There’s nothing like treating yourself to a nice drink when you’re out on the town, whether you’re at a new restaurant or revisiting an old favorite. But too often we’re stuck choosing between beer and wine, never considering that a cocktail can also be paired with food, and not just enjoyed as a before- or after-dinner indulgence.
Luckily, using the same knowledge you have of wine and beer pairings, it’s easy to find a cocktail that can match your meal. With a little caution and a bit of risk, you may find a new favorite way to enjoy a drink with dinner. (more…)
Bloody marys are my favorite. They’re the perfect excuse to drink in the morning and not prompt your family to convene an intervention. Plus, you get to snack on cured meats and pickled veggies while you do. I sought out some of the craziest, over-the-top, most Leaning Tower of Pisa-esque bloody mary garnishes out there. Then I decided to alphabetize the list because amidst all this chaos, I believe a little order is called for, don’t you? Good. Then let’s proceed. (more…)
Are you up for a night of dimly-lit merrymaking and great drinks to boot? Adventure across every drinking scene imaginable with me as I explore the underbelly of the New York City nightlife, checking in and drinking up all the best speakeasy bars Manhattan has to offer. (more…)
The Italian way of eating is about the enjoyment of quality genuine food and drink. It is also about eating and drinking in a progression that will aid in proper digestion to enhance the overall experience.
When it comes to Italian drinks, the most obvious thought is usually coffee or wine for which Italy is so famous. You would, however, miss out on a vast range of afternoon and evening drinks shared with friends or consumed to stimulate the appetite or add the perfect finish to a meal. Most of these drinks have an alcohol content that ranges between 15% to 55%. In America, these type of drinks are loosely referred to by the French words aperitif (aperitivo in Italian), digestif (digestivo), and liqueurs. These categories are broad and difficult to categorize, as lines blur with many drinks considered to stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, or simply be pleasurable to drink. Here is a brief look at some of these popular Italian drinks. (more…)
Tomorrow the newest James Bond movie Skyfall will open to great fanfare. One of Bond’s most memorable characteristics is his penchant for martinis “shaken, not stirred,” a line first uttered by Sean Connery in 1962’s Dr. No.
But ask any mixologist (especially one who would declare himself a mixologist and not a bartender), and he’ll tell you that 007 has philistine tastes — no one should ever order a martini that way. Conventional wisdom dictates that only cocktails with juices, dairy, or egg whites should be shaken. This aerates the drink, creating a pleasing foam head on favorites like daiquiris, margaritas, or mai-tais. When a cocktail contains a carbonated ingredient like soda, a proper bartender will “build” the highball — that is, pour the ingredients atop one another in the glass. And, if the drink contains only spirits, like a Manhattan or (ahem) a martini, it should only be stirred to incorporate the ingredients, but avoiding clouding their clarity. (more…)
I’ve often wondered how one goes about becoming the name of a drink. I fantasize about the day someone orders a Kim Kohatsu, though I haven’t given much thought to what would go in the glass. If history is any indication, that step may not be as important.
Child actress Shirley Temple began her career in 1932, at the age of three. On her 10th birthday, a bartender at Beverly Hills restaurant Chasen’s is said to have created a non-alcoholic cocktail to serve to her while she dined with her parents and older celebrities. The Shirley Temple consists of ginger ale and a splash of grenadine, topped with maraschino cherries. But, like most food lore, there are conflicting accounts of the drink’s origin. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki also claims to have invented the drink, since Shirley Temple was a frequent guest there. In addition, the Brown Derby in Hollywood marketed drinks with celebrity names, and also may have originated the Shirley Temple. Oddly enough, the actress herself said she actually never liked the drink, and opposes the concept of cocktails (even non-alcoholic) for children. She has fought several attempts to use her name in unauthorized bottled sodas, saying “All a celebrity has is their name.” (more…)
It’s true: tequila has a bad, bad reputation. And it’s well-earned; tequila’s history is dubious, complicated, full of scandal and poor behavior. But, all of that is in the past. The Consejo Regulador del Tequila (C.R.T.) was formed in 1994 to control, improve and promote the quality of tequila production and has constantly maintained its efforts, even rewriting its standards in 2006. The C.R.T. boldly assures us that tequila has cleaned up its act. Even better, many artistic creations, single-barrel bottlings and unique blends of tequila, all from premium stock, have recently emerged. Jake Lustig of Las Joyas del Agave recently introduced his Seleccion Arte N.O.M. series of tequila. Acting closely as a negociant of agave and of specific barrels, Lustig works only with the best of the best of the Tequileros in Jalisco and bottles only his favorites, with each batch bearing the signature of the distiller on the label. Chiara Shannon of K & L Wine Merchants described the 1079 Blanco Tequila as “one of the coolest tequilas I’ve ever tasted. Absolutely unreal.” (more…)
Whiskey: It is the drink of Honkytonks, of Country and Western, of saloons and the ballads sung in them. It is 42nd Street meets Michigan Avenue meets Heaven Hill, Kentucky. It’s the catch-all category wherein Scotch is connected to Bourbon and Irish to Rye. And to Canada and to Japan and to Panama and Peru, and wherever else a grain mash is built, fermented akin to beer, distilled a few times, then intentionally left to idle in wooden barrels to breathe, soften and take on notes of vanilla, coconut and spice. “Whiskey is as diverse as wine with a broad spectrum of flavor,” said Robin Coupar, Whiskey Specialist for Campari America. “Women are embracing whiskey too as they are attracted to its complexity.” Whiskey sings in the Mint Julep, the Old-Fashioned, the Rob Roy, in San Francisco’s Boothby Cocktail, and rarely is it better than in a Manhattan. It is known as Whiskey, or as Whisky, or Whisk(e)y in the seminal book on the tipple by Stefan Gabanyi. (more…)
by Noella Schink, Guest Blogger
In a sea of neon-lit clubs slinging new-fangled, cavity-inducing shooters topped with cream, blue goo and flames, there are few cocktails still considered classics. If you are going to travel thousands of miles around the world, be sure you are sipping a legitimate libation and not some bright purple, sugar-rimmed, upside-down-cake named abomination. The following drinks have withstood the test of time and will never go out of style, unlike the “bombs” and “slammers” of today’s bar culture. Far from your grandfather’s Manhattan at happy hour, these brews still taste great, but will knock your socks off if you don’t imbibe responsibly. (more…)