Remember when being an oenophile was perceived as the height of sophistication, while beer-drinkers were thought of as pot-bellied rednecks sitting in their undershirts in front of a game on the tube? Well, that stereotype went out along with undershirts as microbreweries began to pop up like dandelions all over the map. But now we’re coming full circle back to the days of James Bond and Frank Sinatra, when the perfect mixed drink was the libation of choice. And the Hudson Valley is leading the way, with new craft distilleries hanging out their shingles every week, it seems.
People are having to learn all over again how to concoct a really great cocktail, and skilled mixologists are in high demand. A star of this new pantheon is Greg Seider, one of whose establishments, the Summit Bar, was named Best New Cocktail Bar by New York Magazine. Seider is also known for having created the cocktail program for the lounge at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Bernardin; he currently co-owns the restaurants Prima and Manhattan Cricket Club. In the Foreword to Seider’s new book Alchemy in a Glass: The Essential Guide to Handcrafted Cocktails, fellow master mixologist and author Jim Meehan writes, “In the tradition of the original alchemists, Seider’s cocktails achieve a flavor profile that is more complex than the sum of their parts.”
Greg Seider is coming to Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy in Rhinebeck on Saturday afternoon; and not only can you get him to sign a copy of this new tome – lavishly illustrated with photography by Noah Fecks and chock-full of the author’s secrets for constructing a balanced drink (foundation, dimension, finish and what he calls the “X-factor”) – but you can even see him demonstrate that signature liquid wizardry live. The event runs from 2 to 5 p.m. on February 21, and admission is free. Bluecashew is located at 6423 Montgomery Street. Cheers!
Alchemy in a Glass book-signing/demo with Greg Seider, Saturday, February 21, 2-5 p.m., free, Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy, 6423 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck; (845) 876-1117, www.bluecashewkitchen.com.