Oh, hey, it’s National Bourbon Day. Is that a real thing? We don’t really care. At GQ HQ, every day is bourbon day, so today we graciously welcome the rest of the country into our sweet, oaky preoccupation.
Let’s get you a drink, shall we?
#1: WIDOW JANE
Our favorite bourbon made from water extracted directly from a limestone mine in upstate New York (trust us, it makes a difference).
Nat Sherman Cigars, Widow Jane Whiskey, Cacao Prieto Chocolate, and Pop-Up Chefs at Botanica
Come celebrate a unique pairing of Nat Sherman in association with Widow Jane Whiskey and Cacao Prieto Chocolate at Botanica this August.
BOTANICA SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
POP-UP CHEF JC FRAJMUND
Saturday, August 10
2:00 – Midnight
Chef and Entrepreneur Jean Claude Frajmund is originally from Brazil and specializes in the techniques and flavors of France, Spain and Italy. Jean Claude’s mediterranean inspired small plates, or “Pintxos” will feature Basque favorites that feature his connection with the cuisine due to his family ties to the region and the time he spent living in Europe before studying culinary arts at ICE in NYC. The menu will be as follows:
Crisp Egg Yolks with Salmon Roe - Deep friend egg yolks topped with salmon roe.
Tomates Crevettes - Poached shrimp and bernaise sauce inside small tomatoes.
Crispy Pork Belly - Pork belly with watermelon and spicy vinaigrette.
Jamon and Smoked Idiazabal Cheese with Olives
Strawberry Gazpacho - Strawberry, tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.
CIGAR, WHISKEY, & CHOCOLATE PAIRINGS
Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 21
7:00 – 8:30pm, $50 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
This unique pairing will feature six VERY rare, many unavailable at retail Widow Jane Whiskies with two Nat Sherman Cigars and Cacao Prieto Chocolates. Widow Jane Distillery’s heirloom, non-GMO grain whiskies will showcase a flight of Wapsie Valley Corn Bourbon, Wapsie Chocolate Bourbon, Bloody Butcher Bourbon, Wapsie Smoked Bourbon, Widow Jane 7-year Straight Bourbon, and Widow Jane 8-year High Rye Straight Bourbon. A Nat Sherman 1930 Rothschild Dominican cigar and Nat Sherman Timeless 452 Nicargua cigar will be tasted along with Cacao Prieto’s single-origin, Dominican, organic, kosher, 72% dark chocolate.
Thursday, August 15 and August 29
7:00 – 11:00pm, $20 per person
WAPSIE VALLEY CORN TORTILLA & WHISKEY NIGHT
Thursday, August 22
7:00 – 9:00pm, $30 per person
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and number.
This whiskey really focuses on the front of the palate. There is a touch of impact in the “bitter” region of the palate, but the sweet and salty regions of the front are the most impacted. There is a lingering “bittersweet chocolate” finish. Slightly drying to the palate.
A natural progression from the Wapsie. The impact moves back slightly, and also impacts the “bitter” region at the back of the palate and throat. Finish is longer, with the chocolate note clearly more pronounced.
Interesting note on the nose, almost pisco/tequila like. Some dry vegetal notes on the palate: straw, wheat, dried corn/flour, with a cocoa powder note on both the nose and the palate. Impact is quite balanced, even distribution on the palate.
Medium to full in mouth feel. Some initial spice on first puff, white with some white pepper up front. Creamy mouth feel. After the first half inch or so, great notes of cocoa, espresso.
Great example of dialogue with the cigar. You can literally “feel” the movement on the palate as the cigar and whiskey impact different areas. Intersting, the cigar helps stimulate saliva that was slightly stripped by the whiskey
Coming closer together with the cigar- the chocolate note on the palate is clearly shared with the cigar, particularly as the cigar has burned further down
Another great dialogue- the cigar offers all the flavors missing in the whiskey, and the whiskey fills in the blanks of flavor not provided by the cigar. However the body of both balance each other.
Bright vanilla, slightly sweet with a heavy presence right in the middle of the palate and roof of mouth. Slight caramel with delicate bright spice.
Impact moves outwards to the sides of the palate, impacting the salty and acid areas of the palate, as well as the roof of the mouth where the widow jane 7 hit. The lingering finish moves slightly forward toward the front, and there’s an interesting vetiver note on the finish.
Slightly metallic on the nose, smooth and bright, impacting straight down the center of the palate.
Medium to full body. Great bright spice, touch of earth – round impact on palate.
Nice dialoge between the sweet smooth whiskey and thespicy smoke. Both impact cool. The sweetness of the whiskey stands out against the early portion of the cigar.
Nice shift in impact against the “constant” of the cigar. These two make great companions but the whiskey really allows the cigar’s bright spice (cinnamon) note to stand out.
Again, the “feeling” of a shift in impact is quite noticeable. The whiskey’s “straight line” is more evident against the cigar, but they share the “bright spiciness” that allows for a true sense of balance in order to complete the pairing experience with a clear conclusion.
June 05, 2013 • Article by Stoli USA
SWEET TALK WITH DANIEL PRESTON
Close your eyes and try to imagine what might happen if an international man of mystery were to have a baby with say, an eccentric chocolate maker. The resulting offsprint might have a career quite like Daniel Preston. Preston is an inventor, an entrepreneur and an aerospace engineer turned chocolatier who is now producing bean-to-bar chocolate made fresh daily out of his Red Hook, Brooklyn factory, Cacao Prieto. It’s a big warehouse space that smells like chocolate and is full of shiny machinery that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time a little bit. To say that Daniel is smart is an understatement, but he’s also warm and incredibly forthcoming about his original story and how he built his chocolate empire. We were all ears.Tell us a little bit about your background
I’m a first generation New Yorker. My background is an aerospace engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur and I hold more than 120 patents in 17 countries. I designed high-tech toys for the military in my last company and The Washington Post and The Chicago Tribune called me “Q” you know, like, after the James Bond Q. One of my more well-known inventions is designing satellite guided parachutes to change the way military air drop is done.A natural progression into chocolate!
I ended up selling the controlling interest in the defense company I started. When I moved on I had a strict non-compete and I pretty much couldn’t do anything that I was used to doing for the next five years. So, I went on a genealogy trip visiting some family members in the Dominican Republic that I hadn’t seen since I was a child. I fell in love with the country and the islands and was introduced to a family cacao farm— that’s where I became obsessed with the science behind cacao.Tell us about that obsession
I went a little nuts and took over a family farm. I was fascinated with the original genetics of cacao and I found that the fermentation process across the world (for chocolate) is done in a very non-controlled manner. There’s a couple thousand years of documented history about fermented foods and science related to that and nothing had been applied to chocolate.So you rethought the process?
There is no winemaker in the world that would stomp his grapes in the mud and let it be feasted on by rats and insects and hope it tastes good in a week. You’d treat it in a semi-sterile environment and control all the variables. So that’s what we did with the chocolate. When we controlled all the variables and got rid of all the pathogens we found that we had a lot of control over the flavor profile of the beans.Tell us about these machines, I’m guessing it has something to do with your engineering background?
The look and feel of the place is very much turn of the century because its just an aesthetic I like and, you know, the golden age of machines so most of the machines look Victorian but they’re in fact new and I designed them and we manufacture them.Finish this sentence: Good chocolate is…
See more at http://orgnltv.stoli.com/article/cacao-prieto
Around the World in Six Rums
1. Cacao Prieto Rums
Daniel Prieto Preston, an aerospace engineer who comes from a family of sugar cane and cacao farmers in the Dominican Republic, launched Cacao Prieto in 2010, setting up a chocolate factory and distillery in Brooklyn, New York. He blends his white rum (made from organic evaporated cane juice and fermented with wine yeasts) with organic cacao beans and barrel-ages it to create the most exquisitely robust expression of chocolate I’ve ever enjoyed. Called Don Rafael Cacao Rum, it’s redolent of roasted coffee, tobacco and cacao, as intense as drinking dark chocolate. While the Don Rafael has no sugar, the Don Esteban Cacao Liqueur does– just enough to take the edge off cacao’s natural bitterness, but not so much that it gets cloying. These are exceptional rums, especially if you enjoy dark chocolate.
Cacao Prieto is featured in the Morning Show’s Trafalgar: North America Week See the World!
Cacao Prieto and Widow Jane are proud to present a Double Gold, Two Silvers, and Bronze medal in this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
POSTED BY VIRGINIA K. SMITH ON MON, JUN 3, 2013 AT 9:30 AM
When it comes to things that seem, in theory, far too good to be true, most people would assume “combination chocolate and whiskey factory” to be one of them. In Red Hook, Cacao Prieto is not only delightfully defying expectations, but also turning out some of the very best products in every category it touches.
Chocolate is a trade that founder Daniel Prieto Preston comes by honestly. So honestly, in fact, that the company’s organic cocoa beans and sugar cane are actually sourced from farmland in the Dominican Republic that Preston’s family has tended for over a century. Preston has also fully thrown his background as an engineer into the process, inventing a number of efficient, sleek chocolate-making machines that the company now sells as a side business.
“The ideas could spark from a recipe dated from the 1800s, or in investigating the collection of botanicals from our apothecary,” the company’s Art Director Michele Gabrielle Clark says of the constantly evolving process. “We’re very interested in using rare herbs and plants, and we love stretching our imaginations.”
Thus far, this has led the company to a few unexpected outcomes, perhaps most notably its hugely popular Widow Jane whiskey. Initially it was just making cacao-based rum and liqueurs; it branched into the whiskey business on a whim last fall. The company now has an individualized distillation process and one of the most beloved whiskeys in Brooklyn. It’s also led to a few brilliant crossovers, including a Widow Jane Bourbon Caramel-filled bon bon bar.
Having established itself as a part of Red Hook’s tight-knit small business community (thanks in no small part, we’d guess, to the on-site tours), it would seem that however circuitous the route, Preston and Cacao Prieto have ended up exactly where they’re meant to be.
Photos By David Loaiza
Cacao Prieto; 218 Conover Street
BROOKLYN CHOCOLATE TOUR
By Jessica McKenzie | FEBRUARY 12, 2013
Daniel Preston, the founder of Cacao Prieto (218 Conover Street, Red Hook), was an aerospace engineer who sold his defense company and started a chocolate factory and distillery. “You’d be surprised how many engineers would be comfortable in a chocolate factory, but chocolate really came of age in the industrial revolution,” says Preston. Preston and his team of engineers developed chocolate-making machinery they sell to other bean-to-bar companies. He invites curious chocolate lovers out to their Red Hook location to see the mix of Victorian and state-of-the-art equipment at work. Although there are no scheduled tours during the winter, the sign on the door says “Please Knock” and they give impromptu tours all the time. “We’re friendly people,” Preston said. The storefront where you can taste and purchase their products is staffed from 11am – 7pm on weekends.
Their cocktail bar Botanica is closed until spring, but you can whip up your own Valentine’s Day cocktail with Cacao Prieto’s Don Rafael Cacao Rum (available at Dry Dock Wine & Spirits in Red Hook): simply shake with muddled raspberries and ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with a raspberry. If you want a traditional offering of chocolate for your sweetheart, Preston suggests the Bark Bars. Each organic, single-origin bar comes with a postcard illustrating a romantic story from his family history.
Scientists at Cacao Biotechnologies & Cacao Prieto have developed a new method of fermenting and extracting cacao beans that significantly increases the potency of natural antioxidants. The molecules being developed are Epicatechin based bioflavoniods with extraordinary antioxidant activity; more than 1000 times more potent than similar molecules derived from green tea.
In collaboration with ASP (Art, Science, Passion) and founder Rhett Butler, a facial soap was formulated with our developed Cacao Epicatechin antioxidant. The soap is truly a fountain of youth product formulated with natural and organic ingredients it posses a high percentage of functional ingredients. There is no “angel dusting” in this meticulous formula that spared no expense for function.
UV rays, IR radiation, pollution, and lifestyle factors generate damaging free radicals that can prematurely age skin. Antioxidants neutralize these unstable molecules, acting as a second line of defense against photodamage and accelerated aging. This soap will improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation by neutralizing free radicals and stimulating collagen production.
The unique soap’s ingredients include: Epicatechin antioxidants from Cacao Prieto, Widow Jane mineral water, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, almond oil, activated carbon, iron oxide, brown sugar, honey, green tea, urea, jojoba oil, macadamia oil, avacado oil, rose hip oil, grape seed oil, sheat germ oil, evening primrose oil, camellia tea seed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, perrila oil, apricot oil, hazelnut oil, vitamin E, bentonite clay, honeysuckle oil, chamomile oil, blood orange oil, neroli oil, sweet orange oil, myrrh oil, cardamon oil, bergamot oil.
The soap will be branded and marketed by ASP later this year as part of their “black” line of natural products. The below samples were packaged by Cacao Prieto for our beta test panel of doctors and consumers.
Our scientists and “apothecary” laboratory is available for collaborations or developmental work. Please contact us to discuss your product development needs.
Blue Moon® and Chocolate, a Perfect Pairing:
Our head brewmaster, Keith, will tell you that selecting the right ingredients for a beer goes a long way in making it a great beer. The same goes for Daniel Preston and the crew at Cacao Prieto when they’re crafting their chocolate. It’s definitely some of the best chocolate we’ve had.
watch the video at: http://bluemoonbrewingcompany.com/video/Chocolate-60.mp4