by Sofia Lyons in Drinks, February 22nd, 2016
by Jessica Merchant in Drinks, January 21st, 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 Sara Levine in Restaurants, December 30th, 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 Jessica Merchant in Drinks, Holidays, Recipes, December 17th, 2015
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.
by Allison Milam in Holidays, Recipes, December 11th, 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 Amy Reiter in Drinks, News, December 3rd, 2015
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.
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 Maria Russo in Drinks, Holidays, November 20th, 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 Andrea Strong in Restaurants, November 18th, 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
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.