In This Corner: The Hog Nog at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
The Setup: With the halls of the District lightly decked in holiday gear including large trees covered in big red and gold ornaments, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for this nogtail knockout. Our first stop in this battle is off Van Buren and Third streets in the Sheraton Hotel. District is known for erring on the odd side sometimes with their experimentation, including questionable use of cheese balls in dishes. However, the Hog Nog, a baconed-up nogtail, might just be the experiment that blows us away.
The Good: Billed on the menu as a $9 Schreiner's bacon-infused Rogue hazelnut rum with housemade cinnamon eggnog and candied bacon, we had no immediate qualms with any of the components involved. Despite being known mostly as a beer maker, Rogue puts out some quality spirits, including a pretty great gin aged in pinot barrels. Plus it's bacon-infused and not a bacon-flavored liquor, so that's also reassuring. The cinnamon egg nog is delightfully foamy and frothy with a perfectly velvety texture. Its spiced aroma and creamy sweet flavor was definitely the best part of this nogtail.
The Bad: Alright, kids, time for bed -- it's Grinch time. We were promised candied bacon and got none. We assumed there'd be bacon flavor in the Hog Nog, but tasted none. Honestly, though, we could've overlooked the lack of bacon if the cocktail was solid on its own. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed rum pour all but ruined our drink. Rarely is a strong spirit flavor an issue, especially when it's quality, but we were really hoping for balance that showcased the delicate and delicious egg nog that District made from scratch. Instead, our poor nog was entirely overpowered by its rum counterpart.