I have been to my share of mixology/food-drink pairing events, but nothing could compare to the one I recently attended at Seasons 52. The Double Cross Vodka (DCV) â€œSeasonal Drinks/Seasonal Foodâ€ mixology pairing was an experience that left me feeling that perhaps I had a hidden passion that, until now, I didnâ€™t know existed in me: making cocktails!Â Â The â€œbeautiful and aromatic combinations of natural and fresh productsâ€ â€“ as mixologist and creator of Edible Drink, Cricket Nelson, puts it â€“ â€œallows the flavors and aromas come to life on your pallet.â€
The evening began with a reception offering a variety of signature flatbreads paired with the Afternoon Tea Punch; a combination of DCV, Earl Grey Tea, orange blossom honey, and fresh sour orange and lemon juices, all elegantly garnished with edible flowers. It was a smooth delight in my mouth, and, yes, it was as delicious as it reads.
As we sat to enjoy what would become one of the most exciting evenings of my life, we were greeted at our table by magical, little black gift bags that included the instruments we would use for our interactive mixology journey.Â Â The essentials were: one Double Cross Vodka shaker tin, one wooden muddler, a comfy, cotton Double Cross Vodka t-shirt (to wear right after the event as someone with proud â€œschool spiritâ€ would) and a pair of sunglassesâ€¦Iâ€™m guessing to be worn the dayÂ afterÂ a Double Cross Vodka party because itâ€™s so good you really canâ€™t get enough of it. On the table we found a double funnel, a bar spoon, a strainer, all the cocktail glasses we would need for the different drinks we were making, water, soda water, a centerpiece of fresh basil and mint leafs, a bucket of ice with an ice scoop and, of course, a big olâ€™ bottle of Double Cross Vodka.
A brief class on the origins and the making of DVC was clearly explained by Marita Leonard, Florida Sales Manager for this brand.Â Â After her comprehensive introduction, the fun of mixology began.
We were asked to prepare the first ingredients that would become the base of the flavors of a Thai Cucumber party in my mouth.Â Â These included: one tiny scoop of stevia, four slices of cucumber, one slice of jalapeÃ±o, and one shredded fresh leaf of basil.Â Â Then, we muddled. After we confirmed that the ingredients looked like cucumber puree, we then proceed to serve 1.5oz of water, 3/4oz of fresh lime juice, 1.5oz of DCV and lastly, we added the ice. After all these steps are successfully completed, you close the shaker tin and, well, you shake. You shake away. Then you open the shaker tin. Serve. Drink. Enjoy. This first course cocktail was paired with perfectly cooked scallions and encrusted scallops with a toasted, semi-spicy sesame glaze; another Yummy combination.
The event went on to our second course, this time, as professional shaker tin mixers as we had become, we included all the ingredients necessary to make our second cocktail of the night, Lemongrass Cooler. This included a combination of DCV, lemongrass, lemon juice, ginger, coconut palm sugar and soda water.Â Â This was paired with a delicious piece of painted tuna with lobster cremini ravioli and red Thai curry sauced.Â Â Heaven!
Lastly (and sadly), we concluded the night with a Seasons 52 Indulgences platter, an assortment of mini decadent desserts that included treats from Chocolate Peanut butter Mousse to Key Lime Pie, Mocha Macchiato, Pecan Pie with Vanilla Mousse, Seasonal Fruit Cheesecake, Belgian Chocolate Rocky Road and market fresh fruits served (guilty-free) in cute, small shot-size glasses. These were paired with a DCV Mocha Indulgence drink which consisted of a shot of DCV, agave syrup, fresh espresso, warm milk foam, all served in a dark chocolate cup (literally a cup made out of dark chocolate) with cinnamon dust. Needless to say, I was a very happy guest.
A big, Thank You, to Seasons 52, Field Sales Manager, Denise Erwin, Florida Sales Manager of Double Cross Vodka, Marita Leonard, Mixologist and creator of Edible Drink, Cricket Nelson, and of course, my wonderful friend, Gloria Burns of Community Newspaper for the kind invitation.
For more information:Â www.doublecrossvodka.com
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