As a member of the Foodbuzz blogging community, I had the opportunity to propose an idea for the July edition of Foodbuzz’s 24, 24, 24 project. And luckily, my proposal got picked. Thus Drink Times Ten came to fruition on a Saturday night.
We were greeted by the manager, John, with a complimentary food and cocktail pairing which consisted of a drink called the ‘Bamboo’ and a garnish of three house-pickled almonds. It’s made with Amontillado sherry, dry vermouth, and some orange bitters. We learned that they do a lot of their own pickling at Drink including lychee in tequila and cherries in liqueur.
It was quite a strong drink upon first sip and I think about half the group liked it more than the other half. The funny thing is that all of our glasses were somehow empty, so as one of my friends, JW, said, “After the fifth sip, it grew on me.”
Our bartenders that night were Sam and Cali - two very sweet, patient, and accommodating people. Although some people might get the impression that it is a pretentious place because of it’s dim mood-lighting and sveltely dressed staff, most of my friends thought it was rather laid back and low key. As one of them commented, “You know, I don’t usually feel comfortable ordering liquor drinks at a bar because I don’t know what to order. But here, it’s nice because you can actually have a conversation with the bartender and they don’t talk down to you.” I was tickled when the bartenders got excited describing the ingredients of a cocktail, and things like the origin or history of a liqueur.
So the premise of the evening’s event was that each person in our group would order an item from their bar menu, and then the bartender would suggest a drink to go along with the dish based on each person’s tastes. With eleven items currently being offered on the food menu, there are countless possibilities of drink and food pairings. In total, we had seven of the different dishes and had approximately nineteen different drinks (a couple were non-alcoholic) in the course of roughly three hours. Now that is my idea of a fun night with friends!
Speaking of friends, listed below are the participants of my 24, 24, 24 project, all ever-so-willing to give up a couple of hours in the name of liqueur research. Next to their names are the dish they ordered and the drinks that were made for them. Click on each name to see a full description of what they had that night (with pictures!) along with some of their feedback. Be sure to click on each photo to see the details.
I asked them to answer a few food-related questions before the event to give readers an idea of each person's food tastes. See if you share some of the same likes or dislikes - it may help you decide what to order when you visit Drink! Be warned: looking at these photos will probably make you hungry.
Tony: pork terrine with a Vieux Carre cocktail; Sazerac cocktail
JW: grilled cheese with a Maximillian Affair cocktail; Tennessee cocktail
Laura: prosciutto di Parma with a 20th Century cocktail; Left Bank cocktail
Stephanie: pork terrine with a Blood and Sand cocktail; Agony and Ecstasy cocktail
Friend #5: prosciutto di Parma with a Whiskey Smash cocktail; Lawhill cocktail; Rye Flip cocktail
Renee: buttermilk biscuits with a Bone cocktail; Aviator cocktail
Allen: chorizo appetizer with a Champs Elysee cocktail; gougeres with a Cucumber non-alcoholic; Mock non-alcoholic
Patty: grilled cheese with a Blueberry Mojito
Jess: prosciutto di Parma with an Aviation cocktail; nameless cocktail
Candice (that’s me): steak tartare with a Greenpoint cocktail; gougeres with rose wine
Overall, most of the group thought that the pairings went well with each other. There were gaps in between the time when one would order a drink before the appetizer would arrive, but that gave time to savor the cocktail in the meantime. We sat on one side of the bar but it wasn’t too long before it filled up completely (it was a Saturday night after all).
Thank you to Foodbuzz for approving my 24, 24, 24 project proposal and giving me and nine friends the opportunity to experience the creativity and passion for tasty libations offered by Drink. Thanks to Sarah at the Barbara Lynch Group for approving our reservation at Drink on a Saturday night. Thanks to John, Sam, Cali, and Aaron for an educating, exciting, and fun experience. And a special thank you to my nine friends for joining me in my food adventures, taking diligent notes throughout the evening (I made them work for their food and drinks!), and for providing such great company.
And now, I’ll return to daydreaming about eating gougeres all day long. P.S. They are so worth the wait!
One of our bartenders, Cali, pouring a drink.
A close up of the chorizo dish.
One of our bartenders, Sam, with a completed cocktail.
Two kids in the window passing by. They were just jealous of all the good stuff we were enjoying.