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January 11

Recipe: Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey & Fire Cider Hot Toddy

Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey & Fire Cider Hot Toddy
Recipe by Red Lion Inn Sommelier Dan Thomas

Recipe makes one Hot Toddy

 1 ½ oz Berkshire Mountain Distillers Corn Whiskey
½ oz Shire City Herbal Fire Cider 
1 tsp Local Honey
1 oz Local Apple Cider
6 oz Spiced Toddy Water

 To make “Spiced Toddy Water”

Combine in a French press or teapot: Hot Water, Orange Slices, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 6 Cloves. Allow to Steep for 10 minutes.
Combine First 4 ingredients in a mug and fill with “Spiced Toddy Water.” Enjoy.

Perfect for National Hot Toddy Day (January 11) or any time of the year!

 

 

December 1

New York Fashion Week Meets Norman Rockwell

Traditional, classic, and sophisticated are the perfect words that can be used to describe designer Michael Bastian’s new clothing line, “The Stockbridge” for GANT. Like the name suggests, this recently launched collection was inspired by various Norman Rockwell paintings as well as our very own town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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Going off of the idea of returning to the roots of America, Bastian’s clothing line reflects American culture the way Rockwell showcased it in his various works of art. Using a rich color palette and utilitarian materials and fabrics, Bastian’s collection embodies Rockwell’s classic masterpieces, all while still keeping the clothes modern and current. To even further showcase his appreciation for Rockwell’s art and Stockbridge, Bastian and his 16-person crew from from Stockholm, Sweden and New York City, traveled to the Berkshires in the beginning of April to photograph and film his advertising campaign. GANT took photographs at different locations across the county including Rockwell’s Studio at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Hancock Shaker Village, and even on Main Street and at The Red Lion Inn.

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In August 2013, the entire ad campaign was launched online to great reviews and sales. “The Stockbridge” GANT by Michael Bastian collection can be purchased in GANT clothing stores or on its online retail site at www.gant.com.

November 13

Let the Holiday Season Begin!

With the colder weather fast approaching, we’re trading sun hats for snow caps, flip-flops for boots, shorts for snow pants, and lemonade for hot chocolate.  The leaves burst with bright colors before falling from the trees; and we tend to hit the snooze button on our alarms a little more frequently to stay snuggled in the comfort of our cozy beds in the morning.  Before we know it, the first snowfall of the season is upon us and everything becomes delicately covered in a blanket of white.

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Halloween comes and goes with spooky scares, clever costumes, and sticky fingers from chocolate and candies. Thanksgiving brings acknowledgment and appreciation for all of the everything in our lives as we gather our friends and family together for a day of seemingly endless food and overflowing gratitude. The Christmas season comes with joy, excitement and eagerness, which grow almost as quickly as the snow piles in our front yards. The New Year brings thoughtful reflection on another year passing, as well as cheerful anticipation and enthusiasm for new beginnings in the year to come.

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Though these months seem to fly off the calendar faster than we even think possible, here at The Red Lion Inn, we make sure that there are countless ways for our guests to fully take the time to appreciate their time spent with us. We transition from sitting in a rocking chair on our cherished Front Porch, and instead opt for kicking our feet up in the cozy warmth of our Front Lobby by the fire.

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If you’re in the mood for games, you can also play a round of chess or another board game on our Lincoln table downstairs.

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Or if you’d prefer, you can curl up with a good book and just relax with a cup of hot cocoa. And if you’re lucky, you may even get a chance to cuddle with Simon the Cat, our beloved and friendly Lobby Ambassador, who loves to make our guests feel welcomed.

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With all of these options and so much more, The Red Lion Inn is dedicated to making your holiday season extra special. So as the seasons change from summer to snowy and time seems to tick by a little bit faster, join us at The Red Lion Inn to keep nice and warm and start making unforgettable memories.

October 31

Alberg Rants: This is October

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Wow September is gone. October is over. I think the older I get, the faster time flies by… holy crap!

Just a brief wrap-up of October… the October issue of Berkshire Magazine came out and I was psyched the cover featured the second year Outstanding in the Field came to dinner in the Berkshires. This September, they joined us at Hancock Shaker Village and we had the pleasure of cooking up a classic all-local dinner featuring many regional farms and food makers. The cover shows Berkshire Mountain Bakery bread in the foreground, the iconic Shaker Round Barn in the background and yours truly in a kilt. (After a crazy experience earlier this year, I was able to convince my crew to wear kilts for this event and we had a blast, raising a few eyebrows all around.)

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Gearing up for James Beard 2014… Like-minded chefs gathered for a meeting to begin planning the next Berkshire Cure-All Dinner. This year’s team includes Adam Brassard, Daire Rooney, Josephine Proul, Jeremy Stanton,and Dan Smith. We sketched out a draft of next year’s menu and will post in a few weeks.

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Got to do an impromptu tasting menu for a couple of friends, one of which I met while doing the WGBH Food and Wine Festival a few weeks back. That was a great event and sparked some cool relationships. Being able to throw down a tasting menu and prepare it for friends who appreciate food is the thing I love most about my job.  Well, I love a few things about my job – it’s the one thing that relaxes me most.

 

I was told later that there should have been Breathe courses throughout the meal… Lightweights, I say!

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Trekked out to Boston for the James Beard TasteAmerica photo shoot and got to meet all the participating chefs and tour Boston restaurants and markets. I love eating my way through different parts of a city. They have their own ‘terroir’ in a way… North End, Faneuil Hall, Cambridge, the Commons, Chinatown… I’m really starting to like this city. It isn’t New York, but it’s not Stockbridge either!

Speaking of NYC… my daughter Megan turned 21, and her brother and I trained into the city where she attends FIT majoring in Fashion Merchandising. (She’s trying to stay out of the restaurant biz like her brother and dad… she’s the smart one!) I am a huge believer that you can learn something every day no matter what. I decided to take my kids to one of my favorite places in the city and by the time I left, I decided I was over it! It was trying to be everything to everyone and while making that effort, it lost its identity and its niche. It made me take a really hard look at who I am and who we are as a restaurant and come back to work invigorated and driven to never let that happen to The Red Lion Inn! So… onto to the next favorite place in NYC… God knows, there are enough to choose from!

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Image Credit: Angela Cardinali

James Beard TasteAmerica Boston – This event was the highlight of my year! Maybe the last few years… What a great opportunity to meet so many foodies, not just the chefs but the guests as well. I was able to talk to almost every guest during cocktail hour. I was asked to present a stationary appetizer which was “Chilled Berry Patch Farm Ratatouille with Howden Farm Sweet Corn Puree Equinox Arugula & Crispy Fried Farm Girl Onions.” Not only vegan, it was the only 100-percent locally sourced item at the dinner! Momma Nature totally hooked us up this year and in the third week of October, I was still getting sweet corn and tomatoes! Crazy shit this global warming!

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Onto to November… Check out a couple of my favorite recipes to make during this time of year:

Poached Hakurei Turnips with Candied Bacon

For your Thanksgiving turkey, goose, capon or suckling pig… this stuffing recipe can be used with any poultry or pork dish.

Apple, Chestnut & Brussels Stuffing

½ pound bacon
1 onion, diced
2 cups celery, diced
½ cup chopped Italian Parsley
1 pound whole chestnuts, meat chopped
4 cups cooked wild rice
2 tablespoon chopped thyme
2 tablespoon chopped sage
½ pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
2 apples, diced
1 cup chicken broth

Render bacon, sauté all ingredients except apples. Remove and mix with apples and chicken broth. Stuff bird but, please note, do not stuff bird until it is ready to be roasted. Sew or skewer openings. Place bird breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast in a preheated 350F degree oven for 25 minutes per pound.

Always enjoy!

Later,
B

August 1

National IPA Day!

Today is a day of celebration across the nation. In craft breweries, re-appropriated basements, and esteemed bars throughout the land beer drinkers are celebrating National IPA day. For those unfamiliar, IPA stands for India Pale Ale, which is a beer with a traditionally hoppier flavor. The story behind this ale is beers that were heavy on the hops fared rather well after the journey from the United Kingdom to India. So “pale ale as prepared for India” came to be!

At The Red Lion Inn we have many craft and local beers available on draught, or in the can or bottle. In celebration of IPAs we thought we would give you readers a little background on the IPAs we have in our three bars.

Wandering Star Catnip White IPA

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This IPA comes from the Wandering Star Brewery in Pittsfield Massachusetts. It is a light-colored, deceptively strong and hoppy beer with grapefruit and pine hop flavors and a refreshing tartness and ‘funk’ from the Belgian Wit yeast. According to guys over at Wandering Star, the unusual name comes from their brewery cat Fuggle, and how happy catnip makes him. This white IPA wins Simon’s pick for some reason…

Big Elm Brewery IPA

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If the name Big Elm Brewery sounds familiar, you probably read our earlier post about the Lion’s Ale they produced just for us. We liked that so much we have some of the Sheffield, MA breweries other beers at our bars. This one is served in a chilled can. Their website describes it best: “Our handcrafted IPA is generously hopped, subtly assertive, and decidedly balanced.” Pick up a cold one with a chilled glass, or just sip on it from the can (that’s the way we prefer it.)

Berkshire Brewing Company Lost Sailor IPA

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Based on the history of India Pale Ales, the BBC selection probably has the most appropriate name. Plus any lost sailor wouldn’t be so bad off if they had a barrel of this well-rounded, medium bodied beer, with floral and aromatic hints.

However you choose to celebrate National IPA day, stop by any time at any of our bars; the Widow Bingham’s Tavern, Back of the Bank, the Lion’s Den, or on the Front Porch!

July 29

Artful Arrangements: Meet Jane Bailey, Red Lion Inn’s florist!

The Red Lion Inn’s ambiance, whether you are dining in our elegant Main Dining Room, resting in one of our plush guestrooms, or wandering our antique-filled halls, is immediately apparent. The floral arrangements spread throughout our inn, add a refined and subtle touch to that welcoming atmosphere.

Jane Bailey has been the resident florist for 20 years, creating beautiful pieces that blend seamlessly into the décor of the inn. The arrangements are made from flowers purchased from local vendors; handpicked greenery from the Berkshire wild, including Queen Ann’s lace or different grasses and pods; or unexpected accents from the kitchen, such as garlic scapes. Each arrangement is intended to enhance the atmosphere by matching burgundy flowers with the hues in our wallpaper and carpets, and soft yellows and whites to pair with our linens and lighting. Jane picks flowers that fit in with the historic, traditional New England presence of the inn so she tends to gravitate towards the flora that one would find in private gardens throughout the county.

The arrangement below was put together for a private meeting in the Treadway room. This arrangement includes spray roses, stock, gerbera daises, gooseneck, mini green hydrangea, hosta, and garlic scapes.

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Every table in the Main Dining Room has this same selection of alstroemeria, mini carnations, pompoms, garlic scape, grass, craspedia, myrtle and pachysandra.

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You can find this arrangement with alstroemeria, mini carnations, pompoms, and garlic scape at the front podium where you will be greeted before your meal.

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Jane arranged these spray roses, stock, alstroemeria, gerbera daisies, hosta, pachysandra, and plumose for a private party in our Hitchcock room.

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Next time you see Jane arranging the flowers feel free to say, “hi” and ask her about the current selections!

 

 

July 5

Enter Through the Gift Shop

Have you been in our Gift Shop lately? We got a face lift!

Expertly re-merchandised and styled by artist Nathan Hanford and The Red Lion Inn design team, our gift shop still follows the same philosophy that celebrates the great designers and artisans of the Berkshires. We are also producing new products that use our logo in a thoughtful contemporary way.

Do you recognize the birdcages? Comment on our Facebook page if you remember where they once lived!

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Our first collaboration is a line of t-shirts designed by fashion designer Anne Johnston Albert and printed by Moho designs both from Great Barrington. Molly and Aurel from Moho are also responsible for the large mural above the fireplace! 

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Soon to be added to our inventory: the lion in grey! Keep an eye on Moho’s’ Facebook page for what they are working on next.

8715_636918983003349_1354064652_nWe have a few more changes coming up that we can’t wait to share with you. Have you seen the new look in person? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

30 Main Street  Stockbridge, MA 01262
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