Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter Cocktail Pairing at Trattoria Neapolis (Pasadena, CA)

Ken Baranda has left the bar at Trattoria Neapolis, but his successor, Chris Doyle, is doing just fine, as exemplified by his winter cocktails.

The first cocktail I tried during a recent tasting was a warm one, a variation of hot buttered rum: Fireside (Appleton dark rum, Matusalem light rum, butter, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest)
Not too heavy, warm, and would be perfect on chilly nights.
The cocktails were paired with some bites. The Fireside was paired with some Beef short rib "manwiches" on house focaccia
Darling Clementine (Tito's vodka, fresh clementine juice, housemade cranberry ginger chutney, Combier, fresh orange and lemon juices)
Clementines are a great citrus alternative for cocktails! This drink was so refreshing but with some spice from the ginger chutney. We all loved this one. Despite my usual snobby tendency to avoid vodka cocktails, this was my favorite.

The clementine cocktail was paired with Italian Hot Wings (Mary's organic chicken, house hot sauce)
The hot sauce was creamy, spicy and slightly tart, so addicting.

For fans of stirred drinks, there's the lovely and very well-balanced Italian Necktie (Templeton rye, Carpano Antica vermouth, Maria al Monte, chocolate mole bitters)

Paired with the seasonal Pumpkin pizza (roasted pumpkin, fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola dolce, toasted pumpkin seeds, cotto)

I loved their non-traditional take on tiramisu with roasted Bartlett pears, housemade ladyfingers, mascarpone crema, buttered pecans, pear moscato sorbetto, salted caramel

When we're talking winter drinks, there has to be an eggnog! Trattoria Neapolis' version is called the Santa's Little Helper (house made eggnog, bourbon, fresh pear, cinnamon, grated nutmeg)
I mean, I just love eggnog... The pear flavor makes this taste a little lighter (so you can drink more!)


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