5 November, 2009
Cider Cocktails at The Umstead Bar and Lounge (Cary)Comments : 2 Posted in : Bars and Tasting Rooms, Bars in Cary - NC on by : The Gourmez
Cider Cocktails at Herons’ Bar and Lounge
100 Woodland Pond
The Umstead Hotel, Cary
My foodie friends, Eric and Leandra, invited us out for an evening of cider cocktails at The Umstead Hotel’s Bar and Lounge. It is an absolutely gorgeous location on the SAS campus, with a huge patio that overlooks lots of trees and a beautiful lake. We sat by a stone fireplace and spent a pleasant evening lounging on their couches and intermittently ordering appetizers and sandwiches. I know that I need to get myself to Heron’s for a proper restaurant review at some point, as both Eric & Leandra and VarmintBites have made my mouth water with their recent descriptions of the establishment.
This night, though, was about the cocktails. Every Thursday, the bar offers either flights of wine for $18 or themed cocktails for $7. There were three cider options available this evening and, well, I had one of each. The first was the Hot Apple Pie, served in a mug.
Both of the warm drinks could have been bumped up a few notches in temperature, and I say that as someone who hates burning her tongue when she sips her coffee. The ingredients were apple cider, Tuaca, and orange-flavored rock candy. The Tuaca was a great match for the apple cider – I can sometimes find it too cloying in other drinks. Rock candy is an old-time favorite, so it was fun to bite some off before it melted into the drink. It imparted a very light orange flavor to the cider.
Next, I had the Bulleit Cider, which was made with Bulleit bourbon, cider, and Grand Marnier, then topped with a slice of orange.
Most of us agreed that this was the best choice of the three cocktails. The bourbon’s potency was smoothed out by the cider and Grand Marnier. The taste of the apple was subtler here than in the Hot Apple Pie and there was a hint of spice in the aftertaste, which must have come from the cider but I didn’t notice it in the other drinks.
Drink #3, the Woodford Cider, was another hot drink. I didn’t get a picture of it and the ingredient list is a bit fuzzy, but I believe it included Woodford Reserve bourbon, cider, hot black tea, and cinnamon schnapps. There was also a lemon peel garnish. Some of my friends found this one too bitter, but I enjoyed it. That may have been due to the schnapps, as I spent most of the evening sad that there wasn’t more spice in the apple cider. I make sure there’s plenty of clove and cinnamon when I make it at home.
To sum up, The Umstead’s bar and lounge is a wonderful place to while away an evening, and the drinks were inventive. In the end, though, I still prefer my homemade cider spiked with rum. But I don’t have that view.