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Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Giving Thanks to Friendship: Celebrating Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s

It occurred to me the other day that I’m the only one in my immediate clique that lives in New York City. The others in my caravan live across the pond in Jersey. While the city unites us for various events and revelries, quite often there has to be a good reason to stay late in the city, venture out into the depths of lower Manhattan or justify a late night uber home. Now while the very natures of our friendships are enough, let’s face that with the annoying hustle and frustrating bustle of our day-to-day, some days you have to relinquish your good intended presence to just being there in spirit. Outside of just hanging out, some people may be cajoled to find further justification in dancing the night away, seeing a sold-out show or catching a must-see movie. However, my friends all have seasoned palettes and nothing gets us together more than good eats, great energy and anchoring the deal with top-shelf cocktails.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

So when I got the invitation to spend the birthday of one of my dearest friends with one of my favorite whiskey brands, the pot was sweetened and the seal of approval was stamped. The satisfying Basil Hayden’s, that beloved and delectably slick bourbon kicked off the season on November 1st with a pretty amazing Friendsgiving in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Held at the posh event space 501 Union, upon entering I knew why the trip to BK for this Bronx guy was worth it. The bar was serving up unique cocktails curated for the event that showcased just how wonderful Basil Hayden’s is. Their Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is very smooth, has just the right amount of sweetness and packs enough weight to flavorfully hold its own when paired with other cocktail ingredients and spirits. However, don’t just take my word for it. Here are the cocktails that were on tap for that memorable evening:

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

First up was the Basil Hayden’s Boulevardier. I tried it with their bourbon and combined with the bitter Aperol and the herbal sweet vermouth it made for such a balanced drink. The mild espresso-like bitterness of the licorice-like Aperol played up to the bourbon so nicely. Next up was the Basil Hayden’s Highball, which I also requested with their bourbon. The lightness from the club soda and the citrusy sweet kick from the lemon soda created a light and refreshing almost summery cocktail with a herbal grown edge from the presence of the basil.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

After two bourbon-centered cocktails, I needed to try one of their latest offerings, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye. Perfect on the rocks, the dark rye has less sweetness naturally and more of a distinguished oaky spicy weight, but no less smooth and delicious. This was a perfect wind-down of a sipper before dinner.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

Dinner featured two new cocktails for each course. The Ward Eight wonderfully combined their bourbon, the citrus power of grenadine, lemon and orange together with the refreshing cooling pop of mint for a clean sipper that evoked a great spiked Summer lemonade. Finishing up was the Havoc In Nelson County, a surprisingly island-fresh cocktail that took the wonderful rarely seen flavor of banana and mixed it with orange bitters for a flavorful, diverse drink that hits several areas of the palette pleasantly with soothingly familiar notes. Speaking of dinner, our culinary journey, heralded by Chef Paul Donnelly, boasted offerings similar to the Basil Hayden’s Friendsgiving at Peachy’s: an appetizer of Strange Flavor Burrata; a first course of Steamed Baby Branzino and Northern Chinese Style Roasted Golden Beets; a second course of Crispy Lamb Ribs and Salad of Watercress with assorted vegetables; and Chocolate Mousse for dessert. Feast your eyes on these delights below:

APPETIZER

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

FIRST COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

SECOND COURSE

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

DESSERT

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

What the evening with Basil Hayden’s recreated was the makings of classic friendship lore. The drinks were flowing, the food was stellar and the energy was upbeat and positive. How comforting to know that the sweet sip & the relaxing savor, the honest pleasantries & the communal savorings can all conspire together to recognize an evening of old and new friends.

Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving Basil Hayden's #BHFriendsgivingBasil Hayden's #BHFriendsgiving

All in all, when Friendsgiving happens, good spirits in both physical and social forms, must ensue. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Rye varieties are available now at your finer wine & spirit retailers.

Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s: An Asian Twist to the Traditional Thanksgiving

There’s been a slight shift in how we celebrate Thanksgiving. While many still travel to spend the holiday with their families, there’s a growing few that celebrate the traditional holiday with friends. With economic challenges, family feuds, and sometimes, a lack of family, quite a few will celebrate Friendsgiving instead of Thanksgiving. We had the opportunity to attend two Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s events with the culinary twist. This will be about the first one, a preview of what was to come later on. Hidden away in the heart of NYC’s Chinatown, is an amazing cocktail bar called Peachy’s. Located right below Chinese Tuxedo, a contemporary Chinese restaurant set in a former opera house on historic Doyers Street, this was to be the location of our first Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey.

Partnering with a local Chef Paul Donnelly, Basil Hayden’s put a Chinese cuisine twist on the traditional holiday meal and created a unique menu for the evening. We were truly in for a treat of small and large dishes, sides, and dessert that would make anyone pass on the traditional turkey dinner. With a trio of delicious Basil Hayden’s cocktails to compliment the evening’s meal.

In order of appearance, the small dishes included Tuxedo BBQ Pork Buns, Pan Fried Tuxedo Dumplings, King Prawn Spring Rolls, and Strange Flavor Buratta. The large dishes included Hamachi sushi, Chili Crab Rice, and Crispy Lamb Ribs. Sides included Spicy Cucumbers, Roasted Golden Beets, Salad of Watercress, and Stir Fried Iceberg Lettuce. Dessert was a delicious Chocolate Mousse.

SMALL DISHES

LARGE DISHES

SIDES

To commemorate the Friendsgiving with Basil Hayden’s event, Basil Hayden’s had Calligrapher Nancy Moy on hand to create personalized coasters perfect for serving Friendsgiving cocktails. We can’t wait to use these wonderful keepsakes during and beyond the holiday season.

It was an evening of wonderful food, drinks, and conversation with old and new friends. We love the Asian twist on the traditional holiday menu. We can’t wait to repeat this night with Basil Hayden’s. We know what we’re doing for Thanksgiving, what about you? Will you be enjoying a Friendsgiving or traditional Thanksgiving?