The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 83 of 132

june 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  83 Val's Veranda Cooler ◗ 1½ oz. Uncle Val's Restorative Gin ◗ 2 oz. Mighty Leaf Chamomile Citrus Iced Tea ◗ ½ oz. simple syrup ◗ ½ oz. fresh lemon juice Combine all ingredients into a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir ingredients thoroughly. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig tip. Val's Veranda Cooler features Uncle Val's Restorative Gin as a base. Lead Bartender Kenny D'Alba of Sonoma's El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen whips up a Val's Veranda Cooler. CITY OF GOLD: SONOMA BRANDS ALIGN BEHIND THE BAR AT EL DORADO The Tap Room features a bar with a kegerator and two tap handles, which signals a growing segment of their business—tap wine—under The White Knight, Moobuzz and Leese-Fitch brands. And, Sebastiani hints, "We've been dabbling in beer for a few years and would love to be in a position to find a custom producer that has the capacity we need." Something Blue On the sprits side, 3 Badge Mixology's current growth includes venturing into a new category completely: 100 percent blue agave tequila. The 3 Badge Mixology team sought out a partnership with a third-generation master tequilero in Jesús María, Jalisco, who sources ripe blue agave that is evenly baked, then distilled with pure rainwater and spring water in copper pot stills. The company just launched Pasote Tequila in Blanco, Reposado and Añejo expressions. From the careful harvesting to the distillation to handcrafted packaging, these tequilas fit well into the portfolio of spirits, which include Uncle Val's Gin, Kirk and Sweeney Rum, Bib & Tucker Bourbon and Masterson's 10-Year Straight Whiskey. Each cat- egory joined the 3 Badge family after a process of carefully weighing demand against supply. "When you look at how we've built our portfolio, we're targeting small but rapidly growing categories," Sebastiani says. Rye whiskey was "flying off shelves" three to four years ago when Masterson's was first rolled out; now, in the face of the bourbon boom, Bib & Tucker is benefitting from changing consumer tastes. Similarly, rum is stepping back into the spotlight, with Kirk and Sweeney poised for serious expansion: "As a category, people are starting to drink rum differently—in a snifter, enjoying it with a cigar," Sebastiani says. Pasote Tequila emerged at just the right moment in time. "We're seeing really amazing growth in tequila—especially premium [$40 and up]," Sebastiani says excitedly. The company did not tread lightly into the tequila category, taking its time to find a quality tequila "that will blow people's minds." Mezcal, the next hot spirit, is on the horizon. Capturing the best of Californian-Mediterranean fare, the cuisine and atmosphere at El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen in the town of Sonoma cel- ebrates everything local. From the live music and farmers market in the plaza outside to the locally-sourced ingredients and California-centric wine list inside the restaurant, El Dorado showcases the best of Sonoma Valley. So, it only makes sense that the restaurant's bar pours Pasote Silver and Añejo tequilas and Uncle Val's Gin from the 3 Badge Mixology portfolio. "Gin is a spirit people are interested in again and our customers love Uncle Val's Botanical Gin," says Lead Bartender Kenny D'Alba. Seasonality drives the hotel restaurant's changing menu, but the new Pasote Tequila expressions were an exciting addition for D'Alba behind the bar, regardless of the season. "Pasote tequilas are delicious, aromatic and come in amazing packaging; running a bar, you want that eye candy to capture customers' attention before they even taste a cocktail—that's an introduction to what's next and really gets people excited."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - June 2016