These are grilled oranges.
(note the lovely charred bits)
These are oranges on their way to getting grilled.
Now you may be wondering, why exactly am I grilling oranges? (You may also be wondering if that’s a propane tank being used to get those oranges grilled, but I’m not going to answer that one.)
Well, these oranges are being grilled as part of our attempt to make a cocktail, the Negroni Sbagliato, for a recent Thursday Tasting Session featuring Lini Lambrusco. Wait…a cocktail? Isn’t Frankly Wines a wine-only store? An oddity of the New York market that sells wine, wine, and only wine?
We were, but after about three years of selling wine, wine, and only wine, I finally succumbed to the lure of a liquor license. Enough regular customers were coming in and asking if we had any spirits, or liquor, or alcohol (even though wine is alcohol) that it just seemed like the neighborly thing to do. So I submitted the paperwork and the big,fat check (there’s always a big, fat check) and eked out the additional shelf space for an extremely well-edited selection.
One month into it, it seems to be doing the trick. It’s nice to be able to answer the question “do you have any liquor?” with a “why yes, we do” rather than a “no…but there’s a shop over that way that does.” You can only give away so much business before you decide to fix he situation. So the additional business is nice, as is being able to better serve our regulars, but what’s really fun? Cocktails!
Saturdays have been designated as Cocktail Day (haven’t had a chance to come up with a kicky name, so for now, it’s just plain, old Cocktail Day.) Nick, the store manager, takes a walk across the street to the Amish Market, picks a few things off the shelf, and whips up a cocktail. Occasionally, he goes a little crazy and we have to figure out a way to grill oranges on short notice. But when you check out those lovely charred bits and taste the end cocktail, you realize it was all worth it!