Spiking Coffee Gives New York Bars a Fresh Buzz

Coffee shops, restaurants and bars around New York City are now spiking coffee drinks.  Customers are happy with the new concoctions and barista-bartenders are becoming inventive.

Kobrick Coffee Company is a coffee bean roaster that operates a retail shop in the Meatpacking District.  Besides the usual coffee drinks, the café serves “coffee cocktails” which are alcoholic drinks mixed with caffeine.  The Mexican Jumping Bean is a top-seller, and is made of espresso, tequila and liqueur.

SushiSamba, a Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant in the West Village, serves an espresso martini made with Bacardi Black rum, spiced maple syrup and dark chocolate liquor.

Fair Weather Bushwick, a bistro in Brooklyn offers a Shochu Latte during brunch that’s made with shochu (a Japanese distilled beverage), espresso and hazelnut syrup.

Mother’s Ruin, a popular bar in NoLIta, serves a Coffee Cordial Boozy Slushy which is served frozen and made up of coffee, white rum, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Sweetleaf Coffee, a café located in Long Island City and Williamsburg, makes a Java Flip from Jamaican rum, bourbon, egg yolk, cream and coffee liqueur.  Cold brew coffee is condensed and raw sugar is added.

Sweetleaf’s coffee and cocktail service don’t overlap, with cocktails starting at 5PM.  Mr. Vincent Vee, an experienced beverage manager is quoted as saying “They’re both high-profit businesses, but they’re only high profit for a short period of the day.  So when you have them both behind the same doors, it can make a lot financial sense.”

Please click here to read more…

Bloomfield’s Planned FiDi Opening Called Off

April Bloomfield, the chef behind NY staples Salvation Burger, The Breslin, and The Spotted Pig, has officially called off plans to open a complex of restaurants and bars at the top of 70 Pine Street in the Financial District. Bloomfield had originally planned to open the project with business partner Ken Friedman and developer Adam Rose, who is converting the the former AIG building into apartments. But by mutual agreement the plan has been called off, supposedly due to the complexity of the concept and logistics necessary. According to Rose, “we need a simple bar with basic (but nice) food to make it work 66 stories up in the air on top of a landmark.”

Rose is now working on securing another chef or operator, but has not announced any possible partners yet. He says that a future collaboration with Bloomfield and Friedman is still “highly likely.”

To read more, click here.

Angel’s Share Alums Open New Cocktail and Ramen Bar

11-rokc-009.w710.h473.2x.jpgShigefumi Kabashima and Tetsuo Hasegawa, both formerly of the popular speakeasy-esque bar Angel’s Share, have just unveiled the full cocktail menu at their new spot in Hamilton Heights. The bar is called ROKC (short for Ramen, Oysters, Kitchen and Cocktails), and the menu is a playful American twist on the high quality Japanese drinks at Angel’s Share. Examples include a Thai tea spiked with absinthe and cachaça, a matcha latte with Japanese whiskey, and a fruity cocktail called “Flower” with shochu, lavender, elderflower, and cranberry, served in a lightbulb and presented over ice in a trapezoidal pot.

These cocktails are all newly unveiled, but the ramen and limited raw bar have been available for a few weeks during he restaurant’s soft-open. Ex–Maison Premiere sous-chef Jeff Srole has been heading the seafood menu, and Isao Yoneda (formerly of Totto and Hide-Chan) is responsible for the three types of ramen bowls.

To read more, click here.

Ice Cream gets Honored With Its Own Museum

MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM .jpgBeginning in August, the meatpacking district will be home to a new museum dedicated to the wonderful world of ice cream, where guests can play in an ice cream-themed playground, learn about the history of the cold treat, and of course try samples. Co-founders Maryellis Bunn and Manish Vora originally embarked on the project last year in order to fulfill Bunn’s childhood dream of being able to swim in a pool of sprinkles. That specific fantasy will be available to all visitors at the museum, where the pair have filled a life-size pool with sprinkles that may not be edible, but are designed to look and feel exactly like the kind usually seen on sundaes.

The rest of the exhibit, which is sponsored in part by Tinder, features a playground with equipment like an ice cream scoop seesaw and ice cream sandwich swing, a tasting lab with weekly rotating flavors from New York ice cream shops, plus sculptures, paintings and murals throughout the maze-like space. Black Tap and Oddfellows have already been announced as partners.

Tickets are $18 for single admission or $30 for a couple. To read more, click here.

The Spritz: It’s All Built on Bubbles

Spritz culture is rooted in the cities and towns of Northern Italy.  The drink can be found at restaurants, cafes and even at the airport.

The Spritz is a wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif (an alcoholic beverage served before the meal to stimulate appetite) in Northeast Italy. The drink is prepared with prosecco (Italian white) wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol, CampariCynar, or, especially in Venice, with Select. The glass is then topped off with sparkling mineral water. It is usually served over ice in a lowball glass and garnished with a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur.

Thanks to the recent publication of a light-hearted book named “Spritz”, these drinks have become popular and American bars will serve them this summer.

American bartenders have taken the liberty of creating their own spritz concoctions.

At the Llama Inn in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the bartender mixes gin, fino sherry, strawberry shrub, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters, Spanish sparkling wine and Perrier for the Señorita Spritz, a pretty pink concoction.

At Montana’s Trail House in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the owner piles Aperol, grapefruit juice and sparkling white wine atop a base of Mezcal with agave syrup.

Summertime is the perfect time for something light, refreshing and bubbly.  One bartender on the Lower East Side is quoted as saying, “Who doesn’t like something that feels like its dancing on your tongue?”

Please click here to read more…

Brexit’s Impact on the Specialty Food Market

ba5403b65e43df0297aeba68d6c0ca1fc082559f.jpegThis weekend’s news was understandably dominated by Brexit, and the far-reaching implications of the vote. One unexpected result of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union falls on the English specialty food market, which has so far benefited from the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin status on many of it’s products.

This status, applied throughout the EU to products ranging from wines to olive oils to cheese and meat, allows specific regions to claim sole use of specific brand designations. Most famously, “champagne” is not champagne unless it is produced in the eponymous French province, using the méthode champenoise. Gorgonzola can only be gorgonzola if it comes from Italy. And in England, products like Cumberland sausage and Yorkshire-forced rhubarb are all protected by designated status.

England actually has more than 60 foods and beverages with protected designations. After the vote late last week to leave the EU, this status will disappear, and producers around the world can begin making products like Rutland bitter beer, Stilton cheese and pork from Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs. While none of these have quite the cache of champagne, they still represent the food culture of the country – and the loss of PDO status could have a real impact on the farmers, brewers and craftsmen who make them.

To read more, click here.

Ikea Gets into the Hyper-Local Game

635925890195816807-242942337_Header.jpgAt first glance, it might seem like an affordable furniture company has very little to do with the farm-to-table movement. But where others might see apples and oranges (or apples and bookshelves, as the case may be), Ikea sees opportunity.

The brand recently partnered with Space 10, a “future-living lab” and exhibition space in Copenhagen, to produce an environmentally sustainable hydroponic gardening system (called “The Farm”) made primarily using Ikea products like LED lights, shelving, and plastic bins. All told, 80% of the materials in The Farm come from Ikea’s product lines.

Ikea plans to roll out the new hydroponic system in their in-store cafes. Those cafes have historically been known more for Swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam and baked goods than for fresh produce, but that may change in the near future. Although food sales represent a very small portion of Ikea’s overall revenue, they ultimately plan to market The Farm to restaurants and home gardening enthusiasts interested in producing more of their own vegetables. If the hyper-local movement is any indication, this market will continue to grow in the coming months – and Ikea may just be on to something.

To read more, click here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 676 other followers