Cocktail Pairings with Gate 11
Event planners have the challenging task of making each event something special and truly memorable. Great care goes into developing a creative menu of delicious courses that excite the mind as well as the palette. Two techniques that are often used to help make events special are to highlight the use of quality local ingredients and to pair a specialty cocktails with each course of the meal.
Here in Chattanooga, there has never been a better time to include locally produced distilled spirits in these cocktail pairings. Gate 11 Distillery produces award-winning vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and absinthe spirits that enable a wide range of cocktail possibilities. A mid-December event at the Indigo Hotel called A Taste of Yule was an excellent example of how a leading local chef maximized these possibilities.
Indigo Hotel Chef Erin Meeker wanted to pair cocktail features with the individual menu courses of a special invitation-only dinner and she wanted to make sure that the spirits used were all locally produced. Not only were Gate 11 spirits used for each cocktail, she incorporated some of them directly into the dishes themselves.
“It has always been a passion of mine to showcase as many local ingredients as possible in my menus. Now that I’m overseeing a bar program as well, that passion has naturally carried over to that as well. The Wanderer has always enjoyed introducing our guests to Gate 11 spirits so it seemed like a natural pairing, said Chef Meeker.
The courses and cocktail parings used were:
Vodka cured ruby trout paired with a Martini featuring Gate 11 Vodka with house pickle and dill
Chestnut Soup, Roasted Midway and Mushroom Medley paired with a Negroni featuring Gate 11 Gin with oregat
Blackberry braised Chili Pepper Ranch Wagyu Short Rib paired with a Manhattan featuring blackberry-infused Gate 11 Rye Whiskey
Brandied Fig and Apricot Christmas Cake with flambe courtesy of Gate 11 151 Over Proof Rum
Gate 11’s Aaron Miles attended the event and shared information about each spirit with the attendees. “It was great seeing our spirits presented in this creative way” he said. “Chef Meeker did an awesome job”.
Another novel aspect of this event was the specific request of Chef Meeker for Gate 11 to provide an new over proof rum spirit to facilitate her desert course flambe. In response, Gate 11 distillers created Gate 11 Over Proof 151 Rum and made this new spirit available to the Indigo Hotel in a private label format. It is notable that Gate 11 and its Chattanooga area distributor, Athens Distributing were able to deliver this new private label spirits within two weeks of the request.
A spirit for every cocktail and private label options for local bars and restaurants, Gate 11 wants to help make all Chattanooga events special.