Whatever your poison, chances are you can get it on tap, as kegged beverages are spiking drink selections from albariño to Zombie.The kegger is back — and we don’t mean the frat-house varietal. To save on bottle waste and cork spoilage, wine is increasingly being tapped from the barrel. Converts include winery tasting rooms like the hip Municipal Winemakers in Santa Barbara, Calif., restaurants such as Saxon + Parole in New York and even cruise ships operated by InnerSea Discoveries.
On the bar scene, to eliminate the wait for a handcrafted highball, mixologists are kegging cocktails. The New York-based duo of Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci, aka the Tippling Bros., recently designed a tap system at the new Tavernita restaurant in Chicago. With 20 taps for wine alone, as well as a multitude of others for drinks such as sangria, vermouth and beer, it’s the most extensive system in the nation. For the cocktails, the pressurized system works by preserving the mixes and periodically agitating them so they remain shaken. The partners, who call themselves “batchologists,” honed their skills by serving more than 500 drinks an hour at events like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo.
And what of that keg staple: beer? While mixologists and winemakers exploit the aluminum keg, brewers are tapping wood to age their suds. The nose on Goose Island Bourbon County Stout? A beer and a bump, united.
Municipal Winemakers (805) 931-6864, www.municipalwinemakers.com
Saxon + Parole (212) 254-0350, www.saxonandparole.com
InnerSea Discoveries (877) 901-1009, www.innerseadiscoveries.com
Tavernita (312) 274-1111, www.tavernita.com