|Anna Bowers, Cocktail Wizard of North Creek|
Champagne & Oysters. Peanut butter & Chocolate. Certain flavors complement each other just perfectly. This week we discovered a new one ~ Beer and Tang. Tang you say? Actually, yes. You remember Tang. That stuff that powered the astronauts on countless TV commercial lift-offs in the 70’s. Last night we found a higher calling for the stuff. Actually not “we”, but the folks at barVino in North Creek.
You are probably wondering how things like this happen. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. The need here was the desire to create a drink that would pass for a “cocktail” at a restaurant bar that has only a beer and wine license. The opportunity was created by a confluence of events – namely Gore closed last weekend; it’s mud season in the Adirondacks; and the crew at barVino was bored stiff. (For downstate readers – mud season is the four week period between ski season and black fly season.) Having time on their hands and apparently a supply of Tang with no particular dedicated purpose, the thinking caps went on.
Things like this happen at barVino. Last month a case of Cornish game hens mistakenly showed up to fill an order for cornichon pickles, and rather than return it, the kitchen came up with a southern style country game hen dish for the menu. Hey, it’s mud season. Nobody shows up anyway.
Mary and I did show up, right around the time that a glass of Miller High Life was being considered as the blending agent for the Tang. I think the “champagne of bottled beers” moniker was influencing the choice, as the goal was to come up with something they could call “North Country Mimosa”. Anna Bowers, who also writes for the “Vinoteca” wine blog at the Albany Times Union, and whose family owns barVino, was behind the stick and conducting the experiments. The concoction was passed around to a lot of “pretty good’s” and “not bad’s” but I don’t think that anyone actually thought it was going to replace the martini as the national drink.
Anna’s next candidate was a Hefeweizen, a yeasty wheat beer that is often served with fruit, or a slice of lemon or orange. Why not Tang? Why not indeed. This was the winner, and was passed around the bar to rave reviews (or at least appreciative muttering), mine included.
So there you have it. Your new favorite drink could be waiting for you at barVino ~ North Country Mimosa. I assume they named it after me.