Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest Recap

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Glasses were raised, bottles poured, growlers were filled, and hunger was quenched at Hudson Valley’s 17th Annual Wine and Food Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.  Hosted on the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, thirsty crowds flocked to booths representing the best wine Hudson Valley has to offer. Featured rave-worthy vineyards include  Don Tony Perez, (Yonkers, NY), with its silky Petite Verdot, and Baldwin Vineyards’, (Pine Bush, NY), award-winning Strawberry Wine along with their unique hops-touting Autumn Crush, made with apples, pumpkin and hops.

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The chic Tousey Winery, (Germantown, NY), definitely made a statement with its modern museum designed booth staring its beautiful, white dessert wine, Bloomé.

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Mead, spirits and traditionally made ciders rounded out the delicious weekend libations. Mysto Mead, (Carmel, NY), a honey-based wine producer, showcased its wide variety of mead including the impressive, Silver Medalist: Basil Mint.

Many New York State distilleries showcased luscious, traditional and creative selections. Harvest  Spirits Farm Distillery (Valatie, NY) fans tasted clean, flavorful swills like the John Henry Single Malt Whiskey, Core Black Raspberry Vodka, and Cornelius Peach Brandy.

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Harvest  Spirits Farm Distillery seletions

Another rad distillery in attendance was Olde Farm Distillery based in Hudson, New York. Female owned and operated, this distillery uses seasonal ingredients to make gems such as Cacao Maple Vodka, Smoked Maple Bourbon, and seasonal spirits.

New York Cideries had a great presence at the festival. Specializing in traditional craftsman and taste techniques, Pitchfork Cider in Hopewell, NY offered its fresh pressed, gluten-free cider.

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Another popular cidery was Awestruck Hard Cider (Sidney, NY) which use 100% New York State apples in its thoughtfully crafted and named selections like Hometown Homicider, and the pleasant Lavender Hops.IMG_8610

The day also included cooking demos by local chefs, food artisans with homemade condiments, and alluring food trucks serving local grilled sweet corn, Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian food, gyros, pulled pork nachos, and so much more!

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August Laura: From Dreams to A Charming Reality

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So It Appears

Sure, New York City has lots of glitz and glam. Huge buildings and iconic attractions are among its characteristics, but NYC wouldn’t be what it is today, without its dreamers; those who take a chance to pursue their passions with reckless abandon – or those who live by ‘YOLO’ (You Only Live Once). For generations, New York has been built by go-getters and is full of those seeking their ultimate ‘American Dream.’

The same aspirations are true for Frankie Rodriguez and Alyssa Sartor, owners of August Laura, in Brooklyn. Bartending more than 20 years combined in New York City, the couple was blessed to open their ‘dream,’ befittingly located four blocks from where Alyssa’s grandfather (an Italian immigrant) grew up. Paying homage to her grandfather, the living room style bar has been named after him. The deep familial ties are undeniable at August Laura. Family pictures and home-goods are tastefully placed around the room, creating a cozy nightcap for all guests.

Tipples are elegant, intriguing, and satisfying, at the warm neighborhood cocktail bar. Each highlight the individual ingredients whether sweet, bitter, or savory and progress thoughtfully in spirit strength. The signature and nostalgic Amaretto Sour is seriously addictive. Alyssa’s recipe uses egg white and flavorful Nocino walnut liqueur, which adds sophistication and a seductive, creamy element to each sip. Shaved nutmeg heightens the senses and is the perfect garnish for the luscious drink.

The dedicated staff at August Laura pours sippers for patrons nightly, in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, while listing to stellar playlists such as Sam Smith, 90s rap, and even a live jazz duo (every Wednesday night).

In its premier year, August Laura is making its imprint because Alyssa and Frankie dared to dream. Each time a customer enjoys their drink of choice, in essence, he or she raises a glass to couple’s surreal American Dream.

Want to know more about August Laura? Check the interview and how to make the buzz-worthy Amaretto Sour on POUR.

August Laura

387 Court Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231

Tidbits:

Jazz on Wednesday evenings

Pop-up Weekend Brunch: Dovecote at August Laura – Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 3 pm (featuring La Colombe coffee, coffee cocktails, and local bakery goods)

Flying Purple Pisco Recipe

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Lynnette Marrero, co-beverage director of Brooklyn’s Llama Inn, shares the inspiration of the Flying Purple Pisco – a play on the traditional Pisco Sour and named after the Flying Purple People Eater. This refreshing libation  features Peru’s infamous spirit, pisco, a grape brandy made in the country’s wine regions. It’s perfect for any season, celebration, and much needed happy-hour. Click here to learn how to make the Flying Purple Pisco.

Courtesy of Llama Inn.

Flying Purple Pisco Recipe

1 oz of Purple potato puree (with simple syrup mixed in*)

½ oz Lime juice

½ oz Lemon juice

2 oz Macchu Pichu Pisco

1 Egg white

Directions

Dry shake all ingredients together.

Add ice to ingredient mixture and shake again.

Strain into a low-ball glass

Top with a streak of Angostura bitters and grated nutmeg

 

*Simple Syrup Recipe

1 part water

1 part white granulated sugar

Simple syrup directions:

Directions

In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water.

Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.

Adjust amount of sugar to desired taste.

Allow to cool.

The County Cork Wine Pub Review

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Dinning in a small town doesn’t mean a dull dining experience. Such is the case when it comes to The County Cork Wine Pub. Nestled in a modest area of Eldersburg, (a suburb of Baltimore) this chic family owned wine bar has truly made its mark with locals. With an impressive selection of wines ranging from sparkling to the favored J. Lohr Chardonnay, delicious ports, and flirty rosés, this pub is well stocked for a great time. And let’s not forget vino from around the world like the Austrian Grooner Grüner Veltliner (a white wine with citrus and green apple notes) and the Argentine Alamos Melbec (a full bodied red with dark cherry flavors) is on hand – no passport necessary. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to choose; you can sample up to three wines for $10. No too shabby! The cocktails are great to boot, too!

There are so many great reasons to come visit with friends or to end a work day. On Tuesdays bottles of wine are half price and Wednesdays are free apps! My favorite appetizer is the bountiful Crab and Brie fondue- a cheesy pool of fresh, lump crab meat adorned with diced tomato and scallions. You can’t go wrong with the Shaved Lamb French Dip with swiss and caramelized onions along with a velvety au jus. Or even the glorious Grilled Eggplant Flatbread decorated with tomato, basil, and mozzarella cheese.

The County Cork Pub has so much to offer; it’s not just another wine bar. The Cork’s library of wine, specialty cocktails, and craft beer paired with no-nonsense dishes provides a top shelf experience for guests. Throw in its superb service, warm atmosphere and affordable prices, there’s no wonder why this pub is an up-and-coming neighborhood favorite.

Location: 1716 Liberty Road, Eldersburg, MD

Tid- bits:
OpenTable Diner’s Choice 2014 Winner, Happy Hours, Monthly Wine Events, and fantastic weekly specials
Hours: Tue- Sat 11am -1 am
Sunday brunch: 10am -3pm
Closed Mondays

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