May 4, 2018
There is nothing quite so well-traveled as spirits. Tennessee whiskey is exported at a growing rate every year, Champagne reaches every corner of the world, and new spirits are arriving in the United States from abroad every day. So many, in fact, it can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, Hutton Hotel Beverage Director Megan Cross has done the leg work for what is new and fun from abroad. In her own words, “eating and drinking near the source of spirits is quite romantic. Japanese whisky in Japan. French spirits in France. Agave spirits in Mexico. R(h)um in the Caribbean and so on.”
“In Japan, cocktail culture is glorified, respected and precise.” Cross has had the good fortune of spending a good amount of time there. “I’ve learned a lot from Hidetsugu Ueno from Bar High Five and Ken Matsuyama from Ken’s Bar.” One cannot mention a list of whiskey bars in Japan without adding Tatsumi Seiichiro and his Rogin’s Tavern. Cross says it “has the best spirit selection I’ve ever seen.” Seiichiro is so emphatic about his whiskey that he owns a home in Lexington and has been named a Colonel in Kentucky.
On to France, Cross recently was able to sip her way through the Paris cocktail scene. “Paris bars have such fun personalities.” Combat is a new bar from a team of women formerly of the Experimental Cocktail Club, with Cross describes as “whipping up some interesting and delicious drinks.” Bisou is a bar breathing freshness into the scene with sustainability, Cross calls it “as cute and sweet as it sounds.” Last but not least, “my personal favorite Le Calbar has such an incredible crew. I also fell even more in love with French spirits – the obvious cognac, the less obvious calvados and my personal favorite Armagnac. And of course champagne, duh.”
Take it from someone very much in love with spirits, and her friends overseas who feel the same. Try a taste for yourself without having to cross a state line with Analog’s cocktails the Flu, Trans Am, Regan Cross and more.