Shaken, stirred … or steeped? French press coffee is served after dinner at many restaurants across the country, but a select few spots are steeping cocktails to serve in these press pots, too. Turns out, manual coffeemakers work perfectly for booze infusions like fresh fruit, herbs and spices. These three restaurants and bars prove that coffee tools don’t have to be one-beverage wonders.
Whether you’re having a sweet-as-can-be cookie exchange, a Secret Santa party or a mix-and-mingle cocktail affair, the holidays are a time to let loose and be merry. In the spirit of the season, pour your friends and fam boozy seasonal cocktails, from eggnog martinis to steamy hot toddy swigs, that’ll warm your clan up in a jiff.
If for no other reason than sheer quantity, parties are better with punch. Serve a big batch of this crowd-ready, fizzy Holiday Party Punch, made with a blend of sparkling cider, cranberry juice, ginger ale and vodka, and let guests serve themselves from an old-fashioned punch bowl.
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.”
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.
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.
Wine is aged in a barrel, so why not spirits? That’s the thinking behind the newest trick of the artisan bartender trade: barrel-aged cocktails. “Barrel aging will refine the product and round out any harsh notes, making the spirit a bit more palatable for guests,” explained Maxime Belfand, head bartender at New York City’s Saxon + Parole. “The wood also imparts interesting flavors into the spirit, so you can experiment with different types of woods for this as well. Also, the barrel aging exposes the spirit to oxygen, which also adds a new flavor element, making it a bit more complex.” Here are three top spots where you can sip your next barrel-aged cocktail.
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
Friday night at the New York City Wine & Food Festival was spent just how you would expect: with dancing, drinks and lots of food. Night owls made their way to The Bowery Hotel in downtown Manhattan, where Rachael Ray and her husband, John Cusimano, brought their signature South by Southwest music and cocktail party, Rachael Ray’s Feedback, to the Big Apple. The Bowery Hotel’s glamorous, luxurious and vintage-style terrace proved the perfect place to unite Rachael and John’s shared love for food and music. Boasting the rockin’ vibes of Austin (the live music capital), special bar bites curated by Rachael herself and libations handcrafted by award-winning chefs, this late-night party bled into Saturday.
What pairs perfectly with your couch and some heavy knits? A warming cocktail featuring our favorite fall ingredients, of course. This weekend, stock the bar cart and treat yourself to one of these cozy drinks, plus make a spiked shake for dessert.
Who knew your favorite summer drink could be so versatile? Sip sangria all through fall with Bobby Flay’s mulled version (pictured above), made with Spanish red wine, brandy and sugar. Heat the ingredients, add in some citrus fruits and ladle into mugs for the perfect post-hay ride drink.