SCRUBOAKS | Contemporary American Pub

Enjoy fun facts about food and drinks ... prepared by the ScrubOaks staff!

Edition #1

By Jeff Bivona, ScrubOaks Manager

'You are cordially invited to have an after dinner drink at Scrub Oaks' or 'What IS a cordial?'

Quick, name your five favorite monks of all time.  Not Art, or Thelonious, or even Mike Monk. I mean robe-wearing, vow-taking, living-in-a-monastery, monks. Tough to narrow down? Me too. Well, if you are a fan of the sweeter end of the alcoholic spectrum, may I suggest adding Don Bernardo Vincelli to the top of your "favorite monks" list?  

As a Benedictine monk in the early part of the 16th century, Don Bernardo experimented with various combinations of ingredients in an effort to create medicinal elixir's for his fellow monks and nuns at their abbey in Normandy, France. In 1510, using a cognac base with an intricate mix of 27 different plants and spices (Angelica, Hyssop, and Lemon Balm among them), he hit upon his masterpiece. Vincelli's confection quickly became popular well beyond the monastery walls with both the elite and the commoners, who recognized that the "side effects" of the "medicine" felt pretty good!  It remained in very high regard until the winds of the French Revolution swept the landscape clean of all monastic institutions. Fortunately, the monks were pretty good at writing things down, and in the mid 1800's the recipe resurfaced. With a little tweaking, and now officially named Benedictine in honor of Don Bernardo's order, the 500 year old "cordial" started being mass produced and continues to this day.

Perhaps inspired by Vincelli's efforts, or simple coincidence, others started their own experiments mixing natural extracts with different spirit bases (rum, brandy, vodka, etc.). The combining of fruits, berries, seeds, roots, bark, beans, and/or herbs led to the production of much sweeter varieties of alcoholic options and necessitated a new classification, hence the "cordial" came into being. Synonymous  with "liqueur," these are drinks typically enjoyed as post-meal sipping cocktails, served by themselves without any mixers.  With sugar and alcohol content typically in the  30% range, they are essentially a dessert unto themselves and should be avoided if you don't posses a sweet tooth! 

Due to the wide range of flavors, liqueurs are also incorporated into many mixed drinks as well as food recipes.  As they are comprised of mostly sugar and alcohol which are both excellent preservatives, liqueurs have long shelf lives. 

Following is a list of Scrub Oaks liqueur offerings to consider when making your next visit- the right choice can really compliment and complete the great meal you just had!

Product                                                                         Flavor

Amaretto                                                                    almond

Kahlua                                                                        coffee

Creme de Cacao                                                           chocolate 

Creme de Minthe                                                          mint

Cointreau                                                                    orange

Drambuie                                                                    honey/spices/herbs

Frangelico                                                                   hazelnut

Grand Marnier                                                              orange

Jagermeister                                                               licorice

Limoncello                                                                  lemon

Goldschlagger                                                             cinnamon

Razzmatazz                                                                 raspberry

Baileys                                                                       creamy chocolate

Peach Schnaaps                                                          peach

Buttershots                                                                butterscotch

RumpleMinze****                                                        peppermint****

As you can see, there are really options for almost every taste bud and every season. If you are unsure or have questions, just ask one of our knowledgeable/highly fit bartenders. They can offer insight and suggestions. Thanks for reading and we'll see you at the restaurant...after your meal!

****Editor's note: We strongly advise against the excess consumption of RumpleMinze. At 50% alcohol by volume, or 100 proof, it is among the strongest in the category. In spite of its innocuous, "hey-I-taste-just-like-candy-canes!" invitation to partake in a "few minutes" of cheerful socializing, before long it's like "gee, Mary did 4 shots, are you sure you shouldn't do one more just to stay ahead?" This, invariably, leads to: "I can climb that" or "That's not really hot", usually quickly followed by "I do NOT need to go to the hospital. I am fine. Has anybody seen my shoe?"  A prolonged period of total blackout (1-3 days) will precede your coming-to on a neighbor's lawn or car-port. The next several weeks/years will be spent pondering the two candy-canes newly tattooed in the shape of a heart above your ankle. I know we've all been there, but just a friendly reminder.

"The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going on". -George Carlin