This year, representing Piedmont Distillers, I was tasked with creating a signature cocktail to pair with the vinegary twang of Carolina barbecue. I could use any of the Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon infusions (cranberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, apple pie) from the case which magically landed on my porch. Thank you Sarah LeRoy!
Because their roots thrive in the acidic soil of eastern North Carolina, I chose blueberry, a "superfood" full of anti-oxidants. For the past few months I had been experimenting with muddling lemon grass in cocktails and the notion of calling one the Blue Grass Moon brought a smile to my face. It called forth visions of banjos and beautiful women dancing around a campfire, all warmed from within by the triple-distilled spirits.
As I puttered around my kitchen, experimenting with proportions and sinking deeper in my cups, I was tempted to grab my wife and run around outside like children howling at the moon.
|before the mess in my kitchen|
|Sly and Berto before the show|
8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans
Sly, Berto, and I spent a few hours prepping for the over fifty cocktails we would later make on the fly as Zimet's corresponding course hit the servers' hands. The night sold out, the menu was terrific, and everyone attending enjoyed a night fit for kings and queens of old.
I spent the next few days wandering New Orleans as if in a dream. An old friend, Brad Kunkle, flew down to hang, and as much as I love everything about Tales of the Cocktail, I steered clear of most of the events. I've had media passes on four previous occasions and spent most of my time in seminars and some of the most lavish parties ever imagined. This time around, I wanted to know if my lingering love affair for the city itself had any real substance. Visit back in a few weeks to find out. Until then, next time you're making drinks, how about a pitcher of Blue Grass Moon?
|Blue Grass Moon menu card|
|signed menu from the night|