Summer on Ice
Craft beverage and food festival at Standing Stone Vineyards
By Brud Holland
There’s a new festival on the Eastern shore of Seneca Lake, and just in case you missed the inaugural Summer on Ice on August 16, 2015, at Standing Stone Vineyards, I wanted to make sure that everyone got a chance to know what it was all about. And by the way, you really missed out! There was loads of sunshine, an amazing array of cocktails featuring ice style wines (not just for dessert anymore) and a host of products from Finger Lakes Distilling, Wagner Vineyards, Standing Stone Vineyards and other craft beverage producers from around the Finger Lakes region. The short list on the drink bill—because the long one was too big to print—included: Seneca Drums Gin, Wagner Riesling Ice, Fee Brothers Bitters, Standing Stone Gewürztraminer Ice, both McKenzie Rye and Bourbon, wines and beers from another dozen or so beverage producers, and mixers like you wouldn’t believe.
Those who attended the event got to enjoy more than two dozen craft cocktails that were prepared throughout the afternoon, food and beverage tasting at six different “pairings tables,” the sounds of Lisa Fernandez and The Maplewood Jazz Team, eight different cocktail demos, plus two incredible food demonstrations and tastings, including an FLX Garlic Steak and Brittany Loughlin’s Chorizo & Littlenecks from Atlas Bowl in Trumansburg. Now if you’re still wondering what Summer on Ice is all about, here’s the big overview that you can read on the website: “According to founding organizers, Standing Stone Vineyard, Finger Lakes Distilling and Wagner Vineyards, SUMMER ON ICE is an innovative craft beverage festival designed to showcase ice-style wines along with other craft beverages and beers from the Finger Lakes Region of New York.” I’m assuming now that if you’ve gotten this far or if you happened to be one of the 200 or so that picked up tickets for this year’s event, you’d know that simple statement was definitely accomplished.
With a little mixology magic, performed by barmen Joe Kennedy from Red Dove Tavern in Geneva and Matthew Williams of Hand + Foot in Corning, ice style wines, craft cocktails and savory foods came together for an afternoon in August and made something that now gives those sometimes misunderstood sweet wines a different place in the glass and a fresh new spot on the menu.
Brud Holland is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and lives in Watkins Glen with his wife Shari and three kids. His culinary escapades over the past 30+ years have included bakery owner, restaurateur, food product developer, teacher and promoter of all things grown and made in the Finger Lakes.
Photos by Brian Roller