Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Cocktail Showdown: Week Four

by Chris Larson | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Cocktail Showdown | November 24th, 2017

On this, the fourth week of the 2017 HPR Cocktail Showdown, we return to visit a previous contender and welcome a new one. Heading back Downtown for this week’s judging, we first sat down at the newly renamed Zest Lounge inside the Radisson Hotel Fargo, where Vince Kramer was excited to toss his hat in the ring for a first-time appearance in the Cocktail Showdown. We then paid a visit to the Boiler Room and returning contender Josh Goedtke, who made a very strong showing in both the Cocktail Showdown and the Bartender’s Battle last year.

Zest Lounge and Restaurant

Under new ownership and with a rebranded restaurant next door on the second level of the Radisson in Downtown Fargo, Zest Lounge is open from 4 to midnight Monday through Thursday. On Fridays they have extended their hours from 3pm to 1am. Saturdays they open at 11am and close at 1am while Sundays they are available from 11am to 11pm.

Wednesday they present a wine special, featuring $2 off per glass or half off bottles of wine. The food menu from the restaurant features a mix of artisan pizzas, burgers, sliders, salads, and wraps, as well as a variety of appetizers. On Sundays, the lounge plays host to a breakfast buffet from 9am to 2pm.

The cocktail: Spring Remembered

The creator: Vince Kramer

Vince began this cocktail by filling a martini glass with ice and water to chill it while he filled a shaker with a mixture of raspberries, cucumber rinds and simple syrup. After muddling well, he added some more simple syrup and Tito’s vodka before shaking well. He then dumped the ice water from the martini glasses and strained the contents of the shaker into the glass before garnishing with a simple thick cucumber wheel.

The nose was a flash of cucumber freshness and faint berry aromas. Conversely, the taste delivered the tart and fresh berry flavor in the forefront but the cucumber crispness provides a nice faint background. Created with his grandmother’s garden in mind, this cocktail is loaded with simple but fresh flavors.

The after-dinner drink: Adult Trick or Treating

The creator: Vince Kramer

Vince’s take on the old school caramel apple sucker is what he offered up as a sweet treat for the fall season. He poured Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker and Bailey’s Salted Caramel into a shaker filled with ice and then shook the mixture vigorously. He then drew some thin ribbons of Smucker’s caramel topping inside shot glasses before straining the mixture into them. The salted caramel and irish cream deliver the sweetness and coat the palate much like the caramel coating on those tart apple suckers from the days of our youth.

The Boiler Room

Beginning with breakfast and continuing all the way through to their late night menu, The Boiler Room offers modern takes on nostalgic comfort foods. Their Rum Chata french toast is always worth mentioning, and the lunch, dinner, and all-day menus feature a wide variety of options, including Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips, Scotch Eggs, several burgers and sandwiches, and Crab-Stuffed Walleye. Their tap list is heavy on local and regional craft brews, and the drink menu features modern craft cocktails and old-fashioned classics, some of which were created by this year’s returning contestant, Josh Goedtke.

The cocktail: Brazilian Breeze

The creator: Josh Goedtke

Josh used Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça and Plantation Pineapple-infused rum in this tribute to the tropical rainforest country it is named for. In a shaker with ice he added the spirits to some banana puree, peach puree, a splash of fresh lime juice and a touch of agave nectar. It was shaken well and strained into a rocks glass with ice. The drink was then garnished with a thin slice of banana and a thin slice of mango on a pick. The lovely banana and pineapple notes from the Novo Fogo were accentuated by the peach puree without being overpowered, in part due to the right touch of banana puree. The delicate floral notes were more present than I expected with all that great fresh fruit puree.

The after-dinner drink: Blue Haze

The creator: Josh Goedtke

As Josh was chilling martini glasses, he sat the ingredients of this drink on the bar in front of us and I had an immediate and almost Pavlovian response. Stetson Bourbon, Licor 43, Tattersall Blackberry, Talisker Storm, Fee Brothers peach bitters and Fee Brothers black walnut bitters delivered visions of dark, rich flavors that began to tantalize me.

Josh began with a shaker with ice and a heavy pour of the Stetson Bourbon before adding in the rest of the ingredients except the Talisker Storm, which he used as a wash on the glass. The contents of his tins were shaken and strained into the martini glass. A jar of “boozeberries” (blueberries soaked in Talisker Storm and simple syrup for 24 hours) was pulled opened and he dropped several small blueberry treats into the bottom of each glass before serving.

The result of numerous experiments with the classic Godfather Cocktail, this elegant and decadent after-dinner treat had me thinking blueberry whiskey truffle. The sweetness was tempered perfectly by the smoke and tart berry, and the boozeberries at the bottom of the glass brought the smoky scotch forward in a way that whiskey lovers would delight in.

Recently in:

MOORHEAD – While Justin Critt and his defense lawyer began arguing innocence to the murder of a Moorhead woman Monday morning, the mother of a missing Indigenous woman sat two rows behind, silent, but screaming with…

Culture

​The DCP wants YOU!

by John Showalter

By John Showalter and Sabrina HornungWe had a chance to chat with McKaila Ruud, the Events Coordinator for the Downtown Community Partnership (DCP) and she let us in on a few new and exciting tricks that the DCP has up their…

Sunday, May 20, 6 p.m.Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave N, FargoLadies and gentlemen start your engines... the votes are in. Erik Block will be the master of ceremonies while DJ Dextrious keeps the tunes rolling. Come celebrate our…

Time and aging is weird. It flies, it fleets, it stands still and all too often it passes us by. I lose track of time too easily and it seems like when the years meld themselves together I’m reminded how much has gone by once I…

We Aren’t Out of The Trees Yet!Ever since we climbed out of trees and walked on two legs we have been faced with a whole bucket of troubles: sex, greed, political power, race, and religion. In the 21st Century we are still…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

Once Andrew and Maddie Johnson left Fargo they moved to Andrew’s hometown.“We worked at the restaurant in Lisbon for a couple of months,” Maddie said. “We’re not about opening stuff in bags and pulling stuff from…

Nikki Lane is a trailblazer. Her unique voice could be described as a cross between Wanda Jackson’s grit and Neko Case’s hauntingly smoky vocals. It’s classic and it’s fresh. In 2017 she won an Ameripolitan award in the…

Earning a limited theatrical release following a successful run of festival appearances and a streaming deal with Shudder, writer-director Coralie Fargeat’s “Revenge” simultaneously embraces and subverts many tropes of the…

Arts

​Civility is for the Birds

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduTucked in the back of Roberts Street Studio, if you follow the “yellow brick road” (a funny story, if you get the chance to ask her), you are likely to find local artist Mackenzie Kouba working…

Theater B is giving away seven tickets to go see “The Moors” by Jen Silverman, from April 26 until May 12. Described as part Brontë, part Twilight Zone, “The Moors” is a dark comedy set on a bleak and unforgiving…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

I consider myself an avid wine drinker, but I recently found out there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes, and about 1,500 of those are used to make commercial wines. I don’t know about you, but I could probably name about…

I was amid some of the worst anxiety I have experienced in my life. I was worried about money, moving and multiple other things. My chest felt heavy and was dominated by a feeling of constriction and restriction; to both my life…

By Melissa Martin melissamartincounselor@live.com “I’m sorry” are two vital words to be used in relationships because human beings are imperfect people living in imperfect environments. Ask yourself the following…

By Ty Danksty.danks@ndsu.eduWith “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts” becoming a large and influential topic since the 2016 presidential election, many people have become more aware and concerned with the spread of…