Whenever I'm out and about, and opt to have a beer, my go-to move is to ask, "What are your seasonals." They way I figure it, the independent and micro breweries that craft seasonal beers do this as their profession. It's their job to match the flavors and textures of beer to those of the season - the weather, the ingredients available, the kind of food we eat. And while I have a few year-round staples, I've found I always get what I want by inquiring re: seasonals.
Webecoist sez, "Got a recycling bin full of glass bottles? Why waste them when you could have a new table lamp, candle holder, shelving unit, hummingbird feeder – even a house? Reuse beer, wine and liquor bottles for these 13 fun and creative crafts and projects for the home and garden."
Beer is meant to stand on its own. Whether it's ice cold or cellar temp, from a draft or a bottle (or, gah, cans), in a frosty mug or a fancy snifter, it doesn't ask to play well with others. It's not an ingredient, but a finished product.
Except, it does work well in cocktails. "Beer has taken on a new and nuanced role in many
In my neighborhood, spring keeps trying to push through, but all the rain keeps things cold and blustery. But that's no matter, cause I'm ready to pretend that it's fresh and bright outside even if the weather doesn't cooperate.
So, this weekend, I'm shaking up the Coriander Mule, a tasty, lime, cilantro, and ginger cocktail
It's no surprise that there's a healthy bit of finesse into making a perfect cocktail - combining the spirits with balance, shaking or stirring with ice so the water dilutes it just enough, garnishing just so.
But, in the case of a drink with multiple ingredients and components, it turns out there's a bit of chemistry as well.
Neil Da Costa, an expert in chemical analysis of flavors at International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., reports, "Each of the main ingredients has been shown to contain many flavor components, thus indicating that a Bloody Mary cocktail flavor is a very complex blend of several hundreds of flavor compounds. These include semi- and non-volatile ingredients with chemesthetic effects such a heat, burn, sour, salty and umami."
When I first saw this recipe on @Leethal's tweet, I was a bit shocked, thinking "you can leave milk out for three weeks, mixed with bacteria and yeast-loving sugar, and still drink it?" I mean, I've made some overnight cultured creams and yogurts, but this seemed wild.
And then I thought about it a bit more, and realized that the vodka, even in equal parts to the nutrient rich, germ happy milk and sugar, must be bacteriostatic enough to prevent anything from growing in there. (You like that? Bacteriostatic? See?! I paid attention in high school.)
I dunno what it is...but I'll never get sick of these.
I guess I really like the idea of artwork that pulls double duty - adds color and style to your home, and teaches you something in the process. I don't often sit down with the world's best cocktail book and memorize recipes, but I would totally stop by while cleaning or running through my house and note, "So that's what's in an icepick." (Vodka and ice tea, garnish with lemon.)
This Sunday brings us the *hmphrl Academy Awards (it's eighty-something, right?), and again, they'll be a bunch of self-congratulation, and the best movie won't actually win Best Picture.
Which is tedious enough to make you want to drink...a film-inspired cocktail, that is.
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.
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.
Last summer, I took the plunge into home canning, and while I'm getting the hang of it, it's complex. It only makes sense when doing LOTS of goodies at one time, and there are particular recipes to make sure the produce is properly cooked for preservation.
So, we're loving this idea: bachelor's jam (or officer's jam) employs the bacteria-preventing power of liquors and spirits to preserve fresh fruit, resulting in two wonderful things - alcohol soaked fresh fruit, and fresh fruit soaked alcohol. :)
"[One] recipe calls for one pound of sugar per pound of fruit,layering the sugar atop the fruit in a nonreactive container and covering the
I know, I know...It's June 1st, and Cocktail Party Month has just finished up, but this round up of great, inexpensive liquors and spirits is too great not to share. Master food blog Chow has created a great list of tasty and quality liquors that are great for mixing drinks or for entertaining. They'll beat the pants off of the diluted, toxic junk they sell in the grocery store, and are great options for those spirits that you don't generally prefer, but want to keep in your home bar for guests, cooking, etc. A couple bourbons, a few ryes, two tequilas, a rum, and gin, all clocking in under $20.
Limoncello is a sweet, lemon-flavored liqueur that originates from the southern regions of Italy. It's usually served chilled and straight up, as a lovely after dinner digestif. It has a strong lemon flavor, but contains none of the sourness associated with lemons, since its made by infusing the peel of the lemon, rather than the juice.
And SiNCE its merely lemon peel infused into high proof alcohol, it means you can make it at home! In bulk! It only takes three ingredients - lemon peels, sugar, and grain alcohol, and about three months.