ONE EYED MIKE's puts BALTIMORE on the international map. Lucky me, when I received a call from "the man, "Mike with One Eye" as my cell phone contacts list lit up. "Please come to Luncheon at One Eyed Mike’s as we serve you 5 courses, tastings of 100, 150 and the new official announcement of Quintessence." (Defined as “the most perfect embodiment of something.) "Uh, ok, of course I will be there," I stated!
Flying in from Paris, Patrick Raguenaud, Master Distiller/Director of Products for Marnier hosted an intimate luncheon along with Moet Hennessey USA, Virginia Lawson and Mark Freeman and Reliable Churchill, Trevor Bogert and Meeghan Biars and Chef/Owner Michael Maraziti of world famous, ONE EYED MIKE'S.
The tavern in Fells Point, Baltimore, Maryland USA was chosen to host the special luncheon in honor of the launching and official announcement unveiling what is to become one of the world's most exclusive spirit products of ALL time. Called "QUINTESSANCE." This new Grand Marnier product, loaded with special grapes from Cognac, where Mr. Raguenaud's family has rooted itself since 17th Century, is both exclusive and expensive. An Baltimore is yet again on the map.
After Grand Marnier scented cocktails of the SMASH-a French twist on the Cuban Mojito-like cocktail and the reverse margarita, made with double parts GM to 1 part Tequila, we sat down and had a world-class experience in the Tavern's garden.
A big thank you to our servers, Brendan Ryan and Curt Rehrman who were perfectly trained on the way to treat a guest. (seen right with Mike).
We were treated to a tasting class by Mr. Raguenaud, on the difference between Grand Marnier 100, 150 and Quintessance, of course, Cognac 101. Michael Maraziti the "Mike" behind, ONE EYES MIKE'S and his superb staff prepared out-of-the-box food pairings like Traditional New England lobster salad, homemade pasta tortelini en brodo (traditional Tuscan Soup), grilled shrimp with petite tenderloin topped with house made Hollandaise sauce. And a exquisite cheese tasting for dessert.
All of this was also accompanied by Lapostolle white and red wine blends.
Why ONE EYES MIKE'S? Because ONE EYES MIKE'S sell more Grand Marnier than any other bar or restaurant in the WORLD! Hosting the world's 1st Grand Marnier Club with almost 1700 members, ONE EYES MIKE'S average 25 new member/month. One of the newest members is Mr Patrick Raguenaud!
EXCLUSIVE: Only 200 bottles of QUINTESSANCE will be available on the East Coast-in total. The quanities for the rest of the USA, amounts still TBD.
EXPENSIVE: Pricing still to be determined, but Mark Freeman of Grand Marnier, Brand Manager at Moet Hennessey estimates a bottle could cost you $800.00.
What is the difference between the Cuvée du Centenaire and the Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire?
The difference lies mainly in the age of the cognacs used. While the oldest cognac in the Cuvée du Centenaire blend is aged up to 25 years, it may be up to 50 years old for the Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire. Another factor to take in consideration is the quality of the cognacs used, which is determined by the growing area of origin. Cognacs from both of the two finest areas, Grande and Petite Champagne, are used in the making of the Cuvée du Centenaire. Only Grande Champagne cognac, from the best growing area, is used to make the Cuvée du Cent Cinquantenaire. Both blends were created for the 100th and 150th anniversaries of the brand. Hence, the blends are known for their anniversary, not the age of their cognacs or time in the bottle.
If interested to join the ONE EYES MIKE'S GRAND MARNIER CLUB:
Cost $175 to join and sip freely (simply tip your bar tender who will delightfully pour for you), $85 to renew (comes with your next bottle). You also get your own bottle in your name reserved on the shelves in perpetuity and membership into an elite group of low-key food and wine lovers.
Close to 19,000 bottles have been consumed to date.
Being among the oldest taverns in Fell’s Point, ONE EYED MIKE'S is a great, neighborhood gathering place. Located just off the beaten path on South Bond street, it lends itself to be the perfect hangout for locals. It’s a place where old friends and new ones come together to sip and dine. One-Eyed Mike’s is a tourists’ dream come true for anyone wanting to go where the people of the area love to spend their time. I like to call it the "Cheers Spot of Fells Point!"