by Maria Russo in Drinks, December 5th, 2014
by Maria Russo in Drinks, Holidays, November 22nd, 2014
When it comes to steamy seasonal sippers, piping-hot cups of cocoa and glasses of rich buttered rum may be go-to picks, but when warmed, wine, sangria and cider can shake the December chill too. The secret to serving mulled beverages is pairing the drink with the warm flavors of complementary ingredients, like fragrant spices and fresh fruit. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five mulled drink recipes to find seasonal inspiration for wine, cider and sangria from Rachael Ray, Ina Garten, Alton Brown and more of your favorite chefs.
5. Mulled Cran-Cider — Crimson-colored cranberries add sweetness to Rachael’s fuss-free cider, while ginger promises subtle spice and a welcome bite to the drink.
4. Hot Mulled Cider — Ready to enjoy in a hurry, Ina’s big-batch drink laced with cloves and star anise is a last-minute party favorite that’s made with only a handful of ingredients.
by Maria Russo in Drinks, Recipes, October 1st, 2014
No matter if you’re hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving or preparing a simple meal for your family, you can make the feast feel extra special by shaking up a signature cocktail to pair with the spread. Stick with the warm flavors of fall when planning your cocktail menu, and don’t shy away from pairing the liqueurs with seasonal ingredients like fragrant spices; the more these tastes complement those in your dishes, the better. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails to find easy-to-make sippers worthy of the holiday, then browse all of our Best Thanksgiving Cocktails and Drinks.
5. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — Laced with a splash of pure maple syrup and garnished with dried chiles, Giada De Laurentiis’ sweet and spicy cocktail is best served cold.
4. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a pop of freshness, finish each of these rum-and-schnapps-based sippers with a skewer of chopped tart apples.
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, August 1st, 2014
Whether you pick up a gallon at the orchard to accompany warm doughnuts or you simply buy a bottle while shopping at the grocery store, you’ll likely find yourself with apple cider on your hands this season. And when that happens, it’s time to mix up a cocktail. When thinking about mix-ins, stick with flavors that will complement the sweet, crisp taste of cider — warm cinnamon, simple fruit juices and sparkling wine are good places to start. Read on below for more ideas, and find Food Network’s top-four apple cider cocktails from Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli and more chefs.
4. Sparkling Apple Cider Punch — The beauty of Nancy Fuller’s crimson-colored cocktail is that once you prepare one batch of this sparkling cider-cranberry punch, guests can help themselves to it, so you don’t have to prepare cocktails all night long.
3. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a fresh finish, garnish this rum-laced cocktail with a skewer of apple chunks.
by Allison Milam in Drinks, July 31st, 2014
Americans may be drinking more wine these days than we used to — especially in Washington, D.C., where, it may not surprise you to learn, more wine is consumed per capita than in any other state or district. But that doesn’t mean we know how to properly store and pour it. At what temperature should it be served? How full should our wine glasses be? And are we really supposed to decant?
Here are a few rules of thumb:
Be Chill (But Not Too Chill) About Storage: Ideally, bottles of wine should be stored (preferably, though not necessarily, on their sides) in a cool, dark place — like a basement or closet, if not in a dedicated wine cooler — at temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees F, with 55 degrees F being the sweet spot. Exposing wine to temperatures above 70 degrees F could speed aging or even flatten out the flavors and aromas, Wine Spectator warns. It’s cool to keep wine in your kitchen fridge short term, but don’t leave it there for months on end, as the low temp could damage the corks and, in turn, the wine. Aim to avoid extreme temperature fluctuations and long-term exposure to bright lighting when storing, but don’t freak out if they happen, especially if you’re planning to drink the wine sooner rather than later.
by Ricky Smith in Drinks, July 19th, 2014
Summer may not be the only time for drinking, but it is most definitely, absolutely and the best time. Outdoor barbecues are met with a cold beer. Afternoons on the porch are complete with spiked lemonade. A day spent shading yourself by the pool necessitates a frozen margarita just as much as your favorite pair of sunnies. This week, check out Food Network’s complete guide to summer drinking, and get a rundown of the most-thirst-quenching sips of the season. Hey, even if you’re attached to a blaring AC unit all summer long, you could probably use a cold one.
Sangria is best fixed by the pitcher. Depending on what kind of vino you’re into, Rachael Ray’s White Sangria — complete with ripe peaches, green apples and raspberries — is crisp and refreshing. If you typically go for red, Bobby Flay’s Red Wine Sangria is deepened with brandy, triple sec and pomegranate juice, before orange and apple slices, blackberries and pomegranate seeds are stirred in. Prepare both recipes ahead so the ingredients have time to meld together.
by Cameron Curtis in Drinks, Recipes, July 16th, 2014
Think about the first time you go to the grocery store or farmers market and see a big display of bright-green watermelons. It’s hard not to pick up one of those beauties and use it in every possible way. But the options don’t end with putting it in a fruit salad or on the grill. Watermelon is also super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Adding it in or using it as a base gives any drink that juicy, slightly sweet flavor for which watermelon is known. So check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.
Watermelon Mai Tai: A spicier alcohol like rum might not be the first thing you think of when you want to cool off during a hot summer day, but this drink uses it perfectly. With watermelon and lime to cut through the strong flavor of the rum, it goes down nice and smooth. Just don’t let the fruity flavor fool you into having too many.
by Ricky Smith in Drinks, July 12th, 2014
While you’re staying hydrated this summer with copious amounts of water to get you through sweltering days, try branching out at lunch or dinner with a beer or glass of wine. These pairings work particularly well with your favorite summer recipes for burgers, ribs and even dessert.
by Ricky Smith in Drinks, July 5th, 2014
The food world is all about trends, and drinks are no different. You can barely walk into a bar right now without finding something containing muddled ginger. And there are plenty of tried-and-true classics that are easy enough to make (and elevate) at home. Drinks like mint juleps, mai tais and rum punch are always great to have in your entertaining arsenal during the summer. Plus, these favorites (below) each have an added twist, so they’re even more exciting than the originals.
Mint Julep: This cocktail is just about as simple as they get. A little bourbon, a dash of sugar and some mint and you’ve got yourself a foolproof refreshment. Bobby’s recipe includes shaved ice, so it’s the perfect option for a hot summer day. Don’t forget the cherry on top for a little sweetness and a splash of color.
by Ricky Smith in Drinks, Holidays, June 28th, 2014
Few drinks give us more of what we love in one sip than sangria. Each version, no matter how fancy or simple, always has refreshing fruit, perfectly chilled wine and that sweet element that brings it all together. But the best thing about sangria isn’t the fact that you can get your buzz on while drinking something that tastes incredibly good. It’s the idea that as long as you include a few basic ingredients, the possibilities are endless. So get started with this roster of recipes and soon enough you’ll be fixing up your own creations.
Peach, Raspberry and Lime Sangria
Most sangria recipes just infuse the liquid with fruit overnight, but Giada’s takes it one step further by recommending you puree the simple syrup with some of the fruit. In this case, most of the peaches are pureed, giving every sip a strong dose of flavor. And since the base of the drink is infused with peaches from the start, this one is a great choice for those days you just can’t wait overnight for a sample.
While there are plenty of ways to get festive for the holiday with cakes, pies and all-American favorites, the drink department requires a bit of effort. At any July 4th party, you can probably find lemonade, iced tea and maybe some punch. But to really wow your guests, you’ll need a few of these colorfully creative cocktails.
Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris
Ah, the daiquiri. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy this classic summer drink. The red portion of this version is sweetened with strawberries and watermelon, making it extra-light, while the white portion is made with coconut sorbet, giving the drink a bit of creaminess. And the blue center is made with white rum, blue passion-fruit liqueur and blue curacao, giving the drink its grown-up kick.