If the thought of being presented with a
multi-page wine list literally drives you to drink with its
scary-sounding words like “appellation,” “biodynamic” and “decantation,”
have no fear — you’re not alone.
Talking with Lindsay Laubenstein could
drive you to drink — in a good way. Her enthusiasm for cocktail culture
is contagious. Laubenstein, vice president of the Southern Ohio
Bartenders’ Guild and currently behind the bar at Igby’s, recently developed the cocktail menu at Barrio
Tequileria, and previously tended bar at Enoteca Emilia.
Rhinegeist head brewer Jim Matt had to
order new pint glasses just a week after the opening of Over-the-Rhine’s
newest craft brewery. “People liked them so much that the first
1,500 walked out the door,” Matt says, noting that all eight kegs they
sold at nearby Neons were gone by 9 p.m. opening night.
I had an epiphany recently when I stopped to order my favorite iced coffee from BLOC Coffee Company in Price Hill and their ice machine was on the fritz. “Try it cold, without ice,” the barista suggested. “Some of our customers like it better that way.”
Over the years, I’ve entertained in my
home with just about as many different types of parties as I could find
in books or online, and I thought I’d pretty much run the gamut until I
came across the idea of hosting a bourbon tasting while attending last
month’s Bourbon Classic in Louisville, Ky., led by John Shutt of
I’ve been to wine pairing and cocktail
pairing dinners, but I just hit my first beer pairing dinner. I guess
I’d never considered that with the variety of styles and flavor profiles
available in beers now, there are enough subtle nuances to intrigue
chefs and to bring out the best in their dishes.
A “spring tonic” used to be a home remedy
that was supposed to cleanse your system. As grannies would say, it was
“good for what ails you.” This spring, I think I’ll take my tonic the
tasty way — with gin.