As a Beverage Director of two restaurants, my role is not only limited to alcoholic selections. Non-alcoholic options are essentials to creating a well-balanced program. Coffee and teas are standard, but juices, tonics, and virgin cocktails are becoming more sought after.
As I’ve become aware of my own wellness, looking for more natural and organic ways to nourish my body and mind, I am intrigued by this non-alcoholic phenomenon. I’ve been choosing the non-alcoholic pairings and trying house-made sodas, an exploration I was never interested in before. To my delight, they have been delicious, and sometimes rival the alcoholic options for dinner.
Coffee will have a strong presence in both restaurants from the coffee savants at Sparrow Coffee. We are using a different brewing method in each space with coffee tailored to each specific method, as well as beans that will be rotated based on seasonality. For instance, in the summer we will have a single varietal Ethiopian heirloom coffee with bright acidity, peaches and raspberries, while the winter may be a blend based on the richer sumatra with woody chocolate notes. I’m also working on infused milks to complement.
For the tea program, we are taking cues from the seasons as well. With our partnership with The Farm, we are fortunate to have accessibility to the freshest and most seasonal herbs and flowers, which we will dry , blend, and use as tisanes. Spring and summer have the most abundant options such as, chamomile, nettle, red clove, rose hip, and spruce tips, but fall and winter will see more spice and wood blends like cinnamon, anise, ginger and licorice root.
I am looking forward to working with the bar and kitchen to create tonics and sodas for guests. It’s all in the works right now, so stay tuned!