It is with not great clarity that I relate to you the events of last night. No, it wasn't me that over imbibed the very drinkable My Essential Rose or the 3 tequila cocktails accompanied with a splash of tequila or mezcal on the side; just so you'd know what each component tasted like straight. Then there was the mezcal sipper for the finale of the meal, one that isn't even sold in stores and is the creator's special invention; dare I say? If I can still count, that is at least 5 drinks in the space of 4 1/2 hours with an alcohol content greater than my age. Well, maybe. I must say this put Manservant in rare form, such that I haven't seen since college. I was awake until 1:45, after trying to sleep next to a dead lump in the sheets who snored with energetic, focused precision. At least I knew he was still alive.
Lately it seems I've been eating and drinking and relating a lot about dinners in Denver. Most of these I've been invited to, much to my delight, but this was one that we paid to attend. We paid to eat and drink and in my case be entertained, and even a bit perturbed, by my adoring husband. I knew I should have sent him alone accompanied by an Uber escort, but truth is I love dinners like this. I love hearing the stories behind the scenes and seeing chefs step out of their comfort zone and hearing how dreams becomes reality. Yeah, I'm a bit strange that way, but the truth is I just love to hear other people tell a story. Certainly it was a night of tall tales and slurred words and napkins dropping and glasses clinking. It was a night where we probably raised the average age by 10 years, but hey, I'll always be young at heart. Manservant adores tequila and mezcal and I knew this would be an occasion he would want to partake. Now I'm not sure how much he will remember, but at least he made a trip to our favorite liquor store, for shall we say-souvenirs?
We made the trip from our house in the 'burbs to The Source in Denver -one of my favorite spots to just hang. This is the place where-if they are open and not sold out, I buy my favorite chocolate cookie. Remember I told you about that? This is also the place that houses our favorite liquor store. And last but not least, it is also the home to one of our favorite taco places. Lots of favorites here. So when I read that Richard Betts was gallantly presenting his tequila, mezcal and rose, I knew we couldn't miss it. And yes, I do try to take advantage of the fact that right now Manservant isn't travelling, which could change at the drop of a hat.
Richard Betts is the former master sommelier at the Little Nell in Aspen; whom we may have even ordered from, way back in the days when we had cash to spare; who passed his master sommelier exam on the first try-one of just a few to do that. There are, I believe less than 200 master sommeliers in all the world and my boy, Alex Odie San China Boy was well aware of who Richard was when I mentioned the dinner we were attending. Richard has gone on to now produce his own wine, tequila and mezcal. What a life! And what a gracious man-boy-charming genius! (Yes, I was smitten!) He's even written a New York Times best seller, scratch and sniff book for adults, "The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming A Wine Expert/Take a Whiff of That!" and also one on scotch, both available on Amazon.
I fell in love with My Essential Rose and thank goodness that was one-actually two of the souvenirs that my manservant purchased. He also scored a bottle of Sombra Mezcal-Everyone has a dark side - and a few other things he felt our bar was lacking. Richard makes things that he wants to drink, which makes sense to me. The Rose described in his words, "is a pale pink wine that smells like red fruits and flowers yet is crisp, dry and ultra refreshing. One glass invites another, a wine that can very quickly become a bottle for one. Cheers." Definitely agree with that! Surely two bottles will not be enough to see me through summer!
The Astral tequila is rich with floral, sultry flavors and a spicy finish. I tend to use my tequila in cocktails, where as Manservant likes them fairly straight up. This would be perfect either way, but I'd love to try it in place of gin, in some of my favorite drinks. Mezcal is not really my drink of choice, as I believe that smoke should be reserved for BBQ and campfires and other things that are now legal in Colorado. Manservant however loves mezcal. I think if it had legs he would marry it. He loved this Sombra mezcal that loved him too well.
As you can tell this was a dinner, focused on drinks. The chefs at Comida, (one of our favored taco places) stepped out of the comfort zone and supplied us with some creative bites. The ceviche, though it had some technical difficulties, was gorgeous and the flavor was bright.
Goat tacos were served family style, and were a first for me. To my surprise I found goat quite good, but it was the alcohol coursing through my veins that surely made me more courageous than usual.
But not as courageous as Ramey Rossello, the owner of Comida, (boy, would I love to talk with her more) who made sure our goat was freshly procured. The staff at Comida really outdid themselves and made us feel like a part of the family (thank you Matthew and Valerie) in a very short time. Not many places achieve that, but they did.
And the drinks? They were sourced from the Rino Yacht Club. I need a membership here! Each drink had at least 6 components and were some of the most balanced cocktails I've had; not an easy thing to do for a large group of people. I can only imagine what fun they had creating them. I think the liquor was sourced from The Proper Pour-a boutique wine and spirits store-remember-and Manservant talked the owner, McLain's ear off. And he took it well.Well enough that he invited Manservant back to tip a few more any time! Which of course made Manservant very happy. A toast to McLain!
And then we went home carefully, where Manservant had pleasant dreams. Then he woke up and felt a little-hmmmm, well he was feeling a little of his dark side-the side in the shadow-the side in the Sombra, and he needed something to soak a bit of it up. Enter the best chocolate chip cookie after a night of drinking rose, tequila and mezcal with Richard Betts.
Notes: You may notice that there is no leavening in this cookie which makes it perfect for high altitudes. Actually, this is the perfect cookie for any altitude. These also bake at a high temperature which keeps them baked on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside. This is my go to cc cookie!
David's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie
Makes About: 30 cookies
Time to Make: About 15 Minutes Active, 24 hours to chill, 12-15 minutes to bake
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and a bit cooled
1 1/4 c brown sugar packed
2 t vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 c flour
1 t kosher salt
14 oz dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine melted butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a free standing mixer. Beat until mixture is thick and well mixed and looks a bit like peanut butter. Add vanilla and egg plus yolk. Beat well. Slowly add flour and salt. Add chocolate. Do not skimp! Chill up to 3 days. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400. Scoop mixture into balls about the size of a tablespoon. Squash slightly. Bake for 10-15 minutes. I usually average about 12 minutes. They should be golden brown around the edges, but not too golden, unless you want a crisp cookie.
More food good for munching after a night of drinking with Richard Betts:
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