Michael and I received an invitation to the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen to taste some gin.
How long do you think it took me to respond to that invitation dear readers? If you said milliseconds, you are correct. However, to appear to be sophisticated and blasé about such matters, I delayed my response by a respectful two days. Michael and I were squealing with excitement the whole time we were waiting for November 24 to roll around.
The evening was two-fold – it introduced us to the beautiful Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen which opened some weeks ago. It is located in the historic Alberta Hotel building at 9802 Jasper Avenue. It also introduced us to the Eau Claire Distillery, which is located RIGHT HERE IN ALBERTA, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Turner Valley.
The gin was terrific. Although a gin and tonic girl, I managed to find it within me to try two different gins straight up. The first, Gin Rummy! I play gin rummy, but never drank it. I asked what made it rummy. It turns Eau Claire Distillery creates booze from locally sourced sources (Alberta only thank you) and since we don’t grow sugar cane in these here hills, Eau Claire did use what we have, molasses. Hence, gin rummy as opposed to rum.
Second up was the seasonal Christmas gin. Well Merry Christmas to you and you, this gin makes even the non-believer feel they are in touch with their biblical roots. This gin is flavoured with frankincense and myrrh. It is delicious and smooth. If a person imbibed in a few more samples of this seasonal gin, it had the promise of providing the stage to have a conversation with a wee little baby in a manger under a brilliant star surrounded by a bewildered mother, concerned father, three clever men, and some farm animals.
The food service at the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen was spot on. We tried oxtail croquettes. Beef sliders. Another oxtail croquette. Stuff on melted Parmigiano Reggiano cheese crackers. Let’s be honest, yet another oxtail croquette and another beef slider. I really am a crappy food blogger, because I enjoy the food, I don’t ask about the details. There were several other samples, and I was too busy eating them to take pictures or notes. I can tell you this. The samples were fresh and delicious. As a preview, the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen has proved they can supply delicious food to a noisy crowded room of food bloggers, media and assorted VIPs. If they can do that successfully (which they did), it deserves a second look.
Michael and I look forward to visiting the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen as regular schmos. We are hoping they are as exactly as they describe on their website – honest, transparent and authentic as Edmonton itself.