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There's no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

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April 29, 2004 08:00 PM

New York, NY- One of the hottest new trends sweeping New York’s fine dining establishments was showcased this week at the Meatpacking District’s newest restaurant, 5 Ninth. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) hosted a cocktail and food pairing event that featured mixologist-author Dave Wondrich and rising star chef Zak Pelaccio. The local celebrity duo paired specialty cocktails and delectable dishes designed to give guests’ palates a unique sensation. Guests were greeted with Wondrich’s circa 1740 rum punch and Chef Pelaccio’s fiery quail eggs served on individual spoons; mulligatawny sour soup from demitasse cups; and Malay chicken wings marinated in dark soy sauce, cumin, coriander, garlic and chilies. The sweet essence of the rum punch enhanced the spicy Indian flavors of the food and exhibited the unlimited potential of the trend. “Wine has been paired with food for centuries,” says Shawn Kelley, Director of Public Relations for DISCUS. “Now we’re seeing rums, bourbons, and even scotches matched with different food profiles at hot spots all over New York City.” Another great merger at 5 Ninth was the famous 1920’s Rose cocktail invented at the Chatham Bar in Paris served with Pelaccio’s updated classic French cuisine. More than 40 journalists attended and the party was filmed for The Food Network’s new show What’s What, What’s Cool, which is scheduled to air next month. Dave Wondrich is the author of Esquire Drinks (Hearst 2002) and he writes regular cocktail columns for Esquire, Drinks and The Snail (the newsletter of Slow Food America). Chef Zak Pelaccio most recently attracted the attention of the press at the Chickenbone Café located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where the New York Times, New York Magazine and Food & Wine magazine dubbed him as creating Brooklyn Global cuisine. Before opening Chickenbone, Chef Pelaccio worked in the acclaimed kitchens of Restaurant Daniel, Union Pacific and The French Laundry. Drinks by Dave Wondrich 5 Ninth Restaurant Punch Before “Punch” meant “a random assortment of sliced fruits and soft drinks charged up with beverage alcohol in its most anodyne form, sweetened without mercy and ladeled into tiny-handled cuplets grasped precariously by people who would rather be drinking just about anything else,” it meant this: a simple, potent mix of liquor, citrus juice, sugar, spices and water. This is our interpretation of the state of the art, circa 1740. Peel 3 large lemons, making sure to include as little of the white pith as possible (a vegetable peeler helps in this); reserve the lemons the peels. Break 3/4 lb raw loaf sugar (“jaggery,” “panella” or palm sugar) into pieces with a heavy-bladed knife or cleaver and heat it in a large saucepan over a low flame with 1 quart water, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Remove this from the heat, add the lemon peels and 4 tea bags (black tea or green tea; anything but herbal tea), let this steep for five minutes, and then remove the tea bags, pressing them to extract as much of the tea/sugar solution as you can. Now juice the reserved lemons and 6 more, passing the juice through a fine-meshed strainer; you should have 12 oz of juice (if not, juice more lemons). Add this to the tea/sugar mixture. Stir in 1 quart VSOP cognac, 8 oz aged golden rum and 8 oz Jamaican or Australian overproof rum. Place this in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. To serve, pour punch into a punchbowl, add as large a block of ice as you have been able to procure or produce, grate at least half a nutmeg over the top, and then smile. The Rose When Hemingway and Fitzgerald and all that crowd was in Paris, this dry delight was the hot cocktail. Recipe: Johnny Mitta, Paris, 1922. Stir well with cracked ice: 1 1/2 oz French (white) vermouth 3/4 oz imported kirschwasser (cherry brandy) 1 scant teaspoon raspberry syrup or liqueur Stir and strain into Martini glass La Paloma In Mexico, they don’t drink Margaritas. They drink these. Combine in tall glass: 1 1/2 oz tequila (reposado works best) juice of 1/2 lime pinch of salt Add ice, top off with Jarritos brand grapefruit soda (“Jarritos de Toronja”), and stir. The Weeski What would whiskey taste like if it were invented in France? This is our guess, anyway. A 5 Ninth creation. Stir well with cracked ice: 1 1/2 oz Irish Whiskey 3/4 oz Lillet Blonde (sweet wine) 1 teaspoon imported orange liqueur 2 dashes Fee’s West Indian Orange Bitters Strain into chilled cocktail glass and attack with lemon twist. CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Shawn Starbuck Kelley Telephone: 202-682-8840 or 718-638-4345 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:


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