HAMPTON ROADS, Va - Chef Patrick Evans-Hylton (www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com) prepares a classic drink to warm you up on the coldest of days, plus some delicious pies just in time for National Pie Day on January 23rd.
WARM UP WITH A HOT TODDY
If you stood outside any length of time lately here in Coastal Virginia, you have no doubt that winter weather is here.
And while there is nothing quite like cozying up in a thick blanket in front of the fireplace to take the chill off, we also love to warm ourselves not only from the outside in, but from the inside out.
It also just happens that a few days ago was National Hot Toddy Day, and coming up on January 17 we’ll celebrate National Hot Buttered Rum Day.
Our Flip For Virginia hot toddy honors the centuries-old tradition of enjoying a warm imbibe on cold days here in the Commonwealth. Here is how I make it:
In a mug/tankard or heat-safe pint glass, add two beaten eggs or two or three ounces of heavy cream with two ounces of rum (we like Chicks Beach Rum from our friends at Chesapeake Bay Distillery in Virginia Beach), and a tablespoon or two of brown sugar or molasses.
In a small saucepan, heat a bottle of a brown ale or other flavorful beer (we like the Dry Irish Stout from Norfolk’s O’Connor Brewing Compay) over low. Add a few dashes of complimentary spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and stir occasionally; do not bring to a boil. When beer is heated and begins to steam, slowly pour into the mug/tankard and do so back and forth several times to temper so that the eggs or cream don’t curdle.
We got our beer, dairy, produce, and spices for the Flip For Virginia hot toddy from our favorite grocer, The Fresh Market, which has locations across Virginia and throughout the East and Midwest.
I like to garnish the drink with apple slices sprinkled with ground cinnamon or orange peel studded with whole cloves.
For more information on The Fresh Market, visit www.TheFreshMarket.com
Chesapeake Bay Distillery is at 437 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Call 757-498-4210 or visit www.ChesapeakeBayDistillery.com
O’Connor Brewing Company is at 211 W. 24th St., Norfolk. Call 757-623-2337 or visit www.OConnorBrewing.com
MY OH MY, LET’S CELEBRATE PIE
It's National Pie Day coming up on Jan. 23 and we celebrated with our friends at Kahiau's Bakery & Cafe with a Blueberry Crumb Pie and a Hawaiian favorite, a Chocolate Haupia Pie, a delish dish with chocolate silk layered with coconut pudding and coconut cream.
Victoria Sgro , owner of Kahiau’s, is a classically-trained baker. Sgro spent much of her culinary career in Hawaii. Kaihiau translates to “give generously from the heart.”
Kaihiau’s Bakery & Cafe is at 3712 S. Plaza Trail., Virginia Beach. Call 757-340-0071 or visit www.Kahiaus.com
A UNION OF FLAVORS AT UNION ALEHOUSE
One of the newest restaurants to open in Coastal Virginia is Union Alehouse.
Located in the former Tubby’s Tavern along the Great Neck Corridor in Virginia Beach, the atmosphere is relaxed, the menu varied with a number of delish dishes, and service comes with a smile. Parntners Bryan Connolly and Kevin Dugan opened the restaurant in December.
The menu consists of “an eclectic and unique spin on classic American fare with a subtle ‘union’ of flavors from other cuisines,” Connolly says. Drinks are “beer heavy, but there [are] craft cocktails and an emphasis on the love of all spirits.”
I recently dined at Union Alehouse and enjoyed some of the offerings, including Togarashi chicken wings, a giant pretzel made with spent grain from O’Connor Brewing Company, a Peanut Butter and Jelly Burger, Shrimp Arrabiata, and a Southern Belle cocktail.
Union Alehouse is at 2224 Virginia Beach Blvd. Call 757-431-7322 or visit www.UnionAlehouseVa.com
WINE + BEER DINNER AT CROAKER’S
Croakers Neighborhood Grill kicks off 2019 with their first wine and beer dinner of the year on Jan. 17. The white-linen dinner in set in a private dining room and held each third Thursday of the month. Four courses are offered with select wine and beer that compliment each dish. Dinner begins at 7 p.m., and the cost is $55.
On the menu for the upcoming dinner:
First Course: Scallop Bisque - Outer Banks Scallops, Shaved Rainbow Carrots, Herb Garlic Baguette
Second Course: Angels on Horseback - Wild Eastern Shore Seaside Salty, Virginia Country Ham, Carolina Peach Compote
Third Course: Twin Oscar - Chesapeake Bay Rockfish, Jumbo Lump Chesapeake Crab, Dill Hollandaise, Peppercorn Seared Hereford Beef Tournedos, Cremini Mushroom Bordelaise, Lemon Pepper Grilled Asparagus
Fourth Course: Roasted Walnut Yellow Cake, Meyers Rum Banana Foster, Chocolate Chip Cookie Mousse
Croaker’s Neighborhood Grill is at 3629 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach. Call 757-363-2490 or visit www.facebook.com/CroakersVB