HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Chef Patrick Evans Hylton shows us how to make a cocktail that perfectly showcases the flavors of autumn and shares some great places to grab a bite around Hampton Roads. For Reads, Recipes and Resources from Virginia Eats + Drinks, visit www.VirginiaEatsAndDrinks.com
AUTUMNTINI FOR VIRGINIA SPIRITS MONTH
September is Virginia Craft Spirits Month, and it’s a fine time to raise a glass to the amazing distilled spirits crafted across the Commonwealth.
We kick off the month - and the season - with our Autumntini which uses Virginia bourbon. September also happens to be Bourbon Heritage Month. This special cocktail truly showcases the flavors of the fall; using a premium Virginia bourbon and real maple syrup is key.
Here’s how I make it:
In a cocktail shaker add 3 ounces of Virginia bourbon, 1 ounce of real maple syrup, and 2 dashes of bitters, such as Angostura Bitters. Add some ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with orange peel and premium cherry.
Contrary to many folk’s beliefs, bourbon was first distilled in Virginia, and does not have to be distilled in Kentucky to be called bourbon. Also, many folks think of maple syrup as only coming from New England, but there are maple syrup taps in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia.
For more information on The Virginia Distillers Association visit www.VirginiaSpirits.org
Bourbon from today’s cocktail comes from Tarnished Truth Distillery, located inside the historic Cavalier Hotel, 4200 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach. For more information call 757-965-9652 or visit www.TarnishedTruth.com
Other cocktail ingredients come from The Fresh Market, which has locations across Coastal Virginia and the state. For more information visit www.TheFreshMarket.com
THE NEW TALL TOQUE AT THE GREEN ONION
One of our favorite tall toques, Garett Barner, is the new executive chef at The Green Onion in Norfolk’s Ghent. Barner has earned his chops at such restaurants as Todd Jurich’s Bistro in Norfolk and Passion The Restaurant in Chesapeake. He joined The Green Onion, a Norfolk landmark, a few months ago.
Chef Barner is adding his classic touches onto the contemporary menu. You may remember him winning year after year at the popular East Crab She Crab Soup Classic, held each spring at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, but the chef has a wide depth of culinary skills. The Green Onion is open for Sunday brunch, as well as lunch and dinner other days. The restaurant itself is charming, and also offers wonderful al fresco dining along Colley Avenue.
One of chef’s signature dishes is Aranchia, a fried Italian rice and mozzarella ball, and we were able to wrangle the recipe from him.
The Green Onion is at 1603 Colley Ave., Norfolk. Call 757-963-1200 or visit www.GreenOnionGhent.com
ERIN GO BURGER AT MCGRATH’S
McGrath’s Burger Shack in Great Bridge, just north of Big Ugly Brewing Company, opened in July. Chris and Ashley McGrath of Tap It Local have opened the restaurant which has a focus on over-the-top burgers and Irish beers and whiskeys.
I recently enjoyed the signature Irish Whiskey Burger, a huge offering of a half-pound of Guinness beef topped with housemade Jameson Whiskey glaze, sautéed onions, Dubliner cheddar cheese, and bacon.
There are six Irish-themed burgers in total, including the Irish Car Bomb, which is similar but with the addition of a sunny side egg on top. There are also four classic American burgers, four chicken burgers, two veggie burgers, and one Beyond Burger, a vegan offering. The McGrath logo branded into the top of the buns.
McGrath’s Burger Shack is at 800 S. Battlefield Blvd., Chesapeake. Call 757-389-7476 or visit www.facebook.com/McGrathsBurgerShack