Friday, April 29, 2016

A Night with Charlie Garrison

We were so excited when Charlie Garrison of Garrison Brothers Distillery said he would be our next guest in The Bounty Hunter Distiller Series. Garrison Brothers is the first bourbon distillery to come out of Texas, and boy is it a good one! The night was filled with stories, laughter, and of course a lot of bourbon sippin’. 

Our guests started out by grabbing our Bounty Hunter Texas Tea, a special concoction we made with the 2015 Garrison Brothers bourbon,(see recipe below) a refreshing if not spicy way to start  mingling amongst ourselves. Our chefs prepared small bites including pimento cheese, pork sliders, and mini sausages. Barbecue with bourbon? Never can go wrong there! 

Once everyone had settled in and had their cocktail, it was time to get down to business. We started with the 2015 Garrison Brother Texas Bourbon. Like wine, bourbon has a specific way to smell and taste correctly. Charlie explained to smell a bourbon correctly, to get all the aromas that it has to offer, you must put your nose in the glass and breathe in very deeply through your mouth. This allows you to smell the bourbon rather than the alcohol. Now comes the tasting, you first want to warm up your palette by putting a little of the bourbon in your mouth and letting it sit there for a few seconds. After that, your palette will be relaxed and ready to taste.

As the bourbon was being sipped Charlie started talking about some of the basic fundamentals of Bourbon and the history as well. Here are some interesting facts that we learned:

The ABC’s of Bourbon
A: Bourbon is uniquely American
B: Must be aged in a brand new white American oak barrel
C: Must be a minimum of 51% corn
D: Must be distilled at no more than 160 proof/80% alcohol
E: Must be entered into barrel at no more than 125 proof
F: Must be bottled at no less than 80 proof
G: Must be genuine, nothing added to it but water

As the night went on another bottle of bourbon was passed around. This time it was the Garrison Brothers Bounty Hunter Barrel Selection, which our Spirits Buyer bought exclusively for us. This one was definitely the favorite among the guests, and many ended up buying bottles at the end of the evening.

Before the night ended, Charlie explained how he and his brother got into the bourbon business, and it all started with Charlie’s sister in law saying “With as much bourbon you guys drink, you should be making it.” Right then and there the Garrison Brothers Distillery started. A couple years later in early 2006 the Garrison’s got their distiller permit and officially became the first bourbon distillery built outside of Kentucky and Tennessee since prohibition. They also were the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas and the first organic grain distillery ever.

The night was a huge success and we thank Garrison Brothers for coming to good ol’ California and sharing their journey with us.

If you would like to purchase a bottle of Garrison Brothers click here.

Want to make your own Bounty Hunter Texas Tea? Here’s how:

Bounty Hunter Texas Tea
2 parts 2015 Garrison Brothers bourbon
1 part lime juice
Black pepper
Fresh chopped Texas Tarragon, steeped in the bourbon

Top off with ice and ginger beer

Monday, April 25, 2016

7th Annual HALL Cabernet Cookoff

This weekend Chef Nick and the Bounty Hunter team (from our Wine Bar and Smokin’ BBQ flagship restaurant in downtown Napa) participated in the 7th Annual Hall Cabernet Cookoff at Hall Winery. What a beautiful Saturday in the valley to have a barbeque cook-off. The sun was shining, the vineyards were vibrant with color and the people were ready to eat!

Not only did the attendees get to sip on some delectable wines and tasty barbeque, but also got to support a handful of local charities. Each of the 13 chefs partnered with a local charity and competed to raise money and awareness for that cause, including:
  •             Bounty Hunter Smokin’ Barbeque and Napa Humane Society
  •          Brix and JDRF
  •          Ca’ Momi and Do It For the Love
  •          The Grill at Meadowood and Community Resources for Children
  •          Harvest Table St. Helena and Boys & Girls’ Club of St. Helena
  •          Intercontinental Mark Hopkins and Grace Cathedral
  •          Kara’s Cupcakes and The Napa Valley Vine Trail 
  •          One Market Restaurant and Collabria Care
  •          Paula LeDuc and St. Helena Hospital
  •          Sift Dessert Bar and Girls on the Run
  •          Sacramento Experience and Food Literacy Center
  •          Winery Chef’s and Cope Family Center
  •          Feast Catering and Erika Van Giesen Foundation

This year, there were five celebrity judges, including Duff Goldman from The Food Network. Every chef did a fantastic job cooking up food for the event’s roughly 800 guests. Although we didn’t document everyone’s dishes we snagged a couple of pictures of our own dish in between the hustle and bustle of guests. Chef Nick and the Bounty Hunter team prepared a dish that was out of this world, Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pickled Collard Greens and Stone Ground Grits topped with a Crystal Aioli.

We could hardly keep up with the demand, as soon as we put plates down, they were gone within seconds!

The praise that Bounty Hunter received was fantastic and multiple guests couldn’t resist and had to come back for seconds! We are very proud to say that Chef Nick and The Bounty Hunter team won awards and a glorious amount of money for our chosen charity, the Napa Humane Society. 

  •          Best Food and Wine pairing: Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Hall Sauvignon Blanc
  •         The People’s Choice Award + $8,500 for Napa Humane Society 

Congratulations to Chef Nick and the Bounty Hunter team, and Congratulations to the Napa Humane Society!