The Cocktail Master class, by Brugal 1888, at Outpost Kitchen

The Cocktail Master class, by Brugal 1888, at Outpost Kitchen

The Cocktail Master class, by Brugal 1888, at Outpost Kitchen. What a treat it was to attend the cocktail masterclass, by Brugal 1888, at Outpost Kitchen. If you haven’t heard of either Brugal 1888 or Outpost kitchen then you are truly missing out.

A Stone Throw Away!

A stone’s throw away from Park Avenue lies one of the best restaurants that Central Florida has to offer. I was recently there on behalf of Park Ave Magazine to attend their Cocktail Masterclass. In recognition of National Rum Day. Our instructor, Justin Gray is a brand ambassador for Brugal 1888. Arguably one of the best bottles of rum you can buy.

When you walk in the door, a sense of peace overwhelms you. You know that you’re in for a good meal, good cocktails, and, most importantly, a good time. Locals love the Outpost Kitchen, and it has quickly become a favorite and designated night-out spot for Maitland and the surrounding community. As I walked in, I was quickly and eagerly assisted by the owner Judy. I was later told by a couple, Christine, and Joel, that the owners are usually pitching in around the Outpost Kitchen.

One of the best cocktails in town!

Adam, the bar manager, quickly greeted me with a signature cocktail that he calls a “Tropical Disturbance”. The Tropical Disturbance is one of the best cocktails I’ve had in this town. Abundantly refreshing with a citrus flavor that punches you in the face, and garnished with a flower, it’s clear that Adam and the Outpost Kitchen are slinging cocktails that are on par with the best mixologists in Central Florida.

Tasty Dishes

I was unprepared to eat, but boy am I glad that I was able to taste some of their dishes. It was truly an experience. After allowing us an ample amount of time to enjoy our first cocktail, we were all called to have a seat in the dining room.

To start we were served Brussel sprouts and fried cauliflower tossed in buffalo sauce and topped with a custom, house-made, ranch-type sauce. The Brussel sprouts were seasoned, unlike any other dish I’ve had. The palette picks up on a hint of orange chicken flavor. Sometimes, the simplest ingredients are the most difficult to prepare, but that doesn’t seem to stop the chef at Outpost Kitchen.

Round Two

Much to my surprise, we were served a second course. I am a huge fan of food, and most importantly, well-executed food. Also, much to my surprise, I have been told that the owner is responsible for most of the recipe ideas and flavor combinations at the Outpost Kitchen. This shines through in their fried pork belly dish.

The crispiest, perfectly cooked piece of pork belly you can imagine, is laid on a bed of polenta and accompanied by, what I believe to be, a medium-rare filet medallion. With the first sight, you’re hooked. Needless to say, time ceased to exist as the world slowed down and allowed me to enjoy my meal. The prices are competitive, the staff is friendly, the food is amazing, and the atmosphere is comfortable. What else could you ask for?

History of Brugal 1888

Finally, after being wined and dined, we are collected by Justin Gray and corralled into the bar area. This is where we were allowed to learn about Brugal 1888 and craft our cocktails. The level of craftsmanship and attention to detail are abundantly apparent. I was unaware of the level of rum we were dealing with. Usually, I stick to beer but on occasion, I am a single malt scotch man through and through.

Brugal 1888 rum has an interesting story that begins in the Dominican Republic. Justin goes on to explain that, unlike most other rum, Brugal 1888 is distilled twice and aged for anywhere between 8-14 years. The second distillation takes place in oak casks from McCallan. This process adds color, flavor, and age to Brugal that is unmatched in most rum.

Smooth & Sensational

Usually, I don’t like the burning sensation associated with rum but Brugal takes that bitter, burning, quality out of the equation. It is smooth! Since the masterclass, I have been testing out my own cocktails using Brugal 1888. I’m not a mixologist nor do I claim to be, but Brugall 1888 seems to pair well with almost anything. From fresh fruit juice to green tea, you can, almost, literally mix Brugal 1888 with anything and surprise yourself with a tasty cocktail.

My Own Cocktail Station

As I approached the bar I noticed that we were each given our own cocktail station, complete with rum, mixers, bitters, fruit and garnish ingredients, paring knife, and cutting board, etc. the whole nine yards. The level of accommodations and the thought process behind the entire event was well thought out and flawlessly executed.

I stood next to my new friends, Christine and Joel, who visit Outpost Kitchen, religiously, once a week. We laughed and aided one another while creating our own mediocre beverages. The entire time, all I heard were good things about the food, drinks, and people who make this restaurant and bar their favorite place to go. For any seafoodies out there, Joel recommends the catch of the day, every Friday and occasionally there’s some left for Saturday.

Visit The Outpost Kitchen!

In conclusion, my experience at the Outpost Kitchen was unparalleled and exceeded my expectations. I eat food all over town and have been for quite some time. I can honestly say that the Outpost Kitchen is a force to be reckoned with. They’re justifiably the whole package. From the time you walk in, to the time you walk out, you’re treated like family.

You want to be where you are at that moment. You want to enjoy the experience they offer. So, the next time you’re up for a drive to Maitland, please stop by the Outpost Kitchen. Say hello to Judy, ask Adam to prepare you a Tropical Disturbance and if you can figure out which couple is Christine and Joel. See if they’ll give you a recommendation; they’ve tried the menu and won’t steer you wrong. The Outpost kitchen is now open for lunch, they close at 4:00 PM on Sunday, and they’re closed on Monday. Tell them Park Ave Magazine sent you.

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