Friday, December 2, 2011

The Virginia Dare

The cocktail is quintessentially American. Jason Schiffer likes to use the rich history of our county to inspire his cocktail recipes, like his recent creation “The Virginia Dare.”

"I created this cocktail for a special food and cocktail pairing held at 320 Main that was based around St-Germain and hosted by famed Seattle mixologist Jamie Boudreau. Obviously, I couldn't let Jamie have the entire spotlight with his fantastic concoctions, so I had to create one of my own for the event." -Jason

Virginia Dare
1oz St-Germain
1oz Plymouth Gin
1oz Sauvingon Blanc
1 tsp Aperol
Stir 30-40 rotations in mixing glass with ice, 
then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and 
garnish with a large twist of grapefruit

Virginia Dare was the name of the first English child born in the New World of the Americas. She was the granddaughter of John White, the English Governor of the Roanoke Island Colony in what is now North Carolina. White left the colony in 1587 to return to England for supplies and when he returned 3 years later, the colony was deserted. Among the over 100 people missing were White's daughter and his granddaughter, Virginia Dare. Many speculations have been made as to what became of the blond haired Virginia and the rest of the settlers. 

Years later In 1835, when Garrett and Company, a New York business, was founded in the North Carolina region where Roanoake once was. They adopted the name for a brand of their wine. During the Prohibition era if your business was liquor you had very few options. You could continue to sell illegally, taking your business "underground", obtain permission to sell for medicinal purposes only or, as Garret and Company did, find another legal use for making alcohol, in their case, flavoring extracts. Many liquor companies never saw the other side of Prohibition. Virginia Dare wines picked back up after the repeal on Dec 5th 1933 but didn't last past 1940. They do still produce extracts though.
"During Portland Cocktail Week in October, (from the lonely bartender-free streets of Seal Beach), I saw this video from Jeffrey Morgenthaler demonstrating how to carbonate a cocktail. I had done this before with another carbonation system my friend Ereich Empey brought in one night to play with. I thought the outcome was cool but, not worth the effort. The iSi Twist & Sparkle* is a simple and easy to work contraption which our bar is able to execute over and over. The perfect cocktail to carbonate and bottle was the Virginia Dare, although the drink was already fantastic, I always thought it would be really nice with a bit of sparkle. What better an occasion to introduce it than in honor of the 78th anniversary of Repeal Day! " -Jason

This carbonated, light, floral cocktail is wonderfully refreshing with hints of grapefruit. It's a perfect day drink that pairs well with light foods like salads. It's also a great gateway drink for those wine lovers looking to venture into the world of cocktails, as it utilizes Sauvignon Blanc.

This cocktail will make it's debut at 320 Main on Sunday the 4th in honor of Repeal Day for $12 each. Head over and celebrate with Jason Schiffer and the rest of the 320 Main staff! 

*the iSi Twist & Sparkle has been recalled due to safety issues. Stay tuned for a replacement product!

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