Drinking at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival 2012

I had a good many things to drink at this past weekend’s Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, most of them being quite enjoyable. I also took a good many photos, most of them being dark and blurry. Here are some of the better ones, to give you a bit of a feel for this fest of food and drink, followed by my top 10 list of potent potables consumed. Also, keep your eyes open for my upcoming cocktail feature in Creative Loafing Atlanta that will build on some of the interesting cocktail trends seen at the festival (update: and here it is). In the meantime, enjoy the photos, and scroll down for the top 10 list…

Top 10 Potent Potables Consumed at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, 2012:

10. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year old Bourbon: I had forgotten how good the Van Winkle 12 is, really not that far below the 15 year old
9. Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon: full of baking spice and honey, very nice
8. The Longnecker: sparkling wine with a float of Four Roses yellow, you need to try this, now
7. Chatham Artillery Punch: with Dave Wondrich at the History of the Southern Cocktail seminar, quote: “I’ve seen bad things happen from drinking this.”
6. Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old Bourbon: can’t go wrong
5. Mezcal Negroni: from bartenders Paul Calvert and Navarro Carr, earthy and smoky and sharp and bitter, just like I like it (made with Cocchi Vermouth di Torino and Aperol)
4. Bourbon Nib Brittle: from Olive & Sinclair Chocolate in Nashville. You don’t necessarily taste bourbon in this, but the aging of the cacao nibs in the barrel adds some incredible flavor to this dark chocolate (67%, from Ghana!) and cacao nib brittle.
3. Barolo Chinato cocktail: from Neal Bodenheimer and Nick Detrich of Cure and Bellocq in New Orleans, this was whipped up with Rittenhouse Rye, Hum (American Amaro basically), and orange peel. Wow, great balance, depth and flavor.
2. Dulce Monastrell Cobbler: another one from the boys of Bellocq, this one with a Spanish fortified wine, a bit of simple syrup, bitters and fresh fruit. An amazingly refreshing but rich summer cocktail.
1. 1863 and 1912 Madeira: OK, I didn’t even drink this one – but the best moment of the festival was just smelling the aroma in the air of the room where these ancient Madeiras were being poured. Seriously. Amazing.

Anyone else out there make it to the festival? Let us know what your favorite sips were, too!

Also, check out the incredibly awesome bartender survival kit that Holeman & Finch was handing out to visiting bartenders.