Garden to Glass at Backstreet Cafe

Garden-fresh doesn't always have to refer to the food you're eating. In some cases, as with Backstreet Cafe's Garden to Glass event, it can refer to the beverages you're sipping as well.

The restaurant is holding what it hopes will be the first of a series of Garden to Glass events on Wednesday, August 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. inside the cozy house and outside on the lush patio to spotlight local libations Railean Rum, Saint Arnold and Balcones (which is based in Waco).

The master distillers from both Railean (rhymes with "praline," the way we say it here in Texas) and Balcones -- Kelly Railean and Chip Tate -- will be on hand at the event, as will our own Lennie Ambrose from Saint Arnold. Railean Rum, which is located in San Leon, is the proud bearer of many "firsts": It was the first rum to be produced and distilled in Texas, while Kelly Railean herself was the first woman to become a master distiller in Texas. It remains one of the few rums in the United States to be produced with 100 percent domestic ingredients, including Grade A cane molasses from Louisiana and Florida.

Balcones is another particularly fascinating company, being the first and only whisky produced in Texas and creating the only whisky produced from blue corn, Baby Blue. Balcones' other products -- a single malt, a peated single malt and a creation they call "Rumble" -- are no less interesting. As previously mentioned in a post about Trevisio's happy hour cocktails, the Rumble is a rum-like spirit made with local wildflower honey, turbinado sugar and mission figs. Yes, liquor made from figs. Yes, we're a little bit in love, too.

The cost for the event is $45 a person and includes not only quality time with the distillers and quality time with their delicious drinks, but a menu of passed bites from Backstreet Cafe that's worth the ticket price alone. Items include:

  • Pecan-crusted Mac & Cheese Cakes
  • Squash Blossom Flatbreads
  • Miniature Butter Burgers with Housemade Pickles
  • Slow Dough Bread Company Pretzel Sliders with Pulled Pork
  • Lobster Sliders
  • Saint Arnold's Beer-battered Shrimp
  • Veldhuizen Blue Cheese Gougers
  • Smoked Wild Salmon Deviled Eggs
  • Blue Cornmeal-crusted Fried Chicken Wings

In addition, sommelier Sean Beck will be present with tips and tricks for creating your own cocktails at home with the spirits and beer from Railean, Balcones and Saint Arnold (yes, there are such things as beer cocktails, and they are magnificent). Reservations for the event can be made by calling 713-302-9087.

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