HopScotch Announces Its Inaugural Summer Cocktail Menu – June, 2013

Craft Cocktails at HopScotch Tavern
Craft Cocktails at HopScotch Tavern

 

The Seasonal Offering Includes Seven Crafted Cocktails With Flavor Profiles Ranging From Sweet and Tart to Smokey and Savory

 

HopScotch, Orange County’s premier destination for crafted cocktails, small-batch whiskey, and culinary American cuisine, is pleased to introduce its Summer Crafted Cocktail Menu, developed by Director of Libations, James Wood.

Scheduled to debut Friday, June 21 (Summer Solstice), guests are invited to partake in a selection of expertly handcrafted cocktails designed to please a wide variety of palates. Those who enjoy sweet, fruity flavors will be drawn to the Blackberry Smash, which features Right Gin, freshly-muddled blackberries, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and mint, while Brits Lemonade is perfect for those who appreciate tangy flavors, as this herbaceous cocktail features Pimms, a house-made rosemary lemonade, and prosecco.

The seasonal menu, which features a total of 7 signature drinks, also includes the Smoke and Mirrors, crafted with the Scotch drinker in mind. Featuring Dewars Blended Scotch, Kubler Absinthe, lemon juice, vanilla syrup, and “fairy mist,” the smoky cocktail is light and refreshing with strong hints of anise. The Peruvian, a savory and deviously tempting cocktail with a full piece of candied bacon garnish features Pisco Porton, Courvoisier, fresh squeezed lime juice, Thyme syrup, celery bitters, and bacon Ranch powder.

As with all HopScotch signature cocktails, each drink is meticulously handcrafted using premium spirits, fresh ingredients such as fruits and juices, and house-made fusions. For those who simply cannot wait to sample the new menu, HopScotch is inviting a limited number of guests to a tasting preview Wednesday, June 19 from 4:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. Each of the new drinks will be specially priced during the event. Tickets for the preview are free and may be reserved via www.hopscotchsummercocktailpreview.eventbrite.com . Each ticket admits two guests.

 

The Hunt for Great Fried Clams Around New England Leads to J.T. Farnham's – Essex, MA

Simple Shack on the Water
Simple Shack on the Water

Recently Kim and I took a foodie tour from Maine, to Boston, through Cape Cod and Rhode Island. As you can probably imagine we had a lot of wonderful food and drinks.

One thing we looked forward to and tried at many places were fried clams. These were whole belly fried clams versus clam strips that most people are used to outside of New England. We enjoy both types but it is hard to find fried whole belly clams on the west coast unless you make them yourself.

Crisp Golden Brown Whole Belly Fried Clams
Crisp Golden Brown Whole Belly Fried Clams

We had the pleasure of trying clams at six or seven places. Many were very good but the ones from J.T. Farnham’s were the best in our opinion. Just enough batter, crispy, lightly salted, and these folks can really fry!

Beautiful Location in Essex, MA
Beautiful Location in Essex, MA

J.T. Farnham’s is a simple place, a few seats inside and some picnic tables outside. They offer all kinds of seafood dishes but they are famous for their clams. They are that good! If you find yourself near Essex, MA, I strongly suggest you try these.

J.T. Farnham's on Urbanspoon

OC Weekly's Summer Fest 2013 – Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

OC Weekly proudly invites you to the 2013 Summer Fest, presented by the Surfrider Foundation & Finlandia Vodka, on Sunday, June 6, 2013 from 11am to 5pm at Newport Dunes! This event joins together live musical performances, local retailers, contests, games, prizes, outdoor activities, and a day full of fun!

Join us as we celebrate the launch of our annual Summer Guide Issue, hitting the streets June 6th, 2013! Just like the issue, Summer Fest brings you the best of parts of Orange County, in a 6 hour celebration of summer! Guests will enjoy drink tastings, food from the best local food trucks, beach and water activities, contests and prizes, while listening to live performances by The Colourist, Mt. Ossa, The Field Trip, Eastern Conference Champions, Douglas and the Furs, and Thee Raincats!

For tickets <Click Here>

For more information <Click Here>

Wild Goose for Tornado Relief – May 21, 2013 – Costa Mesa, CA

May 21, 2013
May 21, 2013

To aid in the efforts to help all the families who have lost loved ones and the hundreds who lost their homes in the devastating Texas and Oklahoma tornadoes, Wild Goose Tavern in Costa Mesa is donating 100% of its total sales today.  All food and drink sales will be donated to the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross with proceeds directed to tornado disaster relief.

Wild Goose is located at 436 E. 17th St. Costa Mesa. 92627. Ph# 949.722.9453. www.goosebar.com.

 

 

OC Wine Mart hosts Justin Vineyards & B. toffee for Tasting Event – Friday, June 7th

1350737_2009 ISOSCELES

Orange County’s B. toffee and the OC Wine Mart in Irvine are teaming up to bring you a luxury toffee and wine tasting experience featuring wines from Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles. On Friday, June 7th, guests are invited to explore the flavor profiles of handcrafted toffee and artisanal cheese, with fine California wines, in two tasting sessions, at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., each $25 (plus tax), at the OC Wine Mart (2272 Michelson Drive, Irvine).

The wines of Justin Vineyards will highlight and complement the luxurious ingredients of B. toffee. Guests will embark on a tasting journey as they experience select varietals from the Paso winery. The featured pairing will involve B. toffee with Justin’s Obtuse, an estate-grown, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon dessert wine crafted in the style of traditional Port. The sweet, full-bodied berry jam flavors that predominate on entry will highlight B. toffee’s premium chocolates, while the coffee, chocolate, and mild sweet tobacco accents on the mid-palate will play up B. toffee’s buttery caramel flavors.

Reservations for either session can be made through OC Wine Mart by emailing Owner Julie Lim at julie@ocwinemartshop.com or (714) 785-5451.

“We are so thrilled to have OC Wine Mart host this event with B. toffee alongside a winery that can truly complement the flavors of our toffee,” explained Betsy Thagard, whose toffee can be purchased at Irvine’s OC Wine Mart . “Justin Vineyards produces beautifully complex wines that create the perfect pairing for B. toffee.”

Tickets Still Available: Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach Hosts Annual Culinary Event on June 2, 2013

Taste of The Nation Montage Laguna Beach
Taste of The Nation Montage Laguna Beach

THE HOTTEST CHEFS COOK TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN ORANGE COUNTY AND ACROSS AMERICA

Laguna Beach, CA… Hot chefs, restaurants, and mixologists will gather for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation®, the city’s premier culinary benefit. Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach will raise critical funds needed to support Share Our Strength’s® efforts to end childhood hunger in Orange County and across the nation.  This year’s event will be held on June 2, 2013 at the beautiful Montage Laguna Beach from 4pm to 7pm, with a VIP reception beginning at 4pm.

More than 9 of Country’s finest chefs will participate in the gastronomic event.  Along with Executive Chef Craig Strong, participating restaurants will include Lee Smith – Montage Laguna Beach, Lizzie Binder – San Francisco, CA, Josiah Citrin-Mélisse – Los Angeles, CA, Chris Crary- Santa Monica, CA, Jenn Louis-Lincoln/Sunshine Tavern- Portland, Nick Roberts & Brooke Williamson – Hudson House/The Tripel, Los Angeles CA, Alan Wong – Alan Wong’s Restaurant – Honolulu, HI. Guests will enjoy the  finest foods paired with wines and cocktails.

In addition to fabulous food and drinks, the event will feature an auction of extraordinary items including, A Wine Preservation unit from Sub-Zero filled with wonderful wines from the Jackson family valued at over $2,500. Sub-Zero’s 315W Model is a built-in single-zone wine storage unit with a capacity of 26 (750 ml) bottles.  At 15″ wide, this under counter unit is perfect for those installations where space is an issue.

“We are thrilled once again to be back at the beautiful Montage and are grateful for their generous support and the support from our amazing celebrity chefs! Because of their generosity, 100% of our ticket sales will go to ensure No Kid Hungry is a reality in Orange County.”,” said Teresa Siriani Event Chair, Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach

Area charities that will benefit from this year’s event include Community Action Partnership of Orange County and Second Harvest Orange County Food Bank. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $82.5 million, including more than $125,000 in Laguna Beach alone.

With more than 16 million children facing hunger in America (that’s almost one in five), and 200,000 in Orange County Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is more vital than ever. The event raises funds to end childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives.   Funds raised through Taste of the Nation events support No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

“An end to childhood hunger in the United States is within reach,” said Bill Shore, Founder and Executive Director of Share Our Strength. “With all the participants in Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach sharing their strength, we are creating more resources to help the children of Orange County and our great nation receive the nutritious food they need to live healthy, active lives.”

Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach is nationally sponsored by American Express, Sysco, Food Network, ONEHOPE Wine, Emmi Roth USA, Cavit Collection Wines, OpenTable and S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water. Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach is locally sponsored by Lexus, Celebrity Cruise, Orange Coast Magazine, Epstein Becker Green, Evans Family Foundation and ICG. One hundred percent of ticket sales support Share Our Strength’s efforts to end childhood hunger.

Tickets for Taste of the Nation Montage Laguna Beach are $150 for General Admission and $250 for VIP and can be purchased by calling 1-877-26-TASTE or visiting TasteOfTheNation.org.

 

Craft Cocktail Recipe: #050513 Cinco de Mayo Strawberry Meyer Lemon Tequila Cocktail

#050513  Cinco de Mayo Strawberry Meyer Lemon Tequila Cocktail
#050513 Cinco de Mayo Strawberry Meyer Lemon Tequila Cocktail

Happy Cinco de Mayo! What better way to celebrate than with a tequila-based craft cocktail. Here is one we put together to battle those mad margaritas out there. It is fresh, fruity, citrusy and if you use an incredible tequila like we did, super smooth.

Please let us know what you think. We are learning more and more everyday and hopefully you can also benefit from our journey.

INGREDIENTS:

2oz Corzo Tequila (We used an anejo)
1oz Squeezed Meyer Lemon Juice (If you use plain lemons you will need to add 1/2oz simple syrup)
1/2oz Luxardo Maraschino Originale
1/2oz Aperol
3 Sliced Strawberries

PREPARATION:

In a shaker, muddle strawberries, then add in the rest of the ingredients and some ice. Shake and pour into a tumbler over ice. We garnished with a Meyer lemon wedge and a strawberry.

If you want to see other cocktail recipes from Saturday Night Foodies, go to <CLICK HERE>

Paso Robles CAB Collective “Cabs of Distinction” Event – Grand Tasting – Day 2, Part 2

Glasses Are Lined Up & Ready for Tasting
Glasses Are Lined Up & Ready for Tasting

The grand tasting was held at Windfall Farms in Paso Robles, a 724-acre property, horse farm and event venue. The grand tasting was in one of the barns andset up so each of the 16 Paso CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective memberwineries were stationed in separate stalls pouring their best wines. Many of them had their winemaker on hand to discuss the vintages and answer questions. This may sound crazy coming from us but there was so much wine, and so little time, it was impossible to stop by each winery. Of the ones we were able to get to, we noted our favorites.

Piano Music to Set the Mood
Piano Music to Set the Mood
Each Stall Had a Winery
Each Stall Had a Winery

ADELAIDA Cellars

  • 2009 Cbernet Franc Viking Vineyard Reserve
  • 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Vineyard Reserve
  • 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Vineyard Reserve (Standout)
  • 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Viking Vineyard Reserve

B&E Vineyard

  • 2008 Merlot
  • 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2008 Red Rhythm
  • 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Chateau Margene

  • 2007 Beau Melange
  • 2003 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

DAOU Vineyards & Winery

  • 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2011 Reserve 1740
  • 2010 Estate Soul of a Lion

Eberle Winery

  • 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

HammerSky Vineyards

  • 2009 Red Handed
  • 2009 Party of Four
  • 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

  • 2009 J. Lohr Cuvee PAU
  • 2009 J. Lohr Cuvee POM (Standout)
  • 2009 J. Lohr St. E
  • 2010 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon (Standout)
Jada Vineyard
Jada Vineyard & Winery

Jada Vineyard & Winery

  • 2010 Strayts
  • 2010 Passing By
  • 2010 Jack of Hearts
  • 2010 WCS Cabernet Sauvignon
Jim Gerakaris - JUSTIN Winery Sommelier & Wine Educator
Jim Gerakaris – JUSTIN Winery Sommelier & Wine Educator
Justin - 2010 Isosceles
JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery – 2010 Isosceles

JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery

  • 2012 Cabernet Rose (right now, one of our favorite roses)
  • 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2010 Justification
  • 2010 Isosceles (Standout)

L’Aventure

  • 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Standout – Amazing!)
  • 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Parrish Family Vineyards

  • 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Standout)
  • 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Record Family Wines
Record Family Wines

Record Family Wines

  • 2010 Merlot
  • 2010 Reserve Merlot (Standout – Amazing)
Robert Hall Winery - Winemaker Don Brady
Robert Hall Winery – Winemaker Don Brady
Robert Hall Winery
Robert Hall Winery

Robert Hall Winery

  • 2010 Merlot
  • 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2010 Meritage (Standout)

Sextant Wines

  • 2010 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2008 Kamal Cabernet Sauvignon

Venteux Vineyards

  • 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Vina Robles - 2009 Suendero
Vina Robles – 2009 Suendero

Vina Robles

  • 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2009 Suendero (Standout – Amazing)
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Incredible Chocolate from Monterey Chocolate Company – Check out the Beans!
Beautiful Venue
Beautiful Venue
Wine Glass Box Carnage!
Wine Glass Box Carnage!

Paso Robles CAB Collective “Cabs of Distinction” Event – Winemaker Panel – Day 2, Part 1

L2R: Daniel Daou, David Galzignatoi, Steve Peck, Steve Heimoff, Linda Parker Sanpei - (founder of Parker Sanpei & Associates), Kevin Willenborg, Scott Shirley & Gary Eberle
L2R: Daniel Daou, David Galzignatoi, Steve Peck, Steve Heimoff, Linda Parker Sanpei – (founder of Parker Sanpei & Associates), Kevin Willenborg, Scott Shirley & Gary Eberle

Day two of the CABs of Distinction event started with a winemaker panel discussion moderated by Steve Heimoff, California editor of Wine Enthusiast and a tasting of the panelists’ signature wines.

Panelists included:

  • Gary Eberle, owner/enologist of Eberle Winery
  • Scott Shirley, winemaker for JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery
  • Kevin Willenborg, winemaker for Vina Robles
  • Steve Peck, red winemaker for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
  • David Galzignatoi, winemaker for Jada Vineyard & Winery
  • Daniel Daou, owner/winemaker of Daou Vineyards & Winery

“Something has turned here,” said Heimoff. “In my judgment, Paso Robles has fulfilled the expectation of a great wine region.” Heimoff’s opening remarks stated that there was a definite shift in Paso Robles. He asked each panelist to provide their perspective for the shift and dramatic quality of the wines in the region.

Gary Eberle, owner/enologist of Eberle Winery
Gary Eberle, owner/enologist of Eberle Winery

Gary Eberle, the “Godfather” of Paso Robles cabernet, recalls the first time he saw Paso back in 1962 while working on his master’s for viticulture at U.C. Berkeley and realized the region’s huge potential. In May 1973 he started planting 700 acres of grapes over the next five years. Like many vineyards in this region, most grapes produced were being sold to Napa Valley before eventually bringing the desire, technology and expertise to begin producing wine in Paso.

Kevin Willenborg for Vina Robles, has had an extensive winemaking career and is coming upon his 30th harvest. “What makes Paso unique? It’s very large and different terroir. What ties it together are three aspects; high diurnal temperature variance, a limited soil profile in terms of nutrients, calcareous, high alkaline, limiting stress on plants and very rich, expressive fruit characteristics, a ripeness. Skin tannin developing the color, plays a big part in the wine.”

Heimoff asks Willenborg, “You’ve worked all over the world, what is the difference here?
There are slight variances between Napa and Paso, more roundness of the tannins, easier fruit where we don’t have to fight the tannins in Paso,” said Willenborg.

Scott Shirley, winemaker JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, David Galzignatoi, winemaker Jada Vineyard & Winery Daniel Daou, owner/winemaker Daou Vineyards & Winery
Scott Shirley, winemaker JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, David Galzignatoi, winemaker Jada Vineyard Winery & Daniel Daou, owner/winemaker Daou Vineyards & Winery

“The reason we came to Paso was we felt we could achieve a ripeness from year to year for Cabernet Sauvignon,” said Daniel Daou of Daou Vineyards and Winery. “I found that we could achieve ripe tannins and it’s approachable earlier. The second reason, you have these soils you can only find in very special regions in the world, calcareous, which gives you the minerality, the natural acidity flows very well into the wine.”

When asked about his approach to Justin’s flagship wine, Isosceles, winemaker Shirley said, “I look for tannins, fruit and acidity, like the three points of the Justin triangle. I strive to find the perfect balance or harmony of the three and to make a wine that is approachable upon release and also good over time.”

Paso, often treated like the red-headed step child to Napa Valley, was known previously for producing a good value cabernet, so grapes were planted for high production, not necessarily for quality. The shift to quality and newfound global recognition of Paso Robles cabernets and Bordeaux wines also bring with it a wave of acclaimed winemaking talent, which is testament to the region’s growing popularity and the potential they see here. Willenborg comes to Vina Robles with extensive winemaking experience from such wineries as Chateau Petrus, Louis M. Martini in St. Helena, CA, Cedar Creek Estate in Kelowna, Canada, and Rubicon Estate in Rutherford, CA. Scott Shirley joined JUSTIN in 2012 after 15 years with The Hess Collection and Opus One.

Heimoff in closing, “This is just the tipping point for Paso. You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

As part of the panel discussion we got to taste of each panelist’s 2009 or 2010 signature cabernet or Bordeaux-style blends.

  • 2009 Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($34) – good fruit and big tannins
  • 2009 JUSTIN Isosceles ($62) – well balanced and creamy smooth finish (Showing well)
  • 2009 Vina Robles Mountain Road Reserve ($45) – a lighter nose with hints of vanilla and caramel, dark color and coated the glass
  • 2010 DAOU Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($56) – high acidity and lighter flavor
  • 2010 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon ($35) – dark plum, higher acid, light tannins, fruit forward and smooth (Biggest Surprise)
  • 2010 Jada Passing By ($46) – a red Bordeaux blend Peppery, light acid, light tannins, fruit back and smooth
Taste of Each Panelist’s 2009 or 2010 Signature Cabernet or Bordeaux-style Blends
Taste of Each Panelist’s 2009 or 2010 Signature Cabernet or Bordeaux-style Blends

Click Here for Day 2, Part 2

Paso Robles CAB Collective "Cabs of Distinction" Event – En Primeur – Day 1

Great Crowd of Trade & Media Turned out for the Event
Great Crowd of Trade & Media Turned out for the Event

We were invited to the inaugural CABs of Distinction event created by the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective (PRCC), a grass-roots collaboration of wineries to create better awareness of the Cabernet and Bordeaux varietals produced in the Paso Robles appellation.

Current members include: ADELAIDA Cellars, B&E Vineyard, Chateau Margene, DAOU Vineyards & Winery, Eberle Winery, HammerSky Vineyards, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Jada Vineyard, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, L’Aventure, Parrish Family Vineyards, Record Family Wines, Robert Hall Winery, Sextant Wines, Venteux Vineyards and Vina Robles.

The first of four media and trade-only events was En Primeur, a barrel tasting of the vinters’ best of 2012 vintages. We had the opportunity to meet and speak with many of the wine makers and to taste the yet-to-be-bottled and in some cases, yet to be blended, wines. This was a unique opportunity to try these varietals in their unaltered state.

Paso Robles Cab Collective
Paso Robles Cab Collective
Mrs_SNFoodies with Guillaume Fabre from L'Aventure
Mrs_SNFoodies with Guillaume Fabre from L’Aventure a Winemaker in his Own Right
Winemaker Scott Shirley & Jim Gerakaris, Winery Sommelier & Wine Educator from Justin Vineyards & Winery
Winemaker Scott Shirley & Jim Gerakaris, Winery Sommelier & Wine Educator from Justin Vineyards & Winery
J.Lohr Vineyards & Wines Offered 3 of their Blends
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Offered 3 of their Blends
Steve Peck the Winemaker for J. Lohr
Steve Peck the Winemaker for J. Lohr
2012 Suendero from Vina Robles
2012 Suendero from Vina Robles
2012 Merlot from Record Family Wines
2012 Merlot from Record Family Wines
Winemaker Steve Martell from Sextant Wines Pouring a 2012 Estate (RBZ) Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker Steve Martell from Sextant Wines Pouring a 2012 Estate (RBZ) Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 Estate Soul of a Lion from DAOU Vineyards & Wines
2012 Estate Soul of a Lion from DAOU Vineyards & Wines
Live Music
Live Music
Check out the Cheese and Meats
Check out the Cheese and Meats
Cabs of Distinction - En Primeur at the Park Ballroom
Cabs of Distinction – En Primeur at the Park Ballroom

For more information, please visit www.pasoroblescab.com

Click Here for Day 2, Part 1