Monday, July 9, 2012

Funky "SoulFuel" Food and Motown - Needle In a Haystack

Needle in a Haystack

2 oz. Incentive Vodka (Big Cedar Distilling Inc.., Sturgis, MI)
3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
1/4 oz. locally-sourced maple syrup
3/4 oz. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 drops of Cherry Bitters
2 drops of Chokecherry tincture** (provided by Eric Lester, Professional Forager)
1 small sprig of spruce tree tips (see photo)

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice for 10 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with spruce tip.

**Cherry juice concentrate can be substituted for chokecherry tincture

Photo courtesy of Angie Jackson, The Traveling Elixir Fixer

"Cause findin' a good man, girls, is like findin' a needle in a haystack"
The Velvelettes

On a recent trek to Fernwood Botanic Garden in Niles, Michigan for a "Woods to Glass" Cocktail Workshop, sponsored by Edible Michiana, the Traveling Elixir Fixer created a PURE MICHIGAN cocktail honoring her elementary school music teacher, Bertha Barbee McNeal, a member of Kalamazoo's hometown Motown girl group, The Velvelettes.  Feeling the funky "soulfuel" sensation of pure sensory analysis, the vegan and vegetarian restaurant, Fuel -Unpredictably Vegetarian, was used as the backdrop for the cocktail photo, Needle in a Haystack, named after one of The Velvelettes hit songs.  

Fuel is an outpost hot spot, chill spot, and a home to healthy living.   A home of culinary wellness and creatively hatched by Executive Chef Denise Miller.  Head-bobbing hip with honest food, local food and comfort food. Foods of the world, robust and imaginative, deeply flavorful with textures and colors that go pop to the eye and tantalize the tastebuds. Beautiful plates but more - Plant-based, grain-based, eco-responsible and nutritious all wrapped up in a socially-conscious and aesthetically inspiring environment sprinkled with a dash of local art, artists, poets and musicians, guest chefs and djs. Fuel is filled with tables of understanding - and they have a chair with your name on it.  I've described Fuel as a combination platter of Chicago's Wishbone meeting Karen's Raw. 

Fuel is a funky 18-seat completely vegetarian eatery set inside a vintage filling station at the busy corner of South Burdick and East Alcott Streets in the southside neighborhood of Kalamazoo, Michigan and is open Thursday - Saturday, 5pm - 9pm and Sunday, 10am - 2pm. Reservations are accepted and highly recommended.

From Wikipedia:  "The Velvelettes got their break chartwise in the spring of 1964 thanks to young producer Norman Whitfield, who produced "Needle In A Haystack" as a single for the group, on Motown's VIP Records imprint. "Needle In A Haystack" peaked at number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in mid 1964."