USBG - Fayetteville Nog Off 2015
A couple weeks ago, the always lovely Tiffany Soles hit me up for some holiday cocktail content.
What perfect timing, as we just hosted our first official USBG - Fayetteville Chapter event: The NWA Nog Off, which was an extension of a tradition 3 years in the making, via Maxine’s Taproom in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The premise of the event, was to have area bartenders make large batches of original nogs, which would then be pit against one another to see whose was better, all in the interest of bragging right and charity, as all the proceeds collected were donated to charitable organizations.
What ended up occurring, was nothing short of awesome, especially seeing as it was the first time we had put on an event of this magnitude, spanned across two dates, in two cities.
On Sunday, December 6th, at 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas, we had The North: 8 bartenders from Bentonville/Rogers/Siloam Springs, as well as a guest bartender, our dear friend Courtney Crockett from USBG-KC. All the nogs were made with some topnotch spirits, which were graciously provided by our friends at William Grant & Sons. We had Key Lime Nog (Milagro Anejo based), Pumpkin Nog (Sailor Jerry based), Butter Pecan Agave Nog (Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Anejo based), Caribbean Nog (Balvenie Caribbean Cask based) , Smoked Pear Nog (Tullamore DEW 12yr. based), Victory Storm King Stout Nog (Balvenie Double Wood based), a “Traditional” nog (Balvenie Caribbean Cask & Flor de Cana 12yr. based), a Chai nog (Flor de Cana 7yr. based), and a gluten-free, dairy-free, Horchata nog (Balvenie 12yr. based). Needless to say, folks came out. This part of the overall event, as to benefit the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter, and between the cover and outright donations, we raised a total of $1350! Scott Baker, who runs the show over at Tusk & Trotter in Bentonville (A must visit if you’re ever in the area), took the people’s choice as Best Nog, with his Sailor Jerry Pumpkin Nog.
A few days later, on Wednesday, December 9th, at The Chancellor Hotel in Fayetteville, Arkansas, we had The South: 8 different bartenders from Fayetteville, as well as a guest bartender, our brother-from-another-mother Jeff Cole from USBG-OKC. That night, we had: Banana & Nutella nog (Flor de Cana 7&12yr. based), Pirate Grog nog (Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Anejo based), Plum, Almond & Macaroon nog (Balvenie 14yr based), Vanilla nog (Flor de Cana 12yr. based), Spiced Cherry and Caramel nog (Glenfiddich 14yr. based), Espresso nog (Flor de Cana 7yr. based), Quail Egg nog (Balvenie 14yr. based), Chai nog (Glenfiddich 15yr. Solera & Balvenie 15yr. Sherry Cask based), and Cream Anglaise nog (Hudson Baby Bourbon based). Once again, the public responded, and we raised another $950, for Magdalene Serenity House - Fayetteville, which is a women’s outreach shelter.
Once all the nog settled: we ended up having a great time, raised some awareness of what USBG is (thanks again, Courtney & Jeff), and raised $2300 for two great local organizations. If that doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies, I’m not sure what will.
To bring this little ditty full circle (because this is supposed to be a piece on holiday cocktails), we in NWA love us some good nog. If any of the nogs mentioned here sound interesting, or appealing, and you want in the know, PLEASE hit me up for some insight. We batched out between 3-5 gallons for the event, so you’d want to do some math, but I will happily get you in touch with the creator. It’d be a great, fun way to network a bit, exchange some ideas, and make some great drinks!
Hope everyone has a great Christmas! May your stress levels be low, your tip jars be full, and your family/friend time be quality!