October 29, 2015 |

The Carpe Diem Excursion

Seize the day!* 

Or rather, seize the night. We had a reason to celebrate as the NVD crew. We've been making so many steps towards opening our new distillery and Arthur, our proprietor and master behind the curtain, invited all of us out for an evening of fun and good libations. Of course, we couldn't just go anywhere. Once you develop a palate for fine spirits, it starts limiting where you want to enjoy such beverages. 

Our reservation was at Carpe Diem, a classy wine bar and restaurant in downtown Napa. They happen to have more than wine; they have a select list of cocktails from which to choose. They also carry two bottles of our finest, Old Hollywood Ginn and the delectable Brandy Cordial. With these spirits, they created two delicious cocktails.

The evening started out nice, newer crew members including myself were able get to know the old salts of the team. We stepped into the back room where our table sat and were greeted by Mr. Buffalo. The great debate started about which wall he really should be on while we waited for our cocktails and tapas. 

The first round ordered was the Golden Fleece, a fantastic rendition of a Sidecar with made with the Brandy Cordial. According to Greek mythology, the Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-hair winged ram held in Colchis. It is a symbol of authority and kingship. This cocktail, made with San Francisco Co. Herculean Bitters, is aptly named for it is the has the kingship and authority of the Brandy Cordial. 

The second round was called the Old Hollywood Ginn Negroni, which is quite the mouthful. However, after one sip of this particularly dry and bitter cocktail, there isn't much left in your mouth. I had never had a Negroni before and wasn't prepared to feel like my mouth had become the Sahara desert. It was a unique experience, and one I will try again. My husband likes to say he'll try anything twice, and that's a maxim I am attempting to add to my life.

The origins of this cocktail are unknown. My favorite story is that it was invented in Florence, Italy in 1919. According to legend, Count Camillo Negroni invented it by asking the bartender to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink. We used to sell a barrel aged Negroni cocktail and on the label we had a picture of Count Negroni. Rumor has it, that cocktail might be making a comeback. Keep you eyes peeled!

All in all, we had a fantastic time together, and learned of a new place to get out of the house on a Friday night. 

*Napa Valley Distillery always recommends drinking responsibly.


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