Monday, November 26, 2012

Bridget 75

In 1898 the French army adopted a new field gun (we’d probably just call it a canon) that is widely considered to be the first modern artillery piece. The Materiel de 75mm Mle 1897, which saw extensive use in World War I by the Allied Forces, was commonly referred to as the “French 75” by English speakers. On October 23, 1917, the first artillery shells fired by the US Army in World War I were fired by a French 75 that the soldiers had named “Bridget.”

What does this have to do with drinking?

In 1915 a Scottish barman named Harry MacElhone was running The New York Bar (later called Harry’s New York Bar) in Paris. It was there that MacElhone named a new cocktail consisting of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and champagne on his menu the French 75.

Bridget 75
¾ oz Bonded Applejack
¾ oz Gin
¾ oz Lemon Juice
¾ oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Champagne

Combine all but champagne in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled coupe and top with champagne.

As Fall has eventually found its way to Sunny Southern California, 320 Main decided to take the drink that took Paris and, eventually, New York and other points West by storm, and give it a bit of an American twist and Fall flavor. A little bit of apple goes a long way to making this refreshing drink feel at home among cooler temperatures and red and orange leaves.

● It is often debated whether the French 75 originally called for gin or - as many people know it - with Cognac. While there are some notable references to the drink being made with cognac, the earliest references all seem to point to gin as the original base-spirit.
● Noted cocktail historian (yes, that’s an actual job that your guidance counselor hid from you) David Wondrich has pointed out that the combination of gin, citrus, sugar, and champagne can actually be traced back as far as 1867, when Charles Dickens encountered it during his travels to America (though Dickens specifically mentions Old Tom gin, which would have had a different flavor).

Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 Main and, in his spare time, runs, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Guilt-free Holiday Feast with Beach Fitness

Now at 320 Main, we specialize in American food which brings to mind hearty comfort food- Mac & Cheese, Meatloaf, Steak & Potatoes, and we have that, oh boy do we have that! BUT like anything in life, dining is about moderation and balance. We love our new Walnut Pesto Caprese and Ahi Poke dishes and so do our trainers down at Beach Fitness. Bryce and Barbara, owners of Beach Fitness here in Seal Beach, have become great friends of ours and many of their hard working clients are loyal guests of 320 Main. With the holidays approaching, we teamed up to present the Guilt-free Holiday Feast, a four-course holiday inspired meal, with a dose of healthy holiday eating tips from Bryce Turner.

Bryce & Barbara

In true 320 Main fashion, the event started off with a delicious Pisco Punch featuring Encanto Pisco, fresh lemon & orange, clove, pineapple shrub & sparkling wine. 

Pisco Punch

Our first course was Quinoa Walnut Stuffing & Kale Chips with a bacon-wrapped date. Beach Fitness is a proponent of the Paleo diet so Head Chef James Wilschke created a menu that followed the basic principles of Paleo and featured the following- meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, local/seasonal vegetables and seeds. Walnuts are an Omega-3 rich food and were featured throughout the meal.

Quinoa Walnut Stuffing

The Ginger Squash Soup was made with our housemade chicken stock, fresh ginger and butternut squash. Bryce educated the crowd with good advice for sticking to a healthy diet during the holidays. Tips included pausing between meal segments to avoid over-eating, looking for healthy substitutions when cooking classic recipes and if headed to a party, offering to bring a dish that fits your diet.

Ginger Squash Soup

Next up we enjoyed a Waldorf Salad with bibb lettuce, grapes, celery, apples & honey walnuts with a champagne vinaigrette.

Waldorf Salad

The Main Course featured a 320 Main favorite, the Surf & Turf. This dish features marinated Prime hanger steak, black tiger shrimp, spicy seafood cream sauce and ratatouille.

Surf & Turf

One of the best pieces of advice for the night was to have less food but use higher quality ingredients. We all like to celebrate with our family and friends and indulge during the holidays but that does not have to mean over-indulging. Keeping this in mind will help you enjoy the holiday season & make your CrossFit trainers proud! 

We finished up the evening with a cocktail, the Rusty Nut- Walnut Liqueur, Benedictine & Pampero Rum.

Jason Preparing The Rusty Nuts

The night was a blast for us at 320 Main, Chef James Wilschke and the kitchen staff had a great time developing and serving the menu and the guests enjoyed a sumptuous feast and walked away guilt-free!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cocktails 101: Drink Size

Is bigger always better?

At 320 Main, we get asked a lot about the sizes of our cocktails. It’s true, our drinks aren’t the biggest you’ll find. There are no 10 ounce martinis or yards of margaritas to be found anywhere near the bar.

Why is that? Well, we decided to put together a video to try and explain.

Basically, our drinks are the size that they are because we think they taste the best at that size. Cocktails are usually made with ice – either shaken or stirred. That ice melts and can change the characteristics of the drink as you drink it.

Our goal is consistency. We want every cocktail to be great, but that’s not enough. It has to be great for every single sip, so that your last sip is still as good as your first.

Accomplishing this goal requires us to carefully control how much of that ice for you cocktail ends up as water diluting your drink. Since we take such great care to keep that drink balanced, we don’t need glasses large enough for swimming in – just large enough for tasting delicious.

Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 M
ain and, in his spare time, runs, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.