by Jessica Merchant in Drinks, March 15th, 2016
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, March 3rd, 2016
When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, it definitely felt like we were one of the few cities that were completely excluded from pro basketball season. And it still kinda feels that way, but we get a big boost from colleges and universities during the big basket tourney that tips off in March, which, for me, means time to make all the snacks!
Little apps, snack mixes, milkshakes, meat-lovers’ pizza and … wait for it … homemade slushies! You can even make them into shooters.
That’s what I’m talking about.
by Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, February 23rd, 2016
We may already be aware that millennials like to drink wine (big-name beers, not so much), but we may not have grasped just how much vino the young’uns are guzzling.
Now we know: a whole lot.
In 2015 alone, American millennials (in this case defined as those 21 to 38 years old) glugged through — or, more charitably, delicately sipped — 159.6 million cases of wine, according to new statistics on wine consumption unveiled by the Wine Market Council and cited by Wine Spectator. Figuring there are about 79 million millennials (estimates vary a bit), that’s more than two cases of wine per person. It’s also more wine consumption than any other generation. (Sorry, baby boomers and Gen Xers.) In fact, nearly half — 42 percent — of all wine consumed in the nation in 2015 was drunk by millennials.
by Sofia Lyons in Drinks, February 22nd, 2016
The word “natural” is notoriously indistinct and ill-defined when it comes to food (though that may one day change). The term may seem especially cloudy when it is applied to wine. Yet, NPR’s The Salt blog notes, “natural wine” is currently a cult hit.
WBUR reporter Andrea Shea, clearly a fan, has offered a primer on natural wine. Here are a few things to know:
by Emily Lee in Drinks, February 6th, 2016
Celebrate National Margarita Day by honoring this beloved tequila, Triple Sec and lime cocktail with an assortment of recipes. Traditional margaritas aren’t for you? No worries. Check out our favorite variations — some sweet, some spicy and all packed with flavor.
Margarita (pictured above)
The touch of sugar from simple syrup balances out the tartness of freshly squeezed lime juice in this refreshing recipe.
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.
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.