All Posts In Drinks

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.

David Beckham’s New Goal: Total Whisky Domination

by in Drinks, News, January 31st, 2015

David BeckhamAmerican fans of celebrity spirits and spirited soccer (not to mention steamy H&M underwear ads) may be interested to know that David Beckham has officially brought his new single-grain Scotch whisky, Haig Club — which, you may recall, he launched overseas a few months ago — to the U.S. of A.

The former soccer star and his partner in premium liquor, American Idol creator Simon Fuller, introduced the new whisky to invited guests this week at a cocktail party in West Hollywood in California.

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A Game-Day Brew for Every Team

by in Drinks, Entertaining, January 28th, 2015

By Cindy AugustineWhether your team is playing in the Super Bowl this weekend or you’re still holding out for next year, pick up a craft brew representative of your team’s hometown. We’ve got a beer for each NFL team and, if you’re cheering on the Patriots or the Seahawks this weekend, you can be sure there’s a best-bet bottle for each.

Tripel by Allagash Brewing
If you’re cheering on the Patriots this weekend, pick up Tripel by Allagash Brewing Company. Since the Patriots are a New England team, it’s only natural that fans opt for beer that comes from Maine — in this case Allagash Brewery, which launched almost 20 years ago. With Belgian techniques and styles, the brews are almost as popular as Tom Brady and his touchdown passes. The Tripel, with notes of honey and banana, is a fruity and herbaceous strong golden ale — a winner indeed.

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This Robotic Bartender Will Mix a Perfect Cocktail in Five Seconds

by in Drinks, News, January 22nd, 2015

SomabarLots of us enjoy drinking craft cocktails, but not all of us enjoy making them – or even really know how. And alas, perhaps all too few of us have a cute mixologist who will whip them up “with a little bit of love.”

A new gadget that’s just gotten funded (and then some) on Kickstarter is aiming to render that human mixologist obsolete and take the handmade beverage high-tech. The Somabar, which its makers describe as a “robotic bartender for your home,” is a craft-cocktail appliance that looks sort of like a SodaStream on steroids. Users download an app onto their smartphones (both Android and iOS) and then connect via WiFi to the Somabar, which they’ve preloaded with their favorite cocktail ingredients (spirits, mixers and the like), to order the mixed drink of their choice. Seconds later, they can be taking their first sip of a carefully calibrated, scientifically mixed cocktail.

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Death & Co — Off the Shelf

by in Books, Drinks, January 15th, 2015

Death & Co.When it comes to building a bar from scratch and mixing mind-blowing cocktails at home, the team from Death & Co, one of Manhattan’s elite cocktail bars, has all the tips and tricks you need. David Kaplan, Alex Day and Nick Fauchald recently released their first cookbook, titled Death & Co, which tells the story of how they opened the namesake bar in New York City and built their drink menu. With their book and their expert advice, before you know it you’ll be enjoying your own home bar and throwing the best cocktail parties in your group of friends. Start with Kaplan’s top-five rules for setting up your home bar (and maybe a Muddled Mission, recipe after the link):

1. Start with the basics: one mixable base spirit in the major categories: gin, tequila, whiskey (preferably rye if I’m around), rum and vodka — brandy as well if you’re a fan, which we all should be. Add a few frequently used modifiers (such as sweet and dry vermouth, Triple Sec, maybe a curacao of some kind).

2. Remember that “mixable” doesn’t mean “cheap,” but it should be affordable. We usually stick to a range of $15 to $30 per bottle.

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Coffee vs. Tea: Do We Have a Winner?

by in Drinks, News, January 15th, 2015

Coffee vs. TeaLadies and gentlemen, welcome to the main event.

In this corner, weighing in hot from the kettle, all the way from Asia, the aromatic beverage made from steeped leaves, enjoyed in a variety of types (black, green, white, herbal, oolong, etc.) and once memorably lampooned by Stephen Colbert … please put your hands together for … tea!

And in this corner, a brewed morning, midday and evening pick-me-up that – to lovers of lattes, cravers of cappuccinos and enjoyers of espressos, especially – likely needs no introduction … please give a fresh-ground greeting to … coffee!

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