Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Drambuie Den: The Spirit Lives On

I was invited to an attitude-filled, fun-filled, stylish night of Drambuie cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvres the night before Halloween. The event was located at Level V, a subterranean bar lounge stationed under Vento, a swanky italian restaurant on Hudson Street in NYC. As I descended the staircase I was greeted by 4 attractive hostesses all in black, each carrying a tray of yummy Drambuie elixers. The bar lounge was a long and luxuriously dark, dungeon-like space with stone walls, low tables and cherry colored couches. To each side of the hall were small, private rooms, reserved on most nights for the elite or famous with it's own sound systems, but tonight it was ours for enjoying. The DJ was spinning a fabulous mix of 80's and 90's dance and R&B tunes to start, that I hadn't heard in a long time. By the end of the night he had run the gammut from The Shins, Tom Tom Club and Mary J to Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West and yes, Timberlake.

I normally try to stay clear of any venue located in the meatpacking district of NYC because it usually consists of obnoxious 20-something year old's who simply know they look good and want to be seen and whose primary purpose for the night is to get loaded and get layed. However, I was in the company of good friends and tonight's crowd was an eclectic mix of attractive men and women in their late 20's to early 40's. A well-rounded, working crowd from financiers and business folk to designers and artists. Our collective goal was to enjoy Drambuie inspired treats.
The Drambuie Den spared no expense. Aside from choosing a chic venue and an attentive DJ and hostesses. We were not subjected to an obnoxious moderator, trying to educate us about the drink. Rather we were treated as we aught to have been, as people. People who already know about Drambuie. It was a 3 hour affair and though the lounge was packed wall to wall with people, there were un-ending rounds of cocktails and platters of delicious hors d'oeuvres. The cocktails featured were The Drambuie Fizz, Drambuie & Ginger, The Dolce Vita and Drambuie & Soda. The Fizz was a mixture of Drambuie, lemon juice, crushed ice and a splash of club soda. The Dram & Ginger was simply Drambuie and gingerale (my personal fav). The Dolce Vita was a champagne aperitif with 3 parts champagne to 1 part Drambuie. The Dram & Soda was simply Drambuie, club soda and 2 lime wedges.

The hors d'oeuvres featured various dips and sauces made with Drambuie as well as finger foods that paired well with the drinks. They included a sausage and pumpkin pastry puff, foie grois, the cutest mini lamb burgers complete with mini sesame seed buns and carmelized onions, a mini filet mignon on a ruffled potato chip, a puff pastry with fennel and chocolate dipping sauce, finger sized reuben sandwiches with a delicious drambuie basil dip, baked goat cheese with sliced pears and honey, filo crusted shrimp with sweet drambuie dipping sauce, chicken fingers w/ a creamy sauce.
The Legend:
A zealous Scottish prince, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, thwarted in his attemps to reclaim the British throne, flees across the Scottish highlands to elude the persuing troops and avoid capture. He escapes thanks to the kindness of the highland clans. His gift to them? The recipe for Drambuie Liqueur, a blend of spiced honey and aged Scotch whiskies in a formula kept secret by the MacKinnon family since 1745. This finely crafted Scottish liqueur has a rich taste and an adventurous heritage. Once the revered spirit of a daring individual, it is now for all to enjoy.