One thing that I think is universal, for the most part, wherever you go is that there are two cultures to a place – the one you find on the streets and the other in the bars. Alcohol and the pub culture can be just as much of an influence on your experience in a location, as any Rembrandt, architecture or Bach piece you may experience. I wanted to put together a list of some of our favorite drinks and places that we have indulged in this culture in our past travels.
Champagne at Oxygen Jungle Villas in Uvita, Costa Rica. Oxygen Jungle Villas and the infinity pool provide some of the most gorgeous views you could imagine for sipping champagne. In front of you sits the Marino Ballena National Park, which is home to the whales tale sand bar, behind you is a lush mountain with untamed jungle, above and around you is the sounds of Costa Rica; howler monkeys, toucans, all in one.
Closer to home is Seldon Standard, the 2016 Restaurant of the Year in Detroit. Being from Florida the images I had of Detroit were, dilapidated buildings, crime, and a bygone era. In our time in the city we found nothing could be farther from the truth, in spirit that is. Sure the city has some rebuilding to do and there are some blemishes to be found, but this city is on the rebound and so full of hope. Anyone you spoke to in the city was more than happy to recommend a plethora of bright spots in the city for you to visit and the people were bright spots themselves with their optimism and passion for the city they were working to rebuild. Seldon Standard was certainly seemed to be the pinnacle of that work, with culinary flare, sophisticated drinks and ambiance to rival any Michelin star restaurant, do yourself and your palette a favor, if you’re ever in Detroit stop into Seldon Standard.
Laura and I like to think that we’ve seen a fair amount of breweries but there is certainly something different about Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Broutwerj’t IJ in Amsterdam which is located in a former bath house sits in the shadow of the tallest wooden windmill in the Netherlands. Inside this skeleton of a former life you will find Organic Beers and an incredible array of charcuterie from the meat window in the corner of the store. It’s so widely talked about that you might worry it’s become overtaken by a touristy vibe, however, it’s just as common to see a local stopping by after work as it is to find a couple of travelers from Florida indulging in an IPA.
Beer, beer and more beer in Bangkok. The craft brew scene is slowly growing in Asia, however, Bangkok has not quite caught up yet. That being said, in the 100+ degree weather of Bangkok, there is nothing more refreshing than an ice cold Singha or Chang… and they often serve them in Koozies – whats not to love!
Oh how I wish I could post more pictures of this favorite, but I’d probably be spending the next few weeks on the couch as Laura certainly enjoyed this brewery tour, maybe a little too much. Harpoon Brewing in Boston, Mas. is already known for their delicious beers such as their UFO line across the U.S. What may not be as well know is their incredible brewery tour. The tour is your standard 20 minute walk through packaging, kettles, mash tuns, fermenters and then the tasting room….oh the tasting room. Once inside the tasting room armed with your tasting glass is when the magic happens. For 20 glorious minutes you are invited to enjoy as many and as much of Harpoons sweet sweet nectar as you can bear (unless your Laura, then a little more than you can bear). Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed our tour of Sam Adams, after all it is the quintessential Boston brew, but oh did we enjoy and indulge in Harpoon.
While we enjoyed the panoramic views in Costa Rica, I think the picturess view of wide open savannah from the deck of Nambiti Hills Private Game Lodge in Ladysmith,SA have little to no competition for sipping mimosas.
Want to know how to prepare for a 15 hour flight from Dallas to Abu Dhabi, $1 mimosas, a lot of $1 mimosas during brunch at The Cedar Social. The Cedar Social is a modern and sleek restaurant in the heart of Dallas with eclectic art adorning the walls which, if you’re not boarding a plane or have a LARGE suit case, are for sale. The cheap brunch beverages are certainly a draw however the atmosphere and food is not to go unnoticed.
There are currently 13 Hopcat location in the U.S. predominately in the Michigan area. Hopcat boasts an impressive 100 Craft Beers on tap, this casual atmosphere also dishes out some fantastic scratch cooking to soak up the delicious hoppy suds.
This joint needs little introduction, The Green Mill. The Green Mill is believed to be the oldest jazz bar in operation in the U.S. and more ominously the home to one of America’s favorite Gangsters Al Capone. We were quick enough to be able to snag “his” booth while taking in a great 4 piece jazz bad.
The local watering-hole, Crooked Can in Winter Garden, FL is located about 12 miles from the Magic Kingdoms back door. This is the locale you can catch us in most often, they serve up craft beers, some drawing from the local citrus. Certainly a must try if you’re visiting the Orlando area.
Watching shows like “Mind of a Chef”, ” No Reservations” and “Chef’s Table” you often see people and chefs swooning over the works of others but rarely do you witness it in person. While dining at Boundary Road in D.C. our waiter did just that. Now mind you, Boundary Road itself is nothing to scoff at. It’s a delicious neighborhood bistro, serving up impeccably crafted cocktails in what seems to be a barn-yard chic location right off the Capitol Hill. Our waiter here was quick to rattle off some of the culinary delights to be found in the area. One being Rose’s Luxury on the Hill, however he warned of the usual 4 hour wait time to get in the door.
Rose’s Luxury and a luxury it was. In a stroke of luck we timed our visit perfectly and had a significantly shorter wait time than expected (about 5 minutes). Rose’s was a neat of mix of modern and antique clashing in an open two-story restaurant. Rose’s serves up small dishes similar to a tapas style pulling from more american fusion style cooking. The cocktail and beer list here were a luxury that could hold their own.
A Tabacaria, Lisbon, Portugal – We can not speak enough praises. This transformed 1885 Tobacco Shop now host a wonderful cocktail bar boasting no menu, just what seem to be mad scientist working behind the bar serving up whatever they “feel” you’ll enjoy. I can still remember walking up to the bar, “What do you drink” “typically, Manhattans or Old Fashioneds” back returns Tito the bar tender with my drink in hand. “what do you think?” I take a sip, its sweet, no spicy, is that whiskey, no? tequila?…”it’s hopped gin”…I didn’t even know hopped gin was a thing and apparently it is a thing, and a delicious thing at that.
Here’s to you, cheers!
Jordan and Laura