by Emily Lee in Drinks, February 6th, 2016
by Jessica Merchant in Drinks, January 21st, 2016
Game Day is one of the most divisive days of the year, but if there’s one thing that can loosen tightly-wound team alliances and unite us all, it’s booze. Recent Nielsen data shows that the week prior to the Super Bowl generated a nine-percent sales increase in beer nationwide — an impressive spike to be sure, but the same report indicates that the popularity of wine and spirits is also on the rise. The unofficial national beverage has some stiff competition, and perhaps a huddle is in order. Here’s the plan: Rather than piling your brews into a gigantic ice-filled tub, greet your guests with a fizzy (and budget-friendly) cocktail featuring your favorite lager or ale. We’ve got a potent michelada, citrusy beer punch and even a spicy ale-based Bloody Mary to bring beer back into the end zone.
Mauro’s Michelada Supreme (pictured at top)
Jeff Mauro serves this boozy creation in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass just like a traditional michelada, but with a few invigorating additions — namely, fish sauce, hot sauce and a generous dose of chile powder.
by Jessica Merchant in Drinks, Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2015
Since I was about 3 years old, my mom instilled a belief in me: Fridays were for shopping. Every Friday we’d meet my aunt, cousin and grandma for lunch, then head to the nearest mall, where we’d stay for hours (seriously hours) and shop till we dropped. It was probably only about three hours or something, but three hours in kid years? May as well be two weeks.
I just know we were there for a loooong time.
Our snacks at the mall usually came down to two options: Pralines ‘N Cream ice cream from Baskin-Robbins (my grandma’s No. 1 choice) or Orange Julius drinks (preferably a pina colada for me) all around. It was totally dependent on the mood, as those are fairly different options, right?
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, December 3rd, 2015
Words cannot explain just how excited I get about hot chocolate season. I’d never been a huge fan of hot beverages until recently, when I fell down the coffee hole fast and hard. But I always could get down with hot chocolate. And it had to be chocolate — not cocoa. Cocoa could work in a pinch, and I vividly remember drinking it from the packets on freezing cold days after playing in the snow with my brothers for hours on end. But the chocolate. Like sipping chocolate … that’s what dreams are made of.
It all started with Serendipity 3 in New York City, and if I’m being real, then it actually started with the movie Serendipity. I was completely fascinated by the adorable boutique-y cafe in the movie that served what only appeared to be ridiculous frozen hot chocolate.
by Jessica Merchant in Drinks, Holidays, December 3rd, 2015
The trend pendulum swings — first toward one extreme, and then toward the other. At least that’s true when it comes to what’s cool in cocktails.
One minute bar culture is all about fancy ice cubes — “premium ice,” they call it. “As with diamonds, cocktail ice is judged by its clarity, density, size and cut, all of which add to the quality and aesthetics of the experience,” Christopher Jones wrote a few months ago in a Wired.com piece looking at the “obsessive world of artisanal cocktail ice.”
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, November 27th, 2015
Any other eggnog fans out there? The creamy texture and interesting flavor tend to leave people either loving or loathing the holiday beverage. But! I happen to fall on the eggnog-lover side of things. Shocking, I know. My adoration for the drink goes so, so far back. Every Christmas my gram used to make her annual trip to our home with her infamous pumpkin rolls and loaves of fruitcake delicately bagged and tucked in her luggage. The day Gram came was one I looked forward to … basically from the day she boarded her flight back home.
According to my sweet gram, any and all desserts during the month of December could not be consumed without a glass of eggnog. My perfect equation was a thick slice of pumpkin roll and a cup of eggnog with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg. This was quintessentially holiday season for me. Occasionally, I’d swap out one of her perfect sugar cookies and dip it in the nog.
Now here I am, many years later, continuing Gram’s tradition of enjoying my holiday treats with a glass of eggnog. What’s even better: making a boozy holiday dessert cocktail with it. Take your favorite eggnog, blend with some sugar cookies (I used this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite!) and bourbon. I think my gram would be awfully proud.
by Maria Russo in Drinks, Holidays, November 20th, 2015
Soon, when you grab a beer with friends, even if each of you orders a different brand, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll all be made by the same brewer.
The recently announced $106 billion acquisition of SABMiller (which currently makes Coors, Miller, Blue Moon, Hamm’s, Leinenkugel, Grolsch, Peroni and many others) by Anheuser-Busch InBev (Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Beck’s, Leffe, Hoegaarden and many others) means that almost one-third — roughly 30 percent — of all beer sold across the globe will be made by a single massive company.
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, November 12th, 2015
Turkey day may be all about the, um, turkey, but that doesn’t mean your Thanksgiving guests won’t appreciate a refreshing sipper or two to celebrate the holiday. This holiday season, instead of serving everyday beer and wine, try infusing some of the flavors of fall, like cranberries and apple cider, into easy-to-make cocktails. Check out Food Network’s best Thanksgiving cocktails below to see how it’s done.
Instead of playing bartender all night and shaking your guests’ individual drinks, mix up Food Network Magazine’s big-batch apple cider-cinnamon punch spiked with apple brandy; let guests help themselves.
by Jessica Merchant in Drinks, Holidays, November 5th, 2015
Soon even vegetarians and vegans will be able enjoy a nice pint of Guinness. That’s because the stout will no longer include traces of dried fish bladder.
Perhaps you didn’t know Ireland’s favorite beer featured fish bladder in the first place. Indeed, for 256 years, the stout has been filtered using isinglass, a fish byproduct used by some brewers to accelerate the settling of yeast in beer. Most of the bladder is filtered out in the process, but some residue — “minute quantities,” as Guinness put it — may remain.
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, October 29th, 2015
The air is beginning to get crisp and chilly, and you know what that means … don’t you? All the best things! The coziest knitted sweaters, hot lattes and cider at any and all times of day, and warm, hearty soups. Not to mention stepping on all those crunchy leaves while wearing those favorite boots getting fresh air for the first time in, well … a while.
I’ve been frequenting the apple orchard nearly every weekend recently, and I just cannot seem to leave without a bottle of apple cider and a bag of fresh doughnuts. Have I mentioned that I love this time of year? I remember going to apple orchards as a little girl with my family and always being so eager to get lost in the corn maze with my brothers. After the relief from the hot weather of summertime, the little girl in me wanted to spend all day, every day out there. Fortunately, living near an apple orchard made my fall-loving dreams come true nearly every weekend. It was always necessary to warm up afterward with a steamy cup of hot apple cider.
The child in me is always game for a long walk in the orchard on those crunchy leaves, but the adult in me prefers warming up after a long day of fall activities with a big scoop of apple crisp and a yummy adult drink. Enter vodka and cranberry cocktail with apple cider ice cubes.
This is dangerously easy and delicious. Make it for any and all get-togethers this time of year, and of course plan on it for Thanksgiving. Not only does it taste sweet and spicy, but just look at it! Those colors! The ruby-red cranberries cover the surface, and the perfectly cubed apple cider cubes are the best additions and amp up the flavor. If you are feeling overzealous, you could create an entire tablescape to match: Spread those little cranberry cuties across the table, and add some glittery gold pumpkins. Always a good idea.
Pop quiz! Baijiu is … (pick one)
A. The French word for “jewelry”
B. The first name of a model-actress who’s the daughter of that guy from the Mamas and the Papas
C. A marshy body of water in the Southern United States
D. That song Megan sang to Don for his 40th birthday on Mad Men