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:

News

​Expecting suicides

by C.S. Hagen

BISMARCK – Jessie Quinn and J.S. may soon have two choices: relocate, buy black-market opioids, or commit suicide, and Quinn’s options are even more limited. At 65 years old and after 25 years battling degenerate spinal issues,…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com“North Dakota (and Minnesota) nice” is an attitude, a stereotype, and a way of life that has permeated our region, as well as perceptions of the Midwest, since as long as people have been…

Friday, March 22, 6-8 p.m.Red Raven Espresso Parlor, 916 Main Ave, FargoDigital photos from North Dakota’s backroads. Hornung has been exploring the roads less traveled for close to a decade. Carefully documenting and collecting…

It is possible, even ethical, to stand behind Israel and criticize the nation at the same time. No country, no man or woman, is without fault. While we at the High Plains Reader believe the U.S. House of Representatives’…

The Battle Between Extreme Capitalism And Democratic SocialismAfter Vice-President Mike Pence representing racial and extreme capitalism ended his scathing rant about democratic socialism at the Conservative Political Action…

The eighth week of this year’s HPR Cocktail Showdown was another tripleheader for our panel of judges. On this particular week, we found ourselves focused on a trio of downtown dining and entertainment establishments to visit…

In rural Minnesota, outside of Park Rapids, Amy Thielen was attempting to light her wood-fired oven. It is in her brand-new kitchen that she hopes to teach cooking classes out of, which is a far cry from what it was when she and…

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra has had its fair share of guest performances headlining its concerts over the years. They all have impressive resumes, their fair share of awards, and worldwide recognition. However, bringing…

The 19th Fargo Festival begins on Tuesday, March 19th and runs until Saturday, March 23. Continuing a tradition of excellence in local arts programming, the event provides both casual moviegoers and cinephiles with multiple…

Hidden away in the tiny North Dakota town of Lefor I find Karen Valley, an author and an artist. She is without a doubt the artist’s artist. Her soul is art, talent and words. Meeting her is a true experience in finding a soul so…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin.…