Archive for the ‘The Night Cap NYC’ Category

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Night Cap Bourbon Ready to Go!

May 31, 2013

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This message goes out to all the loyal Night Cappers who made it to the last Night Cap. We’re coming up on 3 months since you all left with a bottle of my mason jar bourbon, and guess what: it’s time to start tasting. Nobler Mark and I have dug into our stashes already and I can tell you, the 3 month age is really damn delicious. I recommend you take a little swig and see what you think before running all of the contents through a coffee filter, just in case you want more age. But I encourage you to enjoy the “young” bourbon now. It’s a nice change of pace from the heavier commercial options and I’ll tell you, nothing kicks off a weekend better than some homemade bourbon. Hope you enjoy and hit me up if you have any questions on how to specifically filter it.

Added bonus, I hope to have some news on the next Night Cap coming soon!

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Night Cap NYC #2: Back to Basics

March 11, 2013

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If you haven’t already, it’s time to get on the Night Cap train. We had another amazing night this past weekend and I’m already excited to get working on the next one. This time, we had the pleasure of using a friend’s amazing loft that we transferred into our own little liquor, wine, and beer lab. Thanks a ton to everyone who made it out and added to the enthusiasm of such a wonderful event.

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As for some of the highlights, we broke everyone out into three rotating stations of booze-filled amazingness. Adam walked everyone through our throw back production of bathtub gin (recipe card below) and served up a refreshing and delicious gin and juice. I brought the fire to the party in the form of live-charring of oak chips to describe the simple yet sophisticated way in which our favorite aged whiskeys (specifically bourbon) are made. Plus everyone walked away with a little mason jar bourbon project of their own!

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But the guests seemed to all agree, and not surprisingly, that Keith’s rendition of wine blending bringing a little France to NY or maybe a lot of NY to France, was one of the best moments of the night. Highlighting the concepts of wine blending by comparing left bank and right bank Bordeauxs as only the self-proclaimed wine-geek can do, I’m bummed myself I didn’t get a chance to see him in action. I did get to drink quite a bit of his blends thankfully, and they were damn delicious.

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In addition to all the alcohol fun, a special thank you to Emily Holbrook for putting together a really delicious spread of snacks for the night. Her oven roasted tomatoes and goat cheese crostini, spicy fried peanuts, and cheese straws were not only delicious, but they kept everyone (almost everyone) even keeled throughout all that drinking. She’s the best!

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So keep an eye out for our next scheduled event (hopefully details coming soon) and in the meantime check us out on Facebook and Twitter here and here!

bathtubgin

 

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Uncle Frankie’s Wise Words

March 8, 2013

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“I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” – Frank Sinatra

I stumbled upon that quote over at BoyDrinksWorld yesterday and immediately realized that Frank Sinatra must be a distant relative of mine. And if you agree with Uncle Frankie, I’m excited to let you know we still have two tickets left for the Night Cap tonight.

The Night Cap: Back to Basics

For those that already bought their tickets, we’ll see you tonight. Going to be ridonkulous!

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Hangover Cures – The Trifecta

March 7, 2013

I’m so jacked up for the Night Cap this Friday. But with all the delicious drinks we’re serving, I’m just assuming and preparing for a nasty hangover on Saturday. So I thought I’d turn to Nobler Mark for some advice. Being that we tend to be a part of creating each other’s hangovers, it only seems fair that he’d part of the solution…

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Just as booze comes in countless nuanced varieties, so does the hangover.  Since this is all very scientific, I’ve separated the 3 major areas of affectedness and applied a few remedies accordingly.  Just a quick note before beginning: Every one of these treatments begins with Advil and Coffee.  Lots of coffee.  Like, all of the coffee.  This first step is necessary and can just be assumed hereafter.

The Head – For a general fuzziness in the dome, look no further than a hearty Brunch, replete with your favorite early cocktail.  The Pimm’s Cup is a dark horse favorite.  Fill up on nutrients and slip right back into a comfortable buzz and all will be well.  A pounding headache, however, is another story.  After the requisite Advil and Coffee I find the two biggest priorities are hydration and sugar.  Thankfully, some genius invented coconut water, which should at least get you started on the long path to recovery.  Also, sunglasses.

The Heart[burn] – What do you do when all that whiskey that was keeping you warm last night leaves you with a gut full of smoldering embers? Pickles. This probably seems counter-intuitive, and I don’t have an explanation, but that’s the answer. Pickles will settle your stomach enough to get you started on that tall Bloody Mary of salvation.  ”Vinegar and spice, everything’s nice.”  Remember that. That’s gonna be a thing now.

The Body – Hangover Legs!  I was introduced to this phenomenon by Nobler Sean back in college, but never experienced it until years later. It’s not too terribly unpleasant (for the uninitiated it kind of feels like lactic acid build-up from an intense workout) but it tends to stick around all day.  For this one I recommend copious stretching, followed by eating your weight in Chinese Food.  Any greasy-spoon comfort food will do the trick really, along with a refreshing beer or two. 

 

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Wine Wins…

February 15, 2013

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Despite impressive arguments by myself and Mark, it looks like Adam and his wine won out for Valentines Day. Don’t tell him I told you this, but I actually had some wine, and no whiskey so it looks like I didn’t help my own cause. But anyway, I’m glad you all enjoyed our debate and hope you all had a great fake holiday.

As for some other news, the Night Cap NYC tickets are moving and there aren’t many left at this point. I know we’re still a few weeks out but if you want to make sure you can join us for another unforgettable tasting, grab your tickets today. Otherwise have a great weekend and enjoy the extra day (if you have it).

Night Cap NYC: Back to Basics

 

 

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The Future is Now for American Single Malts

January 18, 2013
Allison V. Smith for The New York Times

Photo by Allison V. Smith for The New York Times

Close to a year ago, I posted about the Future of American Whiskey. The notion was simple: as more and more small scale distilleries entered the industry with increased demand and decreased legislation, we were clearly going to see more than just bourbon and rye at the forefront of our whiskey resurgence. As seen in this week’s NY Times article, it looks like the future is now…

Single malt American whiskeys are on the rise and with Balcones Texas Single Malt winning the “Best in Glass” distinction over a number of Scottish perennials, it’s time to start paying attention. The key distinction here, is that while most of the American history of whiskey focuses on corn or rye based mashes, single malt whiskeys use a malted grain, normally barley. As the Times article also points out, this focus on malted barley is a perfect match for many craft distillers who got their feet wet in the beer brewing game. But it isn’t simply a replication of European methodology that is responsible for the excitement.

Many of the US single malt distillers are expanding outside of the fairly narrow rule-set that defines these types of whiskeys elsewhere in the world. Innovation around the aging process, ingredient additions, and weather effects are pushing the limits of what we’ve seen in the past. I’ve had a few of the single malts listed in the article and I’ll be honest, I haven’t loved them all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying them. Part of the beauty of single malt production is to stay connected to the process. As these guys learn and adapt, the product is only going to get better and better.

On another exciting note, the Night Cap NYC is about to announce our next event and it’s going to be even better the last one. More details will come once we have everything in order, but stay tuned for tickets and much much more. Happy Weekend and go grab some American Single Malt!

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The Applejack Rabbit

December 4, 2012

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One of the main goals of the Night Cap is to expose or re-introduce varieties of alcohol, whether that be beer, wine, or liquor, in a way that provides legitimate reasons to add to your own collection. Particularly on the liquor front, it is so easy to default to the basics when entering a liquor store, but when armed with cocktail recipes or ideas that taste as good as this Applejack Rabbit, you’ll be grabbing up bottles of Apple Brandy and whatever else we showcase guaranteed.

This is one of those cocktails that is way greater than the sum of its parts. Lemon juice, orange juice, and maple syrup pair with the Apple Brandy and all take on some crazy synergistic flavor profile that is insanely delicious; not to mention a little too drinkable if you know what I mean. But Apple Brandy, or as the French call it, Calvados, itself has a pretty interesting connection to the booze-fiending habits of our earliest American ancestors making this drink even more exciting.

As I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts, one of the more crude but effective methods for distillation utilizes Mother Nature in a way that seems part genius, part dumb luck. As the cold winters of the early American settlers kicked in to full ass-freezing gear, the temperatures dropped significantly. Just like in traditional distillation where we take advantage of the difference in boiling temperatures of alcohol and water, in “freeze distillation” we relish in the fact that alcohol also has a much lower freezing temperature point. This is why of course we can put our bottles of vodka in the freezer.

So as the temperatures dropped, the water component of the fermented juices (often apple) in barrels would begin to freeze. As ice freezes and it’s density drops, the barrel became increasing alcoholic down to the bottom. By chance or by intuition, tapping these barrels at the bottom rendered wonderfully strong barrel aged liquors, one of the more common, an Apple Brandy or sometimes referred to as Apple Jack.

We of course did not go through the freeze distillation process for our cocktails as our winter has not quite kicked into full gear (let’s go with that as the only excuse here…). Luckily there are a number of great Apple Brandy options out there. But we recommend sticking with Laird’s or a well rated French Calvados. Once it becomes more available, I’m looking forward to adding in the NY produced, Cornelius, to the mix as well.

The Applejack Rabbit is easy and delicious and goes great for any occasion. But don’t overlook the Apple Brandy as a sipping spirit as well. Great after a long winter’s day! Enjoy!

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