Things To Do

Ardbeg Distillery Hosts Special Tasting at Stache's Grand Opening Ball Saturday

As cocktail culture slowly seeps into downtown Fort Lauderdale, Bar Stache 1920's Drinking Den will host an official grand opening celebration Saturday night that will be anything but subtle.

And to help set the appropriately sophisticated mood, Ardbeg Distillery brings its 200 years of warm whiskey history to a special tasting event during the grand opening. The "Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky" is teaming up with FAT Village organizers and renowned mixologist John Lermayer - who put together the cocktail program at Stache - to introduce the locals to the warm, smooth glory that is well-made single malt whiskey.

They've even put together some recipes especially for the occasion.

See also: Five Best Food and Drink Events in South Florida This Weekend: Stache Grand Opening, Mutts and Martinis, and More

The tasting event is part of the Ardbeg Rocket Tour to commemorate a more modern accomplishment of the old world distillery. Two years ago, Ardbeg launched several vials of unaged whiskey into space with US based space research company NanoRacks LLC. They are effects of zero-gravity on aging and how microbes act in space.

"It's a very innovative brand," says Ardbeg publicist, Julia Brown. "I went to the distillery last summer. It's on this little Scottish island off the coast and the the whole town smells like smoky peat. You can actually smell it in the whiskey and you can taste that flavor."

The tasting takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. overlapping with the VIP cocktail reception for Stache's Roaring 20s Ball which takes place from 8 to 10 p.m., when the official party really kicks up its heels and does the Charleston.

Guests will enjoy exclusive sampling of Ardbeg single malt whisky, rated by The Whisky Bible as the "Best Single Malt Scotch - 10 Years and Under". There will also be plus custom crafted cocktails designed by Lermayer, including the Islay Old Fashion and Smokey Sherrey Sour.

"We're excited that [Lermayer has] created these drinks with us," says Brown. He knows the brand very well and was able to create something that played to the smokiness of the whiskey. Its an opportunity for for both beginning whiskey drinkers to be introduced to it and for those who know it well to enjoy something new."

If you can't get enough of the stuff, there will even be an Ardbeg pop-up store on site where you can purchase a bottle of your very own.

Local artist FATVillage artist Peter Symons has taken over Stache's backlot with his interactive light installation, "Into the Woods." Four live-feed cameras read the movements of the crowd and translate this into an ever-changing, abstract light display on the walls, projected through sculpted wooden screens. After the event, the installation is scheduled to be on display at the Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale.

Stache's Grand Opening Roaring 20s Ball is from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., preceeded by a VIP cocktail reception from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is $20 at the door, or complimentary entrance with RSVP to [email protected].

Bar Stache 1920's Drinking Den is located at 109 SW Second Ave in Fort Lauderdale. Call 786-473-5779, or visit

You can contact Rebecca Dittmar, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Blog Editor at [email protected].

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane