You don't find too many recipes that begin with, "First a note about substituting ingredients or tools. Don't. This method has been exhaustively tested and retested for excellence and the smallest variation can result in catastrophic and unintended consequences."
Somehow, that deserves to be respected, and when the blog post is entitled "Perfect" without
The michelada is one of my favorite summer treats, and proof that beer is as solid of an ingredient for cocktails and mixed drinks as any distilled spirit.
Many travel for beaches. Some travel for mountains, and others for architecture, art, or anonymity. And then there's me, and others of a similar ilk, who when we pick our next destination or pass through a new region, though we're happy to take in a museum or two, travel for local food and drinks.
At least where I live, making your own spirits at home is still considered moonshinin', and therefore illegal. Were it not, I think I'd try to built my own mini-still and experiement with distilling and aging my own spirits.
Until then, I'm committed to the workarounds, like
When I was a kid, we weren't allowed to drink soft drinks much at home, so my mom would often by club soda and lightly fruit flavored sparkling waters for a treat. They sat at the side of the fridge, and I learned the colors - blue for regular, pink for raspberry, and green for lemon lime. One day - a new flavor showed up (yellow!), and I was excited to give it a try.
And it was the worse thing I ever tasted.
The summer season invites us to try new things: visit new places, read a different kind of book, try a new recreational activity, see a movie we wouldn't otherwise be caught dead in simply because the theater cranks it's AC down to 65 degrees...
And, of course, new flavor experiences. Specifically, new cocktails. This Summer Cocktail Generator pairs three base spirits with just a few basic modifiers and mixers to create all kinds of classic cocktails, each of which are exactly what you want to drink during the warmer months.
Candy and cocktails. Not just cocktail-flavored candies, but sweet little chewy guys, full of actual spirits and the classic flavors of the mixed drink that inspired them. In short: Best. DIY Project. Ever.
I'm always down to try a new cocktail recipe. But, it can be a pretty big investment to go in for a whole bottle of flavored vodka or special liqueur when you're not even sure if you like the drink in the first place. And, often, many of them taste like candy, artificial extracts, or weird chemicals.
So, make your own. They're much less expensive, taste way better, and you can make as little or as much as you want. With all the fresh summer produce coming to the markets, there's every reason to give it a shot.
You usually can't tell what kind of bar you're in within the first five minutes. You've got to sit for a minute, watch the other patrons, let the jukebox play a few selections, let the bartenders do their thing, perhaps even order some food. Sure, you may know you're in a dive by the general smell and look at the place, but it'll take a round or two to know whether you're in a great dive.
It's officially ice cream season, as well as time to switch from the warming, darker spirited drinks to the cool, freshing cocktails of summer.
Or, if you do it right, both at the same time.
Root beer floats work for a very specific reason: they contain lots of complex bitter and aromatic flavors that balance not only their own sweetness but the creaminess of ice cream. Know what other drink has plenty of complex bitter flavors and aromatic notes? Actual beer.
Having just passed the St. Patrick's Day...season[? Is that a thing?], you know doubt saw all sorts of folks going on about a Guinness & vanilla ice cream float, which is actually pretty delicious. But with these five recipes, you'll be rocking variations on the combo all summer long.
Oh, man...I dunno how I missed this until yesterday, but apparently, the new season of Mad Men starts this Sunday. I mean, I remember nearly a year ago when it was supposed to come out, all the reports said, "March 2012," but who can actually keep track of those things? Musn't dwell. Moving on.
Anyway, you should watch it, and better yet, you should participate even more fully by finding some reason to wear a suit, listening to Sam Cooke, and mixing up some classic cocktails.
Popsicles are nearly the perfect food: they're sweet, they're frozen, they're a little messy, and, most importantly, they come on sticks. And not as a novelty, but by defintion.
The only thing missing? A little extra kick and fun from a bit of alcoholic spirits.
Enter the Dirty Pirate...
It's March 15th, when means you've plenty of time to prep for proper St. Patrick's Day celebrating. And while everyone's gonna show up in thrifted green cardigans and plaid golf pants, Guiness (or, hopefully, Bushmill's) in hand, you can show up in whatever you want, and ain't nobody gonna pinch you:
because you've brought chewable Irish Car Bomb beer bites.
The Irish Car Bomb is a boilermaker cocktail variation, in which Jameson's Irish whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream are dropped into a nearly full pint of Guiness. The milk solids in the Bailey's will begin to curdle,
There are drinks that are fairly easy to serve, such as beer and wine, as you simply need to open and pour. Many spirits can be enjoyed in nearly the same way: whiskey neat, brandy in a glass, sake warmed. There are the highballs that are fairly easy to figure out: the vodka cranberry, rum and Coke, gin and tonic. There are the drinks that are so open to interpretation, you'll likely never make them the same way twice: the Bloody Mary comes to mind, as does any number of adverturous use-what-you-have mixes.
But then, there are the classic cocktails, those time-proven combinations that have proven themselves for decades. Besides being tasty, these have emerged as the standards for a reason: they're made from typical ingredients that you can find easily, at any store, and probably should be keeping in your own home bar.
They're so essential, I'm making the claim that every man should have these recipes memorized so he can shake one up at a moment's notice. Trust me, you want to be that guy that knows how to mix drinks: at a get together, after a date, at a work function or meeting. None of these are particularly difficult to commit to memory, and once you've got 'em, you've got 'em, and they'll never go out of style.
If you're not already aware, cocktail bitters are aromatic infusions that are used to give mixed drinks an incredible depth of flavor. Think of them as the spice cabinet for your home bar. Many of the standard flavors - Angostura, Peychaud's - originated as tonics to settle stomachs and cure sickness.
If you're also not aware, artisinal bitters have exploded on the cocktail and home mixology scene, and all the cool kids are mixing up their own. These make an awesome weekend project, as well as a great gift to give to your friends as favors or holiday gifts.
I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's the obvious contrast between a childhood favorite meal and a very adult beverage, or just the pure curiousity of seeing whether a cocktail can not only taste like a savory food, but a complete meal, but I'm gonna do everything I can to make a grilled cheese and tomato soup martini.
Pop Chart Labs unveils their latest project, the Constitutions of Classic Cocktails, exploring the relationships and makeups of proven successful mixed drinks. The beautiful arrangement and layout draws colorful connections between spirits, glassware, mixers, and garnishes.
High-end, underlit, swanky joints and well-worn, leathery pubs alike have it in common: a lot of bottles of spirits. On first glance, even the smallest restaurant with a liquor license will seem to have just a few selections, but start counting, and you'll realize that most bartended spots have, on average, around 35-40 bottles, with many going up to into the hundreds.
For the home mixmaster, that can be intimidating. You're interested in creating classic and contemporary cocktails alike, but have neither the budget, the space, nor the use for even an average restaurant-style selection.