Anne Marie's Top Five Drinks of 2013
I drank to many things this year: love, frustration and everything in between. Nonetheless, I drank. I found my passion for wine again, and became giddy when comprehensive beer lists were handed over. It was a good year to sip and savor, but only five made the list. Here's what I remembered to write down.
5. Rossana Sparkling from Horsehill Vineyards
As the seasons grow warmer, our need for lighter tastes reminded us of a bottle of rosé. In limited production, our particular Horsehill Vineyards varietal was a partnership between Cal Poly Pomona's Collins College of Hospitality Management and College of Agriculture, and South Coast Winery in Temecula. To appease thirsty oenophiles, they recently released a kissing cousin: Rossana sparkling wine.
11.5% ABV, Rossana is named in homage to one of Will K. Kellogg's (Yes, that Kellogg) Arabian mares. A classically styled Brut Rosé, Zinfandel grapes are picked from the onsite vineyard at the university. The first press draws out strawberry and cherry characteristics, in addition to a blush tint. Using a bottling process called the Charmat method, carbonation occurs biologically due to the decomposition of sugar. As a result, the natural fragrances of the grapes are better preserved.
4. Heavenly Hendrick's at Stonehill Tavern
Divided between classic and modern cocktails, the desire for savory found us requesting a Heavenly Hendrick's. Our track record with liquor was not the most reliable, but a recent foray into this particular gin egged us on.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice and a simple syrup sounded more neighborhood lemonade stand, less sophisticated pour. The use of egg whites, while initially unsettling, made sense after our server elaborated. Included not as a flavor, but for a foamy texture, the airy contribution breathed life into our ethereal drink. That hint of cucumber offered a refreshing quality, even doubling as a neutralizer for our potent gin base. By themselves, the handful of ingredients would be pedestrian. Together, they made for one fine cocktail.
1 Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA