Spike summer with refreshing spirits | VailDaily.com

Spike summer with refreshing spirits

Cassie Pence
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyWine and food writer Anthony Dias Blue will lead seminars this weekend in Beaver Creek.

Gin is making a come back, wine and food critic Anthony Dias Blue said. But this time, the liquor is a little bit friendlier, bucking the earthy juniper flavor for citrus and fruit.

“Gin is really the first flavored vodka,” Blue said. “Juniper is the thing that gave it its name. It was a diuretic, invented as a medicine.”

Blue is a wine, food and lifestyle writer, radio and TV personality that for two decades was associated with Bon Appetit, serving both as wine and spirits editor and as director of the Bon Appetit tasting panel. He’s written for almost every food and wine magazine out there as a definitive voice on trends and as a critic. He’s parlayed his passion for food and wine into a lifestyle company, Blue Lifestyle, producing wine and food events across the country.

Blue presents a Wine and Spirit series in Beaver Creek this weekend, starting Thursday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Golden Eagle Inn’s deck with a seminar on Gin Drinks for Summer. He’ll teach participants about the new gin on the shelves, like Hendrix cucumber-infused gin, as well as how to make drinks using the spirit.

The series continues at the Beaver Creek Chophouse’s deck with a seminar on Latin American Libations. The point of these series is to introduce Beaver Creek to the trends in food, wine and liquor. Blue will talk about cachaça and pisco, two of hottest new spirits coming out of the Southern Hemisphere.

“Cachaça is a rum-like product made from sugar cane juice, as opposed to molasses, which is what most rum is made from,” Blue says. “Its crisper and a little more vivacious. It has a drink, Caipirinha, with lime juice and sugar and Cachaça, which is becoming very hot. It’s the next new thing after the mojito.”

Pisco is made from grapes and was invented in Peru, Blue says, although Chile often takes credit. Like tequila is associated with the margarita, pisco is associated with the pisco sour, a fruit juice kind of drink. At the seminar, Blue will teach how to make these Latin American drinks and more.

The series ends Friday with a winemaker’s dinner at Splendido at The Chateau. Chef David Walford will create a feast, in his new French-style kitchen, pairing courses with wine from “some of the hottest wineries in the market.”

In addition to the wine and sprits series, free interactive culinary demonstrations will be offered. Guests can learn to prepare and taste their favorite dishes with guidance from Beaver Creek’s top chefs. Chef Jay McCarthy of Blue Moose Restaurant will demonstrate the preparation of Chicken Fettuccine at 5 p.m. on Friday.

For more information, visit http://www.beavercreek.com or call 845 9090.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 748-2938, or cpence@vaildaily.com.

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