Bars to Watch: Passion 8

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Guys, Passion 8 Bistro is known for their amazing food, Chef Luca is KILLING the kitchen game here in Charlotte, but did you know that their bar program is doing fantastic things too? I got a sneak peak of their new cocktail menu and it’s super tasty!!

Check out these beautiful concoctions below!

 

 

Also, don’t forget, This Sunday 6/17, there is a FemArt show at 1 pm featuring art by Lis Grace and Free Hors D’oeurves!

 

 

Brunch at 204

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Who doesn’t like brunch? Who doesn’t like a bloody mary bar?

204 North debuted their new Brunch menu this past weekend and I can tell you that it was remarkable? Somewhere between the Avocado toast and the chicken and waffles, I found myself at the Tito’s Bloody Mary Bar. The choices were sort of nuts- pickle juice, hot sauce, slim jims? Yep, slim jims! You can build your own Tito’s Bloody Mary for 6 bones or you can have one of their awesome bartenders make you one for $4!

Brunch is served 11-3 every Saturday and Sunday! See y’all there!!

GINvasion 2016

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I can think of umpteen reasons why you should come to Cucina 24 this Saturday for their semi-not really-annual Tiki Night, instead I’ll hit you with the most important ones.

  1. It’s sponsored by BULLDOG Gin…this stuff is super special, so special, that Cucina is the ONLY bar in North Carolina to have it (I think).
  2. Some of the most BADASS people I know are guest bartending. Like, for real, we’re bringin’ in gin slingers from all over the US, specifically from the most famous cocktail bars in the country to help us throw down.
  3. Did I mention BULLDOG Gin?

Ok, so here’s the deal, this crew of badassery is a group of super talented people starting a tour of the East Coast making their way from NYC to New Orleans for Tales of The Cocktail. Not only are they stopping in Asheville for the night, but we’re putting them to work, not because Donnie needs the help, but because I need someone else to harass at the bar.

The graphic below has a full list of tour dates and who you can expect to be pouring those  way cool gin and tiki cocktails I was telling you about!

Also, in case you wanted to join the party on facebook…click HERE for the invite! Tell your friends, see you there!!

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There’s a new guy on the block

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Have y’all been to Moo & Brew on Central yet? No? Well have you seen that picture of the most amazing Bloody Mary called Large Marge floating around the interwebs? No? Ok, Get there…now!

Taking the old Joe Hoopers spot, this place is every bit of a neighborhood bar, with really good food.  You’ll find tons of draft beer but only a small selection of booze! Have no fear though, they have a delightful Tito’s vodka Moscow Mule on tap, along with several other refreshing cocktails on the menu.  I’ve posted that below for you guys to check out.

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What are you waiting for? Head on over and tell the guys BoozinQC sent you!

Camp Runamok- The Recap

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Since it’s National Bourbon Day, it seems fitting that I give y’all a recap of my time at camp!

I told y’all a few weeks ago that I was heading to Kentucky to spend time with some like-minded folks who share the same passion for spirits as I do. Besides meeting 160 of the best humans on earth, I learned a ton. I probably learned more about bourbon and whiskey in one week than I have in my 6 years in the industry. The experiences from camp are some that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.

I’ll spare you the details of our time in between distillery tours, we drank well and we ate well and I loved every second.

Below is a list of distilleries I visited and what I took away from each one. I sampled many a whiskey and took many a photo. I’ll update this post with photos as soon as I can!

Woodford Reserve
Large and by far the most beautiful of the distilleries, Woodford was breathtaking. From the creek (crick if your’re southern like me) running through the property to the limestone rickhouses, it was something special. Climbing a 4 story rickhouse and pulling our very own bourbon from a cask was amazing and to walk through it with Chris was remarkable too. I especially enjoyed our mini class on yeast. As a non-scientist or baker for that matter, yeast is foreign to me so to learn about strains, growth and how yeast thrives was really interesting to me!
Brown Forman Cooperage
Probably the most surprising of the tours, I was blown away by the work that it takes to raise these casks. Who knew that those fellas could build up to 5,000 in a day? In all of 5 minutes, I watch a fella but 2 together like it was nothing. The most mesmerizing part though? Watching those same casks go through the charring process. I could’ve watched those barrels roll over that fire all day.
Buffalo Trace
This was one of two facilities where we got to see the bottling line, the room was so small and there were so few people in there working, I was surprised by the efficiency of those folks. Our tour guide, Jimmy was a hoot. I could’ve listened to him talk all day. Actually, my most memorable moment from that tour was sampling EH Taylor and listening to Jimmy give us a history lesson on bottled in bond in a house that was built in 1792.
Four Roses
Holy pretty buildings batman. Besides sitting through an amazing lunch and a tasting with John Rea, the tour was pretty spectacular. Walking into the fermenting room and seeing all those fermenters from up top was cool. It really put it into perspective seeing how much whiskey is being made at these facilities. Plus our tour guide was the cutest, I wanted to put him in my pocket and keep him forever.
Wild Turkey
Sitting in a rickhouse with Jimmy Russell will go down as one of the most memorable moments of my life. I’ve sold his brand for such a long time and to listen to him talk about his whiskey with such passion and sincerity was something I’ll always remember. Who get’s to do that? I mean to ask a legend all the questions, you’ve ever wanted to ask? That was insane. The lemonade stand and the bottled manhattan were fantastic touches, I especially enjoying waddling my ass out onto that bridge booze in hand. This might have been my favorite distillery experience of the week.
Stitzel Weller
Second to Wild Turkey was my most amazing afternoon with Tom Bulleit and friends. I still can’t believe that I got to help with making a Bulleit 100% Rye and that there’s a barrel aging said whiskey with my signature on it.  I mean, who does that? It didn’t hurt that the incredibly funny and charming Tom Bulleit led our tasting. As great as all that was, the thing I’ll take with me from Stitzel Weller was listening to the women at the distillery educate us on sensory tests, quality control and innovation. It’s always amazing to see women doing amazing things especially in a male dominated industry.
If you guys ever get the chance to visit any of the distilleries, do it. Taste the things, take the photos, it’s all worth it!
Happy Bourbon Day, Y’all!