TR Fire Grill Mai Tai

Written by Scott Joseph on .

TR Fire Grill Mai Tai

We’re having our Dinner Party at TR Fire Grill in Winter Park Thursday. It’s sold out, but if you weren’t able to get tickets but want to pretend you’re joining us, make yourself the TR Fire Grill Mai Tai. That’s what we’ll be sipping on for our first course.

In the video below, beverage manager Jerry Spoto shows you just how it’s done.

On the House: Annie Oakley from The Whiskey

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Annie Oakley still

I know you’ve seen the beautiful burgers served at The Whiskey, the restaurant and lounge on Sand Lake Road, but you won’t be surprised to know that The Whiskey also specializes in cocktails.

Whiskey cocktails, at that. And one of its signature concoctions is the Annie Oakley, a straight shooter made with Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond with some blackberry puree.

Despite the puree, the cocktail isn’t sweet – that’s thanks to some chili bitters.

Watch the video with bartender Kelli Whitney, then give the cocktail a try.

Here’s the recipe:

Terroir and the Part it Plays in Wine

Written by Brittney Coutts on .


Vineyard France

This is the second in a series of columns by wine expert Brittney Coutts.

What is Terroir? It’s a simple yet so complex and so controversial idea. To understand the basics of it, you have to think all the way back to freshman year Biology class, and try to remember learning about Phenotype and Genotype.

The genotype is the genetic characteristics that the plant or animal carries from its parents responsible for one particular trait. Phenotype is all of the other observable characteristics, which are affected by both environment and those genetic characteristics.
According to Webster, the exact definition of terroir (pronounced Ter-Waar) is the completely natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. The characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced. So again, affecting the phenotype of the plant. Honestly, this is where it gets controversial. Why? Well, many wine scholars believe this theory of terroir to be true, but as much as they want to shun the non-believers, they make some pretty solid arguments.

Before we get into their arguments let's breakdown what Terroir is as a whole. Terroir is four main components that interact with each other to create a sense of place.

On the House: ILLUMination from Illume at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Illume Cocktail thumb

When I first visited Illume, the rooftop venue at the JW Marriott Bonnet Creek, I was taken in by the spectacular view and then by the excellent food.

But Illume also has a stellar cocktail program. Some are pretty elaborate, like Magritte’s Pipe, a sort of Japanese Old Fashion made with Hibiki Harmony Whiskey, Amaro Montenegro and tobacco bitters. It’s served in a pipe-shaped pitcher and poured into a smoked glass.

And the Firebird, with Haiku Vodka, sake and freshly juiced cantaloupe, served in a bird beaker with a feathers chaser.

But those aren’t cocktails you can easily prepare at home. So I asked Illume bartender Roberto Cruz for a cocktail recipe we can enjoy on the restaurant’s terrace or prepare ourselves at home. He recommended the ILLUMination, a variation of a margarita.

Watch the video then see the recipe below.


Venture Into the Unknown

Written by Brittney Coutts on .

Editor's note: This is the first of a series of wine columns by Brittney Coutts, wine expert at Viines + Forks, the Wine Barn in Winter Park.

Brittney Coutts

As a very young person in the wine industry here in Orlando, I feel the demographics of most areas in Orlando follow the same trend. We have various subcultures that blend well together, but there is always the “pedestrian palate,” or so we call it on the sales side of things. People are attracted to what they know, and persuading them to venture out is not for the faint of heart. Being a twenty-five year old in this industry is difficult. I’m the youngest in every group and it’s just assumed by looking at me that I know absolutely nothing. I am well aware I am nowhere close to done with my learning, in this industry fads come and go like seasons and everyone is constantly learning, even your friendly neighborhood master sommelier and master of wine.