Visit my latest project, The World Cocktail Brain, now hosted at The WCB is a new way to expand your cocktail knowledge, discover new recipes, find cocktail facts and more in a dynamic, new viewing environment. It may take a few seconds to load, but it's worth waiting for! Click on this link to open The World Cocktail Brain in new tab/window. Click on this link to open My Blog Roll embedded in The World Cocktail Brain.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cocktail ingredients Utah update – July 2011

It’s July in Salt Lake City, which means a new set of “Special Price Adjustments” is in effect at the Utah DABC State Liquor Stores.  Items on clearance this month mostly include the usual mass of miscellany, but you lovers of the bubbly might be interested in some Domaine Chandon sparklers that have been discontinued.  One can never tell if “discontinued” means it’s gone for good or if the distributor is changing, but it’s still a good opportunity to stock up.  Domaine Chandon Riche Extra Dry (CS# 770435) is discontinued and marked down to $10.26, as are splits (keep a few in the fridge) of Domaine Chandon Brut (CS# 745403) marked down to $6.47.  Be sure to call ahead if that’s all you’re looking for.

If you’re into single barrel Bourbons, that variety of Evan Williams® and Jack Daniels® are both on SPA this month.  Other Bourbons include Buffalo Trace® and Jack Daniels® Black Label.

There is a good variety of Gins marked down this month: there are offerings from Tanqueray®, Bombay®, and even Hendrick’s®.  The 1750ml. bottle of my favorite “economy Gin”, New Amsterdam®, is also marked down.  Sounds like a good time for a Classic Martini.  If you like Vodka Martinis, Teton Glacier® is marked down this month.

If you like Appleton Estate® Rums (they’re some of my favorites) you will be pleased to find Appleton Estate V/X Rum® (a blend of 15 Rums aged 5 to 10 years) marked down 15% to $17 this month, so if you didn’t stock up on Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum®  (discontinued last month), it’s not too late to score some good Jamaica Rum.  Try it in a Rum Old Fashioned.  If your preference runs to Barbados Rum, the 1750ml. bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse® is marked down almost 20%.

Tequila lovers will be greeted by the usual number of Tequila SPAs.  Two favorites this month are Milagro® Reposado and Milagro® Silver (it’s great in a Tequila Mojito), both marked down around 13%, along with the usual bunch of industrial Tequilas.  Regular readers will know that a good Silver (or Plata or Blanco) is an essential ingredient in the ever popular Margarita. 

As usual, the number of Rye Whiskies marked down this month is low: zero.  The good news is that the well-reviewed Bulleit® Rye is now available on special order; let’s hope it moves into general distribution.  Can’t wait to try it in a Rye cocktail like the Boulevardier.

After being very generous with their Scotch Whiskies last month, the DABC is pretty tight this month.  SPA items appear to be limited to Laphroaig® 10 year, so if you’re looking for something to put into your Blood and Sand let’s hope you got some Dewars® White Label that was marked down last month.

As to any other sale or clearance items, if you see anything at your local state store that other cocktailians might enjoy, post a response to this article.  See the following list “Suggested by the author” for information on how to use the Utah DABC website.  You can check out what else is on sale (e.g. the wines etc.) by clicking through to the “SPA Product List” to open a price book in PDF format that shows all of the markdowns for the current month.

Suggested by the author:

New Seasonal Cocktail Menu at Wild Grape New West Bistro

The award winning Wild Grape Bistro in downtown Salt Lake City has been open over two years now, and never fails to please.  The bistro tries to emulate a small town café, but with gourmet quality food.  It frequently updates its seasonal menu of regional dishes cooked from ingredients that are mostly “fresh, local, organic” and sustainable.  The food is great (try the Ballard Pork Chop), but since I’m the SLC cocktail examiner, you can probably guess where my true interest lies.

The drinks menu is impressive, and the staff is knowledgeable and prepared to tell you all about it, and to recommend pairings for food.  The wine list is really well thought out with something for everyone, a wide range of prices, and almost everything available by the glass.  The standard cocktail menu features almost 20 cocktails made from flavored vodkas and gins infused at the restaurant.  Other ingredients include fresh fruits and herbs, in addition to some house-made bitters.  The new seasonal cocktail menu includes some old favorites and some new additions.  One is the Grape Mint Julep.  Mint Julep fans like the Utah Mixologist might (did) wonder how the Wild Grape could mix a decent Mint Julep under Utah’s liquor law regime that dictates only 1 ½ oz of liquor per drink (additional alcoholic “flavorings” are permitted, but there aren’t any of those in a Julep). The Grape Mint Julep was served cooler-style in a Collins glass and was quite tasty; basil syrup was substituted for simple syrup and white grape juice was added to make a cooler of it.  The result was an enjoyable, if not traditional, Julep.

Other interesting concoctions that arrived at our table were Strawberry Fields (muddled strawberries, grapes, and peach, with Hendrick’s® Gin and sparkling wine added) and the Wild Grape French 75 (Gin, lime juice and prickly pear, again with sparkling wine).  Old favorites like the Sergeant Pepper (a whiskey sour with fresh squeezed sour mix, cracked black pepper, and Bourbon) are still on the menu and are well worth giving a try (you’ll love the crunchy peppercorn bits) if you haven’t done so.  The Wild Grape Bistro is highly recommended.

The Wild Grape New West Bistro
481 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City