In my house, football season coincides with Bloody Mary season. Really, you say? Fair enough: the two are not necessarily synonymous with each other, but I’ve always felt that Bloody Marys are better enjoyed in the fall or winter months. Similar to the complex, tomato-y flavors of a bowl of chili, it just feels right to have a hearty Bloody Mary when the weather starts to turn a little cooler.
Most bars have their ultimate Bloody Mary that they load with bacon, chicken wings, pizza, etc. that look great through a filter on Instagram, but how the Bloody Mary tastes is not the focal point in that situation. When I’m at home and I want
You’re at the liquor store standing in front of 5-tier shelf that stretches the entire wall and your just here to pick up a bottle of spirits. There are a lot of different brands and an array of price points for each bottle. What goes through your mind?
I think for those of us who enjoy an adult beverage, buying alcohol, spirits specifically, can fall into two categories:
- I’m looking for an affordable bottle of spirits that doesn’t taste terrible, and,
- I know what brand and style I want. I’ve had it before and I’ll enjoy it again
And possibly a third, oft youth oriented thought: I’ll take the cheapest swill there is please.
But do you ever choose a bottle because you know where it comes from? Who made it? The story of how this spirit came to be?
I’d argue the answer to these questions are just as important as cost or a familiar label. There’s something special about knowing what goes into a craft. Even more than that, there’s a tangible connection when you not only know the story of a product, but experience the story first-hand....
The White Russian cocktail. This drink has been around almost as long as Jeff Bridges has, but you, and I, and everyone born after 1965 identify it with cult classic comedy, The Big Lebowski. It's the go-to drink for Bridges' character, The Dude, and for good reason: three ingredients, easy to make, cheap, and tastes totally awesome, man. So, whether you're chilling out in your bathrobe or having an after-dinner drink with friends, let's relax and make our own White Russian...
In wintertime, I'll gladly take a complicated cocktail. Something made with rich spirits, amber brown from barrel aging, made more tasty with fortified syrups, flavorful modifiers, and just-so preparation. These drinks are imbibe-abble equivalent of a long simmered soup or stew, designed to make you feel warm inside when the weather is not.
But summer is a whole different beast. It's already warm — too warm — and your drink's job is to cool you down while keeping everything easygoing. You need something that works while standing next to the grill, or for sipping on the deck with your feet up.
Enter the vodka soda. It's deceptively
These days, the Bloody Mary game is all about oneupsmanship. The goal in bars and brunch spots has become to adds so savory complements to the drink that they turn it into both a snack and a cocktail: spears and spears of pickled veg, whole shrimp, fried bacon, charcuterie, chicken wings, antipasti, mini cheeseburgers, firecrackers, tiny pizzas, everything.
Which is fine, and fun, but takes away from the essence of the drink. Sure, it's a canvas for complementary flavors, but that canvas isn't blank in the first place...it's actually a perfectly balanced cocktail.
So, here are the basics on the Bloody Mary. If you're not one to drink vodka, well, then it also makes a darn fine amped-up tomato juice.
It's an interesting contrast. Vodka is among the most simple and pure of spirits, distilled many times to show off the basic essence of its grain (or potatoes) and water source. But perhaps there's no other bottle that carries with it such a variety of contexts in which its imbibed. Because of its straight-forward, back-to-basics presentation, you can drink vodka like, say, a college student who wants to mask the taste. Or a James Bond-inspired martini drinker who hasn't learned about gin yet. Or for its, um, less-hangover-y nature and overall lower impact to your systems the next morning. And countless other ways.
Or, you could drink vodka like those people who invented it - those from Northeastern Europe, where long, cold winters mean grapes won't really grow, and the best source of sugar to ferment and distill are hardy cereal grains.
There are times to try new things. Times to taste different flavors, experiment with products, seek out something you've never encountered before...And sometimes, you just want to know what the best option is. The easy choice. The go-to. The everyday variety you know will work when you need it, and rely on every time.
Throughout the rest of the year, ManMade is seeking out the best affordable bottles of a variety of spirits that work well in your home bar, but know you can grab at the store the next time you head to a friend's house or a party.
Vanilla gets a bad rap for being plain and simple, but adding a dab to your morning coffee can really boost the flavor, and it still tastes great with all kinds of goodies. Imitation extract is okay and fancy store-bought vanilla is pricey, so hand making this delicious extract is just too easy for us to pass up.
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
I have a friend who hasn't quite outgrown that terrible habit of taking small, human or animal shaped things (toys, action figures, gingerbread men...) and placing them in compromising positions. Like...every time.
I'm certain he's done it with gummy bears, though I'm not sure if I was present for that one. But next time the opportunity presents itself, I'll now have this trick to encourage him to create a different sort of "Adult Gummy Bears"...by soaking them in alcohol.
I've seen Skittles-flavored vodka before, but the emphasis there was on infusing the liquor itself. This how-to from Cut Out and Keep one ups that technique, as at the
Turns out, James Bond had it all wrong. A martini is a drink that contains only spirits, and benefits quite a bit from stirring rather than shaking. Stirring creates a heavy, silky feel on the tongue, and avoids what connoisseurs called "bruising" the drink (integrating air bubbles). Of course, it's all about how you like it, but we hope you'll give this classic-style martini a try.
Just remember: a 3:1 gin (or vodka) to vermouth ratio keeps things refreshing, cold and balanced.