All Posts In Drinks

7 Summery Cocktails to Enjoy This Weekend

by in Drinks, May 21st, 2015

In our opinion, cold drinks are just about as important for a backyard barbecue as the grub on the grill is. Let’s face it: You’ll enjoy that cheeseburger so much more if you have a summery beverage to wash it down. Kick off this weekend’s unofficial start to summer on the right sip with one (or a few) of these fun and refreshing cocktails.

Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler (pictured above)
Don’t disregard beer when it comes to mixing cocktails. If you’ve ever had a shandy (lemonade mixed with beer) you’ll understand. Giada combines light lager with fresh peaches and easy-to-make ginger syrup for an awesome summer drink that doesn’t require hard liquor. You’ll want one of these poolside.

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This Dairy-Free Horchata Has a Matcha Mix-In

by in Drinks, May 2nd, 2015

The ingredients for horchata vary depending on the particular recipe’s country of origin. For example, in Mexico and many parts of Latin America, horchata is made from white rice, almonds, sugar and cinnamon (sometimes with milk added). In Spain, it’s made from tiger nuts, also known as chufas (a dried root vegetable that is gaining popularity here in the United States). In Puerto Rico, sesame seeds and sweetened condensed milk form the basis for the drink. No matter how you make your own horchata, when served chilled, it’s a refreshing beverage for any time of day. Being the whole-food enthusiast that I am, I like to make horchata with brown rice instead of white rice, and with pure maple syrup in place of white sugar. I also soak the raw almonds overnight to increase their nutritional value. Thanks to the nuts, this horchata is rich and creamy without the addition of dairy milk. Although it’s irresistible plain, it can be fun to add in some of your favorite flavors. Blending in fresh fruits or berries is a great way to turn this otherwise light drink into a more substantial snack.

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Drink in the Rich, Nutty Taste of Pistachio

by in Drinks, News, May 1st, 2015

PistachiosTrend alert: It may sound nutty, but pistachio cocktails are all the rage in drinking establishments across the country.

“Drink makers are not only rimming glasses with the crushed green nuts, but creating syrups, foams, orgeat and even infusing whiskey, sherry, and brandy,” Eater reports. “Almond who?”

At Gunshow in Atlanta, bartender Mercedes O’Brien is using infused pistachio rye as “the focus” of her Boulevardier-inspired Forager, combining it with strawberry Campari and coconut sweet vermouth, Eater notes. In Chicago, Sable Kitchen & Bar lead bartender John Stanton riffs on a mai tai, incorporating pistachio syrup into his Dans Le Nuit, which also includes Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac, lemon juice, Marie Brizard orange curacao and simple syrup, garnished with orange peel.

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5 Ways to Get Your Frosty On with Frozen Margaritas

by in Drinks, Holidays, May 1st, 2015

Frozen MargaritasWe’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.

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Are Carbonated Teas the Latest Cafe Trend?

by in Drinks, News, April 21st, 2015

Carbonated TeaWe can all look forward to getting our fizz on this summer, sipping artisanal sparkling teas — refreshing blacks, cool greens — according to Eater. Upscale coffee shops are increasingly serving them in bottles and on tap, kind of like a “daytime beer,” writer Liz Clayton reports.

In fact, it’s the hoppy quality of beer that has, in many cases, inspired the high-end sparkling tea trend. (Note, too, that Lipton is also now trying to take sparkling tea to the masses.)

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Charcoal Cocktails Light Up the Drink Scene

by in Drinks, News, April 19th, 2015

CharcoalIt’s just about outdoor-barbecue season. Time to stock up on charcoal for your grill. And while you’re at it, you may want to get some extra briquettes for cocktail hour. Wait, what?

Yes, friends. Charcoal — black, bitter and smoky — is apparently the new “it” cocktail ingredient. And it’s not just a matter of look and taste.

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Save Some Coffee for Cocktail Hour

by in Drinks, Recipes, March 28th, 2015

A cup before work, a cup to get through 3 p.m. — why not have a cup during happy hour? Coffee cocktails might be exactly what you need: something that melts away the stress of the day while simultaneously boosting your energy for late-night laundry. Add in some rum or chocolate, and you’ll enjoy your caffeine fix more than ever. Whether you’ve just finished a big dinner with friends or you’re spending a Friday evening in alone, these sips are sure to put a smile on your face.

Pitch-Dark Coffee Stout (pictured above)
Why not have both brews—coffee and beer—at the same time? Coffee liqueur and espresso give you a bit of a jolt while stout rounds out the richness of the drink.

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How to Pour an Artsy Latte

by in Drinks, Food Network Magazine, March 21st, 2015

latte art

Lesson learned by Food Network Magazine editors while working on the April issue: Leave latte art to the professionals. Those pretty heart and rosetta foam patterns you splurge for at the coffee shop are no easy feat. They require hours of practice and a very precise foam consistency. However, if you can master the perfect pour, it’s a great party trick to show off at your next brunch. So if you’re feeling ambitious and have a home espresso machine and milk frother, it’s worth a try. Don’t worry if you fail, though. In Maile Carpenter’s editor’s letter, the editor-in-chief admits that her attempt ended up looking like a “beach ball with arms.” At the very least, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for your local baristas and feel better about dishing out close to $5 for a cup of fancy espresso.

Read on to learn which tools you need, how to froth like a pro and the technique for the perfect pour.

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What Makes Coffee Smell So Good? An Infographic Makes Scents of It

by in Drinks, News, February 28th, 2015

What Makes Coffee Smell So Good?Mmmm … the aroma of coffee. Even some people who don’t drink it enjoy coffee’s heady scent. And those of us who are coffee drinkers may respond to the smell of a freshly brewed pot with a love that can be embarrassing in its fervor.

Why do we adore it so? Past research has indicated that just the smell of coffee sends a wake-up call to the brain and reduces the stress of sleep deprivation, and now there’s an infographic that parses the chemistry of coffee’s aromatic appeal.

“There are a number of different ways in which coffee’s aroma compounds are created,” Compound Interest, the chemistry blog that created the infographic, explains. It adds that the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that makes browned foods like seared steak so delicious, “is a big contributor here, the reaction between proteins and sugars in the coffee beans producing a range of products.” What’s more, the site notes, “degradation and decomposition of other compounds in the coffee beans can also produce aroma compounds.” Brewing also plays a role.

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5 Hot Chocolate Cocktails to Get Cozy with This Weekend

by in Drinks, Recipes, February 13th, 2015

When temperatures plummet to polar lows every February, our tastes turn toward steaming escapes, namely gallons of rich hot chocolate. Those marshmallow-topped mugs are unrivaled warmers after a good romp in the snow or on wintry movie nights. For those with a daily habit, even extra-dark hot chocolate can become too tame.

Just in time for the next snowfall, the clever culinary wizards in our Food Network Kitchen devised five devilish hot-chocolate cocktails that have been spiked, spiced and garnished to keep those of us with more adventurous — or adult — palates ladling mugfuls all winter long. From a rum-and-coconut twist that will take you to the tropics (now, on a plane, please?) to a White Hot Russian that proves white chocolate won’t go down without a fight, these are decidedly not your children’s cups of cocoa. Click the play button above to watch the cocktails being made.

Watch our Food Network Kitchen make five clever hot-chocolate cocktails here and get the recipes.

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