Napa & Co.
75 Broad St.
Stamford, CT 06907
Eric Ribeiro studied culinary arts in France and held stints as a chef, bartender and manager at several Parisian restaurants. He also worked at Terra, Wildfire and Mediterraneo in Greenwich and Stamford’s Grand before joining Napa and Co. in 2008. “I was a chef before becoming a bartender; my inspiration comes from the kitchen” he says. “A good cocktail has to be balanced. The basic block to build a cocktail is alcohol, sugar, acidity and bitterness. From that I try to be creative – it’s a lot to choose from acidities, sugars, bitters and alcohol. I also in my cocktails use fruits, vegetables and spices; I always make sure to have the flavor affinities working together. So yes, I spend quite a bit of my time in the kitchen.” Some of Ribeiro’s most recent time in the kitchen was spent creating the following hot winter cocktails.
Amaretto Hot Chocolate (Serves 4 to 5)
- 1.5 cups milk
- 0.5 cups cream
- 10 oz chopped 72 bittersweet chocolate
- 5 oz Amaretto Disaronno
- Heat the milk and cream over medium high heat until bubbles are created around the pot.
- Remove the pot from heat.
- Add the bittersweet chocolate.
- Stir until melted, adjusting heat as needed.
- Add the Amaretto.
- Serve in a coffee cup or mug and garnish with toasted sliced almonds.
Rhubarb Rum Hot Toddy (Serves 1)
- 2 oz Tanduay Gold Rum
- 1 oz Art In the Age Rhubarb Liquor
- 0.5 oz simple syrup
- 3 dashes St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
- 5 oz hot water
- Combine all the ingredients in a tea pot and stir.
- Serve in a mug and garnish with a lemon wheel.
Gluehwein (Mulled Wine, Serves 4 to 5)
- 1 bottle of wine
- 6 oz of Ruby port
- 1 orange
- 10 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon mace spice
- 1 oz chopped fresh ginger
- 0.5 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Stud the orange with the cloves.
- Cut the orange in half and place the two halves in a baking tray.
- Bake the orange halves for 15 minutes.
- Combine the wine, cinnamon, allspice, mace spice and ginger in a large pan and stir without bringing it to a boil.
- Add the port and the orange halves.
- Stir gently then take off the heat and set to one side for 15 minutes.
- Strain with a chinois.
- Serve in a mug and garnish with a slice of orange.
Note: Be careful not to boil; gently heat up and simmer.
Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.