Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring Festival Cocktail

Local Food: Just like the menu from our kitchen, you'll find new concoctions from our bar that highlight Vermont wines, beers, and spirits. We build our cocktails from the bounty of foraged and cultivated ingredients, including cucumbers, berries, melons, hot peppers, and ramps. Our version of a dirty martini uses house-pickled ramps that Steven prepared with cider vinegar and his own mixture of herbs and spices, including bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise and chile flakes. After canning, the ramps absorb the flavors as they are pickled. At the bar, we take a bit of the pickling juice and shake it with your choice of vodka. From traditional Polish style to Vermont's own, we look for distillers who value their ingredients and respect the many hands that provide and shape the ingredients into the final product. We call this cocktail a Ramptini, and it is the perfect concoction for Luksusowa vodka, distilled since the end of World War II in Western Poland from local artesian well-water and potatoes grown only along that country’s Baltic coast. Or try your cocktail with one of the fine Vermont vodkas we carry - the pickled ramps would be well served by the hints of smoke you can taste in Vermont Gold, distilled from 100% maple sap.

The Ramptini is served ice cold and with a pickled ramp garnish.

Around the Galaxy: Aspiring writers, poets, dreamers, amateurs & pros, come to Galaxy on May 24th when Galaxy hosts open mic night, beginning at 7. And save June 7th for the World Premiere of Ben Hewitt's new book Making Supper Safe. Take a look here and then call Claire's to make your reservation for before or after the event at Galaxy. Ben's first book, The Town That Food Saved, will be out in paperback at the same time.

Music Notes: Bluegrass band Gold Town returns Thursday, May 26 at 7:30. Support Vermont music and enjoy their original and traditional tunes.

Local Events: The 61st Annual Hardwick Kiwanis Spring Festival is this Saturday, May 28. Don't miss the parade, craft fair, games and more. The Sustainable Living and Agricultural Fair begins at 11:00 at Atkins Field as part of Spring Fest-look for the petting zoo, many vendors, and honor local living, a sustainable future and our agricultural heritage.

Memorial Day weekend also marks Claire's third anniversary. We are so thankful for everyone who provides our ingredients, for our outstanding staff, and to all of you who have brought your talents, expertise, wallets, appetites and feedback to make Claire's what it is. Come by and say "hi" before the parade, or join us for dinner or a cocktail to watch the fireworks! We have a great view of both from our big picture windows.

Vermont's Annual Open Studio Weekend is this weekend, May 28 and 29. Visit local artists at their studios Saturday and Sunday, and learn about their work and each artist's process. Bring in a receipt for a purchase from a local artist over Open Studio Weekend, and we'll buy you a dessert!

Spring Bonanza 2011 is Friday, May 27 at the Hardwick Town House from 7:00-11:00. Celebrate life, music and the groove. Admission is $10 to see Evan Crandell & Pals and the Collin Craig Blues Trio.

Reminders: We are open daily after 2:30 for coffee, bar service, and baked goods, and free WiFi, with dinner reservations available from 5-9, Sundays from 5-8. We serve our special Blunch menu Sundays from 11-2. Claire's is closed every Wednesday. We appreciate it when you use cash or a check- credit card companies charge us a fee that really adds up.

Click on the image above to get a closer look!

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