Chicago, Trotter’s innovative approach to cuisine has inspired chefs across the globe.
Bartenders and chefs at participating Chicago restaurants saw the program’s cocktails with a cause as a way to discover new pairings. A handful of them shared with Edible Manhattan the inside scoop on how they collaborate on developing these pairings, from hitting the farmers market together to working with lower-proof cocktails.
This past March, The Collective gathered at Tyge William Cellars in Sonoma, California, for the Edible Bartender Symposium, an evening of whiskey tasting and food pairing with Woodford Reserve. After a welcome Rye Manhattan, guests sat down for a panel presentation with Woodford’s Master Taster, Elizabeth McCall. The discussion featured a breakdown of the distillery’s famous flavor wheel, plus some chef-bartender pairing demos that ended in samples were abundant.
After lively conversation, dinner was served along with cocktails starring a number of Woodford’s whiskey types. Bartenders introduced each of the course’s accompanying drinks, explaining what made it such a good paring.
Guests enjoyed several original beverages, including the Gibson, made with brown-butterfat-washed Woodford bourbon, toasted black-walnut-infused Woodford rye, cedar-leaf-infused vermouth, charred cedar, coffee musk, cocoa nib tincture, candy cap mushroom and Maine maple sap. After an exciting four courses, the Edible Bartender Symposium in Sonoma, California, came to a close.
The National Good Spirits Tour is a traveling drink bazaar that spans all four corners of the United States. The tour brings together national and international spirit brands with local distillers, bartenders and chefs in six Edible communities. In each city, beverages of all natures are expertly paired with bites by acclaimed local chefs and food artisans. Each event is a mixology hub that brings the community together over good spirits.
The tour was inspired by Edible Manhattan’s Good Spirits annual event, launched nearly a decade ago. Every year at New York’s Edible Good Spirits, dozens of cocktail and food makers would set up shop. Hundreds of cocktail enthusiasts would fill the venue as they mingled with distillers, mixologists and food makers and sampled their food and drink pairings.
After many successful runs, Edible Manhattan partnered with Edible Communities to take this event on the road, re-creating the curious and collaborative energy of Edible Good Spirits across the nation. Kicking off in 2017 with Reno-Tahoe, Aspen, Sonoma and Ohio Valley, the National Good Spirits Tour will come to a close in 2018 with New York and Chicago.
Over the summer, Collective members met with Alan Ruesga-Pelayo, a bartender at Fort Greene’s Mettā, to discuss the restaurant’s zero-waste goals. Over a table full of Pier A Harbor House hors d’oeuvres, members learned about the bar’s incorporation of leftover kitchen ingredients in their cocktails, preservation techniques such as dehydration, vinegars and shrubs and its goal to exclusively procure local products.