Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: mezcal

At the bar: Gram & Dun

Few recent Plaza openings have made as big a splash as Gram & Dun. Maybe it’s because local restauranteur Alan Gaylin’s already built a following with BRGR Kitchen + Bar and Urban Table in Prairie Village. Maybe this spring weather has folks salivating over the pretty patio. Or maybe I’m just excited because Gram & Dun hit two of my sweet spots during a recent visit: shrubs and mezcal.

Gram & Dun's Mezcal Mule, perhaps my new favorite mezcal drink.

Shrubs—usually made with fruit, vinegar and sugar—make for nicely savory cocktails and delicious non-alcoholic sodas. They’re appearing on more cocktail menus around town, so I wasn’t surprised to see strawberry-habañero and pineapple-rosemary versions at Gram & Dun.

But I’d also just wrapped up an article for the Kansas City Star about mezcal (Mezcal Makes a Splash), so I was a little thirsty for that. Then I spotted the Mezcal Mule, which combines Del Maguey’s Crema de Mezcal, the strawberry-habañero shrub, lime juice and Gosling’s ginger beer into a drink that perfectly balances mezcal’s smoke and earth with a fruity sweetness and peppery kick. Continue Reading

Where mezcal and rum play well together

Pairing drinks and desserts is tricky. Sweet-on-sweet can be cloying, while straight spirits, or complex cocktails, or many wines clash in other ways. Which is why I’m grateful to Craig Adcock for introducing me to what has to be one of the most satisfying matches ever: his Jude’s Kansas City Rum Cake with Del Maguey’s… Continue Reading

One final taste of summer

I know, it’s November and the thermometer dipped to 19F the other night. So why am I writing about summer? Because I’m sadly down to the very last of my tomatoes. I picked what must have been a bushel of green ones before a cold snap last month and left them to ripen on my… Continue Reading

Lunch with Del Maguey

John McClure, chef/owner of Starker’s Restaurant, and Rich Zellich of Pinnacle Imports invited me to lunch the other day, and they brought a few friends. I’ve got to say, I like the company those boys keep. Joining us at the table were four of Del Maguey’s mezcals: San Luis del Rio, Minero, Pechuga and Crema… Continue Reading

Drinking Alone

I like drinking alone. I know that sounds kind of sad, but when the other option is sitting alone in a hotel room, I’d rather go out to a bar. So that’s what I did last night in Austin, Texas, where I am for the International Association of Culinary Professionals convention. After a longer-than-expected stroll… Continue Reading

At the Bar: JJ’s Restaurant

Settling into the bar at JJ’s Restaurant  near the Plaza always prompts this question: Why don’t I come here more often? The bar looks just as it should, polished wood, curving around shelves stocked ceiling-high with about every good liquor you might want. The bartenders act just as they should, as welcoming and knowledgeable as… Continue Reading

Meeting Mezcal

Mezcal. I’d read about it, but never given it much thought. Even after Doug Frost opined about its smokey richness back in, oh, 2007 or so. Even after Saveur published a killer article about it in 2009. Even after Ryan Maybee stocked Manifesto’s bar with it, and Beau Williams earned second place with his mezcal-based… Continue Reading

Holiday hiatus ends in NYC

My cocktailing went on holiday hiatus amid the baking, bows and boxes of Christmas. Sure, there was the odd glass of rum-spiked eggnog, but I was largely out of drinkin’ mode. That all ended with last week’s trip to New York, ostensibly to cheer on the Kansas State Wildcats in the inaugural Pinstripe Bowl. Slogging… Continue Reading