House of Skip

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Prohibition Cocktail Tour

While you may have noticed that the soup report has gone missing, fear not, Skip has still been, cooking, eating and enjoyed food, drinks and fun. Once the weather turns colder, Skip may return to the soup project and see if she can indeed complete the list. In the meantime, why don't we catch up on the fun Skip has been having this summer.

First, let's talk about a little thing called the Prohibition Cocktail Tour. This was a present that Skip gave her companion for Christmas and finally in the summer they booked a date to go. The tour is done in Philadelphia by a company called City Food Tours.  They also offer other food and drink related tours in the city of Philadelphia and after the fun we had on this tour, I would definitely consider going on another one.

So, what exactly happens on a Prohibition Cocktail tour? On a Saturday evening, you meet your tour guide (dressed in 1920's era clothing) at a predetermined location. In this case it was an establishment called, Time Restaurant. This place was cool and is probably worth checking out on it's own as well, they have a HUGE whiskey selection and just in general a really cool vibe about the place. While we waited for the whole group to arrive (there were approximately 20 people on the tour) we were encouraged to get a drink at the bar before the tour. I was immediately drawn to a cocktail with bourbon in it, but was dissuaded by the bartender because he knew we'd be getting that drink once the tour began. Instead I got a Champagne Cocktail which had sparkling wine, sugar and grapefruit bitters. It was totally fun and really delicious. I'm pretty sure my companion got a Sazerac.

 Once it was time for the tour to begin, we moved into another section of the bar and our tour guide began by introducing himself and giving us an overview of the tour. Then we got down to business, as our guide talked to us about Prohibition, the servers at Time brought us a wonderful Prohibition style cocktail and a snack. The drink was, Jerry's Left Hook
Jerry's Left Hook
and it had Sailor Jerry rum, Jim Beam bourbon, sugar, lime. Our snack was a veggie flatbread which was also yummy.

Next we took a walk (what a sight we must have been a man dressed in 1920s garb and a bunch of rowdy whiskey drinkers following him!) to our next stop. After a little exercise, we got to 1 Tippling Place and it was super cool. It has a very lounge-like feel to it, great mismatched furniture in the front which makes for a cool sitting area- complete with a red leather couch. We walked to the back of the bar and were seated at several high top tables.
Bartenders at 1 Tippling Place
The bartenders at 1 Tippling Place really like to put on a show, their drink making included some antics which the group really liked. While our tour guide continued to educated us about Prohibition and how it related to the Philadelphia/NJ/NY area, we enjoyed a cocktail called Eastside which had gin, lime, cucumber and mint, it was a really refreshing drink for
Eastside
a hot day. We also got a snack to enjoy here as well which was a Baked Parmesan Artichoke Casserole. It was basically a warm artichoke dipped served with crackers, it was very good. Even my non artichoke dipping liking companion enjoyed it, of course this may have had something to do with the copious amounts of parmesan cheese on it! Once we finished our drinks and snacks and I was done wowing the group with my knowledge of Al Capone and Eastern State Penitentiary, we headed out to the next place.

SPOILER ALERT! 

If you plan to take this tour, you may want to proceed with caution in reading this next part. 

On the website for City Tours, they give you the name of the first two places, but the third and final stop is listed as a surprise. I am not sure if they take you to the same place every time, but that is a good possibility. Therefore, if you think you might take this tour and want to be "surprised" stop reading. I really hope you don't stop reading, but I understand if you want to keep the mystery. Just promise you'll come back and read the rest after you do the tour :)

Ok, so the group took one final walk together to The Ranstead Room. I think part of the reason City Food Tours keeps it a secret is because the place itself seems like a well kept secret. You walk down an alley and enter a door simply marked ЯR. We entered a small stairway, this entrance was so bizarre, you definitely would not know it was even there! Our tour guide gave us a wrap up in the stairway and then led us into the super dark, super cool, retro bar that is The Ranstead Room. Leather booths, vintage wallpaper, dimly lit, and oil paintings of ladies in various stages of undress. We were all seated together in the small room and provided with a cocktail, forgive me but I don't recall the name and I don't think it is on their current menu, but it was in keeping with the Prohibition theme and I'm pretty sure it was a rum drink. I do know that we got some extremely tasty mezcal chocolate coated popcorn that was AMAZING. Once the tour wrapped up, we had time before our dinner reservation and were so mesmerized by the place that my companion and I stayed for one more drink. Now, I absolutely remember what I had for my second drink at The Ranstead it was called Quinceañera and it was tequila, amontillado sherry (from Spain), orange and chocolate bitters. It was lovely. Now, for those of you that have read my posts before or those who actually know my companion, you are aware that he loves to ask a bartender to pick something for him, well at The Ranstead Room, they actually have listed as an option "Bartenders Choice", you can beat your sweet bippy that he selected that. It had gotten quite busy in there so I don't think the waiter ever told us what exactly the name of the drink was, but we know it had bourbon in it and was along the lines of an old fashioned.

We had a fabulous time on this tour and we would recommend City Food Tours to anyone looking for an adventure. I would also suggest that if any of the places we visited sound cool to you, then you should check them out too!


Stay tuned for more adventures with Skip and her companion!


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