Adventurous Eating: Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival

So much food and so little time to blab about it. But this past Saturday’s Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival is worth the gossip. 60 beers, 40 bourbons, and lots of barbecue – oh my! I was submerged in a pig pen, I mean a warehouse filled to the brim with more dark beer, bacon, and men than I could take down and it was wonderful.

I came hungry and I conquered – garlic bacon, maple bacon, pork sandwich with coleslaw, Dinosaur BBQ’s pulled pork with baked beans (DELISH!), chicken wings, ribs, corn bread, collard greens, and to finish caramelized popcorn. It was quite a day and the barbecue was only half of it.

30 beers beckoned me, I only like the dark ones. And dark they were from Brooklyn Breweries to Heartland Brewery I drank til my hearts content – which clearly didn’t amount to that much. But despite my intolerance for binge beer drinking, I did manage to come across two new Belgian Style favorites which happen to be on the lighter side… Goose Island’s Matilda and Palm Breweries Palm which were both well paired to the spicy barbecue.

Needless to say, the event was a success. How can you go wrong with beer, bourbon, and barbecue – even if you skip the bourbon?

Feast your eyes on these finger lickin’ event photos…..

There’s Vodka in my Fruit

Vodka Fruit CocktailOver the last few years my alcohol preference has gone from vodka soda to beer or wine. But for special occassions, I’ve been known to have a cocktail or two. And after being introduced to vodka fruit, I think I’m going to be indulging in more scandalous cocktails more often.

On my trip out to Fire Island this weekend I was pleasantly greeted with a fairly large container of what my friend Mike calls Vodka Fruit. Although this wonderful concoction is bursting with flavors, I was surprised to learn that its merely the combination of two luscious ingredients fresh fruit & premium vodka. Since this incredibly simple recipe was already a success, I became excited by the possibility of enhancing its flavor with other fairly typical pairings like mint, simple syrup, or any  number of liqueurs.

But until I test the waters, I’ll stick with the basics:

VODKA FRUIT RECIPE

Vodka Fruit

Ingredients

  • One handle of premium vodka such as Grey Goose or Ketel One (DO NOT CHEAP OUT)
  • 2 pounds of fresh fruit (strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, oranges, nectarines and watermelon are all good choices. DO NOT use apples as they oxidize and will ruin your fruit mix.)
  • One 3-4 quart plastic container

Preparations

  1. Wash and cut fruit into bite size pieces and place in plastic container.
  2. Pour vodka over fruit until the contents of the container is full.
  3. Let vodka and fruit soak for TWO FULL DAYS prior to eating.
  4. Enjoy the succulent vodka soaked fruit on day three and the refreshing vodka fruit cocktail on day four.

*Serving Tip: This winning combination is most definitely a crowd pleaser and even makes a nice after dinner drink/snack. I highly recommend serving it at a party or small gathering. Its vital that the fruit soaks for a two day period so that it absorbs as much vodka as possible. And don’t forget to use premium vodka!