Here's The Jist:

As a Drink Editor I receive a lot of requests for restaurant, bar and nightlife recommendations. So I started a blog to chronicle Chicago's social scene which eventually morphed into New York's drinking and dining scene. After years in Chicago, I'm now a full time resident of NYC, the East Village to be exact. Look forward to sharing the latest and greatest from the wine & spirits world, straight from the Big Apple.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Basil Hayden at WD-50

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon partnered with celebrity chef Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 (located on Clinton on the LES) and mixologist Tona Palomino to create new holiday appetizer and cocktail recipes. Their innovative techniques and use of ingredients was a natural fit for one of my favorite Bourbon's. It was an 80 degree evening in NYC but inside WD-50 I was channeling my holiday spirit. I'm genuinely looking forward to the Fall and am eager to circle back to WD-50 for a proper meal. FYI Wylie's fried egg nog is the best thing I've ever had. Don't judge.

Lollapolooza 2010 - Music Lounge at Hard Rock Hotel

Party Like a Rock Star - Lolla Invades Chicago

Most go for the music. Some go for the celeb sightings. And others opt to channel their inner Mick and Bianca. Motives aside, last weekend proved that once again, Lolla rocked.

The three-day festival is all about the music. I get that. I’ve gone for the full three days for the past 4 years. So if you want music reviews and a performance analysis, check out our fab Sounds section. But you’ve made your way to the Scene section, which inherently means that I’m going to give you the glitz and glamour, the booze and the babes and the star studded happenings of the weekend. Because after all, a Dos Equis, some popchips and a disheveled Ke$ha always does the body good.

Leave it to the Hard Rock Hotel and to play host to generous VIP lounges, chic pop up shops, gifting suites and pre and post parties. Perez Hilton kicked off the weekend with his “One Night in Chicago” party on Thursday, which included performances by Chicago native Kid Sister (her big bro is part of Flosstradamus, a electro-pop duo who performed on Perry’s Stage) and B.o.B.

The Music Lounge, which celebrated its fifth anniversary, was a three-day VIP + Artist retreat that included the Express Rocks! at the Music Café (guests noshed on food from China Grill, drank UV Vodka and Red Bull and hydrated with smartwater while taking in acoustic performances from veteran and emerging artists) and Belvedere Nights (invite-only post-Lolla concerts on the 4th floor of the Hard Rock where the likes of Phoenix, Temper Trap, Hockey and Mike Posner performed). If one needed a caffeine boost Café Bustelo was onsite with unbelievably strong and utterly delicious coffee beverages. Like hoopsters, I predict the next indie trend will be sporting the eponymous yellow, Café Bustelo t-shirts and fanny packs. They have clever marketing. I’ve only seen the brand at influencer events. So maybe hoopsters won’t latch on. It’s not campy enough.

The lounge was decked out with fab swag like Carrera Sunglasses (worship), Onitsuka Tiger Shoes (too hipster for me but very cool) and the Bugea guitar boutique (wish I played). If you wanted to get pampered, guests could pop into the Garnier Fructis Rock Star Salon and get their hair teased a la White Snake, or should I say a la Ke$ha, who I literally bumped into six times. Other artists who where at the lounge included Cut Copy (best show of the weekend, well, that and Gaga), Semi Precious Weapons, The Constellations, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Zoe Kravitz, Hayden Panettiere and Erykah Badu.

Want a mani and a facial? The FUZE® Refresh Lounge had spa treatments galore.

Craving a floor length fur vest? Chicago’s beloved Sofia Vintage had a pop up shop on the 3rd floor (Moneypenny stopped by to get outfitted for an Artist Collective they were hosting).

It’s also worth mentioning that the food on site at Lolla was top notch: Kumas, Sunda, Graham Elliot and More Cupcakes were just a taste of what was available.

Party on Garth.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Green Table: Patrón Cocktails

If Alice Waters is a fan of your food, you know it’s good. And the queen of green really likes the Cleaver Co. , a slow food catering company which runs the Green Table within the Chelsea Market on New York’s west side. Mary Cleaver, founder of the Green Table – an organic eatery and wine bar- believes that the best foods are grown, tended and harvested within a day’s drive of your table.

The wine menu is stocked with local favorites from Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley and the food menu changes daily: fresh produce drives the offerings.

So when you think of a spirit brand that would be best aligned with this food philosophy, you would think of Square One Organic Vodka or a locally distilled Brooklyn gin.

But rather than opting for the obvious, the Green Table is infusing its summer cocktail program with Patrón tequila.

A small batch, organic tequila? Well, no.

But it’s a spirit that prides itself on sourcing the finest and purest ingredients to produce an impeccable spirit. And it makes sense: that a restaurant dedicated to a similar principal aligns with a spirits brand that holds itself to the same standard.

A visit to the Green Table and a chat with Rick Hickman, the beverage director within the Cleaver Co., confirmed what I have always known: Patrón is a damn good spirit.

This summer the Green Table is incorporating Patrón varietals into its daily cocktails. As with the food, the menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh and available. On this particularly humid evening, we sipped on two drinks. The Green Market Cooler was a blend of Patrón Silver, ginger simple syrup, seltzer, mint and cucumber – a combination so good yet so dangerous. The second was the Patrón Pimiento which incorporated the Añejo, heirloom peppers, cilantro, lime juice and a hint of a jalapeño for a healthy kick. The latter hinted at severe spiciness but a sip proved that the bark was worse than its bite.

Complementing the market fresh cocktails was unusual bar fare – we noshed on a platter of organic veggies like carrots, celery, radishes and bell peppers paired with tapanade and black bean dip. I drank all night and actually left feeling healthy.

For Chicagoans who are itching for a local cocktail to call their own, Patrón is also working with Rich Szydlo of One Sixty Blue who is currently serving up the Outside Living, made with Patrón Reposado, strawberry consommé, basil, lemon and whole strawberry slices.