News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

NOCHE

Akron Children's Hospital


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Social Issues




Craft cocktails with locally-sourced fruits and spices
Liqueurs and infusions made with what's fresh
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
Current Julep - Bourbon, Current Purée, Mint
Courtesy of Dave Hridel
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Eating locally-grown produce is now in fashion.  And what’s local is what’s in season. So Northeast Ohio’s top chefs work with small farmers to offer asparagus in spring and squash in the fall.  But something new is bubbling up. For today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman uncorks the latest development in the farm-to-table movement: “farm-to-bar."
farm to bar

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:08)


(Click image for larger view.)

We’re in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District at Spice Kitchen and Bar with Dave Hridel.

And don’t call him a mixologist. 

“I like the term bartender because it is about tending to the needs of the guests.”

Tall and cool as a mint julep, he engages and accommodates his customers.

 “Exposing them to a new product, a new spirit, finding out what flavor profiles they like and really kind of on the fly constructing something or tweaking something that we have on the menu.” 

Hridel makes craft cocktails with locally-grown fruits, herbs and veggies. The bar and Spice’s restaurant and catering service pick what they need when they need it from a roof garden and a 12-by-50 foot greenhouse in the parking lot. Plus, the owner has 1,000 heads of garlic in his Broadview Heights front yard.   

Executive Chef Brandon Walukas says it’s all about seasonal cooking in Spice’s kitchen. “Absolutely. Whatever’s fresh and available. ”

That’s the guiding principle of all three businesses taking up the whole northwest corner of W. 58th and Detroit. The building has housed about ten restaurants over the years,  but since January,  it’s been Spice of Life Catering; Spice Kitchen and Bar; and Spice Acres, an urban gardening initiative. All are owned by Ben Bebenroth, a former Marine helicopter mechanic with culinary training who grew up in Strongsville. 

He’s a dedicated urban gardener who wants everything to come from local sources.

“ Even when we were stocking the bar. Things like Absolut Citron, things like that, nothing against Absolut--we love you guys -- but it just didn’t fit for us. We said, ‘Hey we can make citrus vodka.’ We really wanted to capitalize on all things seasonal, as much local as possible.” 

Bartender Hridel soaks apples from Rittman Farms
in Jim Beam for five days to create his signature spicy bourbon.

He also makes his own tinctures, bitters, and infusions.

 “Various liqueurs that we make in-house as well. We’ve done some Vinda orange before. We’ve made a pear and apple liqueur by just taking the local apples and pear with some sage, wine, vodka, a little sugar, and let that sit for a month. And you really kind of come up with almost a digestif-aperitif kind of a lighter-in-alcohol kind of cocktail.”

One of his bolder inventions involves tarragon, one of his favorite flavors.

 “That anise, almost absinthe kind of a Sambuca, liquorishy flavor. And we did the Tarragon Wild, which was a gin-based cocktail, with fresh tarragon, tarragon syrup, an egg white, heavy cream, and a little citrus.”

Lately, many patrons who want to drink what’s in season call for Hridel’s “Fall in Manhattan.”

“So what we’re going to do here is take three ounces of our house-spiced Jim Beam -- which is apple, cinnamon, clove and vanilla -- add that into our mixer. Then, I love this Antiqua Formula. This is a delicious Vermouth. And then a couple dashes of our cranberry bitters."

With the fruit and the spice, it goes down smoothly.

 “You get the flavor. You know you’re drinking the bourbon. But you don’t get the burn necessarily.”

That’s Dave Hridel of Spice Kitchen and Bar.

The bartender may be even closer to his ingredients in future spring and summer seasons.

Beb Bebenroth plans to expand Spice’s rooftop garden into a lake-view bar.

And that’s today’s Quick Bite. Next Friday we learn what regional chefs whip up quickly for themselves at home.  


Related Links & Resources
Spice website

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook






Stories with Recent Comments

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University