The liquor store is not the place to be showing off fancy design work. I'm pretty sure that you could put an Eames lounge, Frank Gehry builiding, and the Mona Lisa in my neighborhood carryout, and I'd find them as dingy as can be.
BUT! Lurking between the boxes of wine and the 99 bottle opener end caps, you can actually find some pretty amazing product design.
There aren't many produce items to get excited about during the winter. Fresh corn is nowhere to be found, the tomatoes are abysmal, no spring freshness or autumnal earthiness. Just citrus shipped in from around the world, and a few pears.
Oh, but then there are pomegranates. Though they've certainly risen in trendiness the last few years, don't be fooled. They're truly a special fruit, and whether or not Oprah thinks they're cool, they're delicious and pretty versatile.
Sugar plums... Figgy pudding... A Dickens goose...
We all know these things exist, and have something to do with Christmas, but in the days of multl-flavored candy canes, pre-cooked hams, and eggnog from a carton, their actual meaning is beyond most contemporary celebrations. But we can guess a bit: we know sugar and plums, figs and pudding, geese.
But no old-school, carol-inspired foodstuff is more perplexing than that we know from:
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green;Here we come a-wand'ring, so fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too;And God bless you and send you a Happy New YearAnd God send you a Happy New Year.
So, WTF is wassail, and why would you ever want to make it? Well, here's a hint: it's beer! AND wine!
Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks away, and while those of us behind ManMade are excitedly gathering recipes and decor ideas, we thought we'd use this format to offer another sort of round-up: some fantastic Thanksgiving cocktails. Whether you need them to deal with your family, want to find something to complement your favorite side dishes, or just want to live in a day-long toast to gratitude, there's no reason that wine should be the only beverage served alongside your spread this year.
So, we present a series of festive, fall cocktails that'll help make your meal a success, whether you overcook the turkey or not.
Having mastered homemade hard apple cider, I've been excited to try it in cooking and mixed into a cocktail. The best, by far, is the classic Snakebite, a blend of lager and cider with a dash of blackcurrant cordial.
A few weeks ago, I posted about my research into brewing hard apple cider at home and on the cheap. I continued to look into it, and promptly made a batch that just finished maturing. I tried the first bottle earlier this week...and, it's really good.
I used champagne yeast, which cost 74¢ and a $4.50 gallon of local, preservative-free apple cider, for which I got nearly a gallon of homemade hard cider. Lowballing it, I got 110oz for $5.25. Compare that to $8.99 (on sale) for a six-pack of Woodchuck (72 oz total) at my local grocery store.
I spent a few days in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and had the pleasure of visiting the original Samuel Adams brewery for one of their free brewery and tasting tours. There, I learned, among many other things: that the actual Sam Adams was probably a cool guy, the dude with the really long beard and the overalls in all the commercials actually works there, and that the original Boston brewery only produces about five percent of their output. (The rest is brewed in Pennslyvania and my hometown of Cincinnati...guess I didn't have to go so far for a tour.)
They were also very generous with the samples, and walked our group through the beer
A few weeks ago, we featured a few how-tos for making "bachelor's jam," a preserving method that fuses alcohol and fresh fruit. The technique there, basically, is to fill a jar with fruit and cover it with alcohol.
Last week, the New York Times featured a few more thorough recipes, designed to take advantage of complimentary flavors and general tastiness. "Perhaps the best example of following seasons in a boozy fruit mix is rumtopf — a German preserve that spans the entire growing season. Classic recipes have you start in June by mixing strawberries with sugar and rum. As other fruits ripen, they are added in layers, then the whole thing is left to mellow until Christmas.