A meal is usually not accompanied by bourbon in each of its five courses. That was the challenge for Society bar manager Jaryd Bryant, tasked with designing the drinks menu for Spectacle for the Senses – a one-night-only event hosted by Broadsheet featuring a special dinner culminating in a tasting of an exclusive $3,000 bottle of Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition.
“It was something we really had to think about,” Bryant says. “[But] we have a killer team of sommeliers here so I went to ask them for help.”
The result is a suite of creative cocktails not traditionally possible at Society. “With a dinner like this, I only do 50 to 60 drinks,” Bryant says. “So I can go a little deeper and more complex than with the 3000 cocktails I have to make each [other] the week . I had a little fun with that.
The exclusive dinner on Thursday, May 19 will feature a beverage menu designed to directly enhance the dishes being prepared, and vice versa.
Upon arrival, guests will receive a Woodford Reserve spritzing highball with quince, sage, cocoa and acacia seed soda, before a first course of the same bourbon served neat with cheese and dark chocolate truffles.
The second course – quail with hazelnuts and parsnips accompanied by a tendril infused with miso butter – tells the story of how Bryant approaches pairings. “We chose quail because it is gamey and rich,” he says. “The Woodford reserve we use with this cocktail is Woodford Rye – it’s spicy and sharp, which will cut through that richness.”
The main course presents a more classic duo – whiskey and steak. Here, wagyu beef and smoked onions sit alongside a savory and luxurious version of Boulevardier. “We made a fig and beet distillate with a touch of leatherwood honey,” says Bryant. “It’s funky, earthy, grassy. Then in addition, there is a mushroom vermouth and a black truffle Campari. The meal is rounded off with a dessert of honey milk pie and native lime strawberry and soba cha, paired with Woodford Reserve’s Master Collection.
The evening culminates with Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Linus Schaxmann guiding diners through the rare edition of Baccarat alongside artfully selected cheeses. Schaxmann will also be present to introduce the evening and offer tastings throughout the night, combining pedagogy and sensory emotion.
Besides the obvious appeal of the premium Baccarat edition, Bryant hopes the night can awaken people to the possibilities of bourbon and cocktails in a culinary setting. “A cocktail with a little thought can work well,” says Bryant. “And with the support of our team of sommeliers behind me, it’s going to be really interesting.”
Book your tickets here.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Woodford Reserve.