WSWA: Tasting Panel Magazine Judges Dinner at Highball and Harvest

deviled eggs

deviled eggs

The day before I judged spirits with Tasting Panel Magazine at Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, I got to meet the other judges at a special dinner. Hosted at Highball and Harvest at the Ritz Carlton, Grande Lakes, I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed H&H.

We started off with a round of beautiful deviled eggs and moved on to the cocktails.

Grand Teton Vodka

Grand Teton Vodka

Our first drink was the Grand Teton vodka with Highball and Harvest’s blood orange “orancello” (like limoncello but with blood orange) plus an interesting addition- dill. The result was quite refreshing.

Grand Teton Vodka drink – Grand Teton vodka, house blood orange orancello, lemon, grapefruit, dill

House of Mandela Sauvignon Blanc

House of Mandela Sauvignon Blanc

 

We also sampled a couple of wines from House of Mandela (yes, from Nelson Mandela’s family) including the Sauvignon Blanc. I like white wines like Sauv Blancs and this was great with the salad.

kale salad

kale salad

 

You can’t be a modern farm-to-table restaurant without a kale salad. H&H’s was wonderful but probably even more so with the addition of bacon. I also enjoyed the toasted quinoa for that extra bit of crunch.

 

House of Mandela Cabernet Sauvignon

House of Mandela Cabernet Sauvignon

 

To go with our main entree, we had the House of Mandela Cabernet Sauvignon which went well with our steak.

skirt steak

skirt steak

 

The skirt steak was perfectly cooked medium rare and served with potato puree (mashed potatoes!).

Atlantico Rum

Atlantico Rum

 

For a faintly tropical drink, we had the Atlantico rum with house falernum and Cointrea. It could be called neo-tiki or perhaps the perfect sipper for South Florida.

Atlantico Rum drink – Atlantico private cask, housemade velvet falernum, Cointreau, lime, orange

dessert

warm chocolate cake

 

For someone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth, I surely do love chocolate and chocolate cake is a particular weakness. Highball and Harvest has a good one served with stewed cherries, butter pecan crumbles

Kelt Cognac

Kelt Cognac

 

We weren’t done with the cocktails yet. Moving on to the cognac drink with Kelt Cognac. It got fruity with spiced pear liqueur though it wasn’t a juicy drink. It was definitely closer to a stirred drink despite the addition of lemon. I was still eating cake at this point and appreciated that bit of spice to counter the sweetness.

Kelt Cognac drink – Kelt VSOP cognac, spiced pear liqueur, cacao, raspberry, lemon

Mandarin Napolean

Mandarine Napolean

 

And we ended dinner with a sip of Mandarine Napoleon, aFrench liqueur made with cognac and Mandarin oranges.

It was quite the dinner and fortified us for the spirits judging the next day.

Tasting Panel Magazine

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America

2015 Coverage

2014 Coverage

2013 Coverage

 

© The Minty  2015

Advertisements