................Nashville, you took me by surprise.
I knew not of your diverse music scene, nor of your downtown, both energetic and polite.
Halloween in full swing, we passed lions, tigers, soap and his girl loofah. Open doorways blared live bands playing Country, Jazz, Blues as you stumble by looking up at the best neon. This is a city alive and not limited in its culture.
While I did not expect all that… there was more in store. Namely, the smoothest Manhattan and the gracious and talented Nicky Booze DeLorenzo at Acme Feed and Seed.
One enters a cool, industrial brick meets country store feel. The first floor has a light menu, drinks and a stage. Second floor is expansive loft space with modern art tastefully mixed with historical influence. Two bars accommodate the large comfortable spaces in which to park your party. We never made it another flight to the popular rooftop patio offering stunning city views.
At the second bar is where we met our bartender. A USBG member from Kentucky and now Nashville, Nick is all in. Customers brag on his custom concoctions” just for them” for which I can attest. His version of a Manhattan was pure splendor. While enjoying my beverage I learned extensively of Vermouths, proper chill and dilution, and burn while enjoying whisky samplings.
Nick’s curiosity started while watching an episode of Bar Rescue where, thereafter, his time was spent immersed in education, competitions, and perfecting his craft. It is obvious he loves what he does, and he’ll be the first to tell you it’s a great time to be a bartender in Nashville with it's growth, opportunities and great USBG Chapter. He and his wife Kailani keep it in the family where she bartends as well.
We learned of Nashville in relation to how the culinary cuisine came five or six years ago and the craft of cocktails piggybacked. The Patterson House, a Music Row speakeasy, revolutionized Nashville’s craft cocktail scene limiting the amount of customers and taking the time to cultivate an incredible drink menu. Nick swears Patterson House bartender Mike McCollum has the best palate while he refers to his own as a “stupid palate”.
On the way out we were waylaid by the five- piece band rockin’ the first floor making it hard to leave this awesome find, and my new favorite town. I’ll be back Nashville. I will visit Patterson House to abide my curiosity about their version of the Manhattan, but have no doubt I’ll stop to see Acme and Nicky Booze again.
Nicky Booze Manhattan
2 oz. Rye Whisky (Rittenhouse)
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (Carpano Antica)
1/4 oz. Luxardo Maraschino
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters
Stir ingredients with ice
Strain into cocktail coupe
Garnish with expressed orange peel, twisted on rim
"Your drink is only as strong as your weakest ingredient" nicky booze