Book clubs are great, but have you ever noticed that you tend to spend more time catching up and enjoying some wine and snacks more than discussing the book itself? If you’ve had this thought before, local food blogger IntoxiKate has set up a cocktail club that cuts right to the good stuff.
“I thought I really have to come up with doing some type of different events, because everyone does kind of the same thing now and I wanted to do something a little different,” Kate Schlientz, as she’s known IRL, says. “While I’d love to have the time to do a book club, I don’t have time to read!”
Her new floating social gathering combines a fun, social outing with an educational experience: each meet is dedicated to a particular spirit, wine, or beer, delving into its crafting process and how that creates the delicate balance of flavors that make it unique.
“I worked with some of my distributors to talk about brands that I thought were really innovative and doing something different,” Schlientz says, “maybe a different flavor profile or something really special about it.”
As an example, she cites Legent bourbon, the spirit selected to kick off the inaugural date of IntoxiKate’s Cocktail Club, January 21 at The Rare Bit in Dobbs Ferry. A collaboration between two of the world’s leading whiskey makers — Fred Noe’s all-American family recipe, aged in red wine and sherry casks for a fruity, spicy infusion of flavor, all of which is then blended with Kentucky straight by Japanese master finisher Shinji Fukuyo.
Local food blogger Kate Schlientz
Photo by omar rawlings
“I think it’s really interesting to learn about that sort of thing, especially if you’re already a bourbon lover — or if you’re new to bourbon, says Schlientz. “Knowing the different things that can happen in the process and how it effects the flavor, I think is really important.”
To better appreciate the spirits, each cocktail club will include a tasting and two cocktails to showcase the versatility of the drink. Light food will also be provided by each hosting venue.
“I think there’s a lot of I go to the bar, I order the same thing, or I go to the store and pick up my same liquor over and over again. I think we kind of get stuck in these ruts. I want people to explore new brands and learn more.”
Schlientz also wants to make sure that while local foodies are enjoying themselves, they’re also giving back to help support Westchester’s less fortunate residents. $5 of each ticket’s cost will be donated to Feeding Westchester.
“I’ve worked with them on IntoxiKate Go Orange every September to raise awareness about the 1 in 5 in Westchester County who are food insecure,” she says. “I think it’s a very fixable problem so if we’re eating, everybody eats.”
The first meeting of IntoxiKate’s Cocktail Club will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21. Tickets are $40. The club will meet every third Tuesday of the month, with dates already planned through May, and the remainder of 2020 set to be announced shortly:
February 18: The Spread, Greenwich (Tequila)
March 24: Villa Italia, Stamford (TDA)
April 21: Hudson Social (Gunpowder Gin)
May 19: 808 Bistro (TBA wine)