Enzo Chef Draws Culinary Inspiration from the Great Molasses Flood

Posted: January 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Enzo, Event, Newburyport | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 fascinates many of us that grew up in the Boston area. And why not—the idea of an eight- to 15-foot wave of molten sugar syrup that and ravaged a couple of city blocks is pretty amazing. (There was a great pictorial in last week’s Globe.)

Chef Mary Reilly, owner of Enzo Restaurant & Bar in Newburyport is no exception, and she has taken her interest to a new level. Each year on the anniversary of the flood, she creates dishes with molasses to commemorate the event. When she opened the Enzo almost two years ago, she continued the tradition and offers diners a special menu for the occasion.

We caught up with Chef Reilly this weekend and asked her what spurred this connection for her. She told us that she likes unusual anniversaries and this one is especially interesting due to the molasses and because of the Italian immigrants in the North End who were affected.

“Even though the molasses in question was destined for industrial alcohol distillation, not consumption, molasses is an ingredient that doesn’t get a lot of respect these days,” she said. “I like to show its versatility, and this event gives me something to tie it to.”

So what will she be serving on Tuesday, the 94th anniversary of the disaster?

First, a Spiced Molasses Toddy will be on offer featuring Gloucester’s Folly Cove Rum, spices, molasses, and butter. (Hot Buttered Rum Day is January 17: start your celebration a few days early!)

On the savory side, Reilly will be serving a non-traditional bruschetta with house made Anadama bread (the traditional Cape Ann bread made with molasses), house butchered and smoked ham, taleggio, and molasses mustard.

And for a sweet end to their meal, diners can indulge in molasses cookie ice-cream sandwiches.

Whether you’re a Molasses Flood enthusiast or just interested in sampling unique menu items, head over to Enzo on Tuesday for a taste of history.

50 Water Street, Newburyport
(978) 462-1801


Ryan & Wood Releases Folly Cove Rum

Posted: February 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Gloucester | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The North Shore’s own small batch craft distiller, Ryan and Wood, today announces the premiere bottling of their newest spirit, Folly Cove Rum.

When we visited the distillery in August, Bob Ryan was carefully developing the new rum, experimenting with various batches, and using the finest quality molasses to create the perfect balance of smoothness and taste. We sniffed and tasted a few and were incredibly impressed with the science behind such rich flavor. Now his final recipe has had it’s chance to age in charred American white oak barrels and today will be bottled by hand and released to the public.

Folly Cove is a small cove on the northeast tip of Gloucester, known for its shipwrecks and for the smugglers who landed there back in the day, and thus the name evokes both the sea coast and an air of mystery. The quality produced by this local gem is no mystery, though, and if rum is your spirit of choice, today is a day to celebrate.

Ryan & Wood distribute to many local liquor stores, and they can help you find the source closest to you. They also keep a Facebook page where you can find out about upcoming events or tastings.

Joey from Good Morning Gloucester interviewed Bob Ryan on what makes his rum so special, and you can check it out here.

Ryan & Wood Distilleries
15 Great Republic Dr., Gloucester
(978) 281-2282


Spirited Happenings on Cape Ann

Posted: August 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Drinks, Gloucester, Ryan & Wood Distilleries | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

North Shore folks like us, who delight in seeking out local artisan products such as bread from A&J King and cheese from Valley View Farm, have a new selection to try: spirits from Ryan & Wood Distilleries. Better yet, you can see the hand-crafted process yourself at their Gloucester facility.

We had never given much thought to why there are so few small distilleries in the US (and none in this area). A few minutes after meeting co-founder Bob Ryan, who is clearly passionate about the subject, we understood perfectly.

Ryan’s story began in 2004, when he and his nephew, Dave Wood, read about a small distiller in Northern Vermont making vodka from maple sap, and it culminated this summer, when Ryan & Wood produced their first commercially available batch of Beauport Vodka, named after the original moniker given to Gloucester by explorer Samuel de Champlain.

In between is a twisted tale of expensive equipment sitting as the fledgling company waited for licensing (you can’t apply for a license without working equipment), recipe and sample submissions, and endless struggles with the Trade and Taxation Bureau on the size of the type of the labels. And that’s before you get to the taxation, which is prohibitively high.

Fortunately, that’s all behind them now, and the business is up and running. In a few weeks, Knockabout Gin and Folly Cove Rum will join the vodka on the shelves of local restaurants and liquor stores. In addition to being locally made from grain to final product, these spirits are carefully produced in small batches using top-quality ingredients.

The vodka has just a hint of citrus flavor and is intentionally “thin” to mix well in cocktails. One reason it stands out is the water used in the process, which is filtered as many times as the alcohol. The gin gets special treatment, too, in the form of 10 botanicals that are infused into the distillate for no less than 12 hours. (The gin drinker in our group pronounced it outstanding.) Likewise, the molasses used in the rum is fine quality, and the aging takes place in charred oak barrels.

Each of the products is made in a gorgeous Arnold Holstein still that was custom built to allow fractional distillation for the highest quality. Tourists and locals can see it in action at 10:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (groups can call to arrange tours for other times).

In the meantime, you can seek out Ryan & Wood products at places like Ryal Side Liquors in Beverly, Chebacco Liquor Mart in Essex, Causeway Liquors in Gloucester, Duddy’s Liquors in Peabody, and Shubie’s in Marblehead. You can also request it at many North Shore bars and restaurants, including Franklin Café in Gloucester, Maddie’s Sail Loft in Marblehead, and Indigo Bar & Grill in South Hamilton, where they feature it in a ginger martini.

Or you may want to try it in what Ryan says is the “in” drink this summer: The Tennis Ball is made in a rocks glass, over ice, with equal parts Beauport Vodka and club soda with a splash of Rose’s lime juice and a lime wedge. How’s that for crisp and refreshing? We’re no master mixologists, but using hand-crafted spirits in our drinks and supporting the local economy at the same time sounds like the perfect cocktail.

Ryan & Wood Distilleries
15 Great Republic Dr, Gloucester
(978) 281-2282