September #VaSpiritsMonth Tastemakers: Eddie & Sandy Schmidtmann of Simple Eats, Virginia Beach

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Simple Eats special September #VaSpiritsMonth cocktails: ‘Strawberry, Pineapple, Basil Mist’ and the ‘Kentucky Mule’

by: Scott McGinnis

With a pedigree that boasts decades of experience at Virginia Beach culinary staples like Waterman’s Grill, Taste Unlimited, and The Duck-In, you could say that Eddie and Sandy Schmidtmann have been prepping to open and run a restaurant since their college days. Eddie recalls that, “During college, restaurants were the go-to places for jobs. That left an impression, which led to me working in the business, and even owning a restaurant.” That lasting impression has led to Shore Drive’s Simple Eats, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in July.

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Eddie Schmidtmann of Simple Eats

At Simple Eats, Eddie and Sandy believe that supporting local farmers and producers is the best way to serve up simple, delicious food. Their menu even proclaims, “Where local people gather for local food,” before listing ingredients from over a dozen local farms and producers.

When it comes to incorporating local ingredients, Simple Eats doesn’t stop at the food. “We definitely incorporate Virginia spirits into our cocktail menu. We try to make distinctive, refreshing drinks with house grown herbs and unique purees. We test and try creative additions to popular drinks. We aim to be different and fresh,” says Eddie.

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Strawberry, Pineapple, Basil Mist, featuring Blue Ridge Vodka

So stop on by Simple Eats during September to sample their special #VaSpiritsMonth cocktails – the Kentucky Mule featuring Filibuster Dual Cask Bourbon, and Strawberry, Pineapple, Basil Mist featuring Blue Ridge Vodka; or try your hand at prepping these fresh cocktail recipes on your own (recipes below)!

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Kentucky Mule, featuring Filibuster Dual Cask Bourbon
2.5 oz Filibuster Dual Cask Bourbon
5 oz ginger beer
1 oz jalapeno simple syrup and
5 fresh picked mint leaves
1 lime wedge
Add bourbon, mint leaves, jalapeno simple syrup and ice to glass and shake until chilled. Pour ingredients into a copper mule cup, fill with ginger beer and garnish with fresh picked mint leaves and lime wedge.

Strawberry, Pineapple, Basil Mist, featuring Blue Ridge Vodka
2.5 oz Blue Ridge Vodka
4 oz crushed strawberries and pineapple,
1 oz basil simple syrup
1 oz splash of Sprite
5 fresh picked mint leaves
1 lime wedge
Muddle the strawberries and pineapple with vodka, simple syrup. Pour ingredients into a glass, add ice and shake until chilled. Top with splash of sprite and garnish with fresh picked mint leaves and lime wedge.


*Rapid Fire with Eddie Schmidtmann of Simple Eats*

#VaSpirits: Where were you born?

Eddie: I was born in Norfolk, Virginia, went to Bayside High School, ODU, ECPI, and Strayer University where I earned a BS in Computer Science.

#VaSpirits: Tell us some fun tidbits about your daily routine!

Eddie: My morning routine consists of: Three Ships Coffee, check the morning surf, off to work, back to work, and visiting the restaurants on Shore Drive and Chicks Beach area.

#VaSpirits: When you’re not drinking #VaSpirits, what do you enjoy drinking and why?

Eddie: I enjoy local beers from the likes of Commonwealth Brewery, Pleasure House Brewery and hanging out at the Back Deck, Bay Local, and other oceanfront restaurants. I love to see people that come into the restaurant at other places, and support other local businesses.

#VaSpirits: Lastly, tell us what you like to do when you’re not behind the bar.

Eddie: Smile, laugh and just be happy!


For more information on Simple Eats, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Photo credit: Jay Paul