The Oak Bottle, billed as “the first for-home-use barrel-aging apparatus,” promises to make your “cheap or average-tasting” wine and spirits far more palatable by infusing them with an oaky flavor in anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
‘Tis the season for all things apples, from sweet classics like pies, tarts and breads, to the savory side of the menu with hearty pork roasts and fresh salads. But what happens at cocktail hour? It turns out that you can enjoy the taste of autumn’s signature flavor in drink form, too. On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts celebrated the best flavors of fall with go-to seasonal recipes, including Geoffrey Zakarian’s Apple Sorbet, Scotch and Soda Float.
It takes only those three key ingredients and a quick five minutes to make this adults-only cocktail, which doubles as a dessert, thanks to the scoops of refreshing apple sorbet in each class. The secret to serving GZ’s recipe? Freezing the glasses before filling them with the sorbet, which will help keep the drink chilled longer.
By Laura Hayes
There’s never been a better time to be thirsty in Washington, D.C., where craft brewing and distilling are booming simultaneously. The city has an undeniably strong bar scene — not only do hardworking locals like to kick back with a cocktail, but District denizens also consume the most wine per capita in the country. Here are 12 locales that should be a part of any imbibing itinerary, from breweries and a distillery to the trendiest places to order drinks. Cheers!
Check out the full gallery for more places to quench your thirst.
As the dog days of summer press down on us, it’s only natural to feel a little parched. There’s no better way to beat the heat than with an array of large-batch cocktails and drinks, and that’s exactly what Punch Bowls and Pitcher Drinks offers. The title, written by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia, pulls inspiration from fresh, seasonal fruits, plus herbs and spices. Classic cocktails are reimagined as new sips, like Julep-Tea Punch, Lychee Mojito Punch, Old-Fashioned Manhattan Punch and Mai Tai Punch. But we can’t get enough of the drinks from the Height of Summer section, especially the Peachy Moonshine, Spiked Spa Water and Watermelon-Tequila Punch (pictured above; recipe below for you to try at home).
Before you dip into any of the recipes, keep in mind these tips and tricks for working with fresh cocktail ingredients and various spirits:
- The tartness of citrus fruit varies considerably from backyard tree fruit to purchased fruit from the farmers market or the grocery store. Hyper-fresh backyard citrus will have a more intense flavor.
- Unless the recipe specifies, you do not need to peel the fruit or vegetables. In many cases the peel or rind of a fruit adds a note of necessary bitterness to counter the sweeter meat of the fruit, and also helps infuse the lunch with more aromatic flavors.
- Brands of alcohol also vary considerably. In order to get the right balance, add the amount of liquor called for in the recipes (the smaller amount if a range is listed). If, after tasting, you want a more potent mix, add more liquor by the tablespoonful to taste.
- Some folks really prefer sweet drinks. If a recipe calls for a flavored syrup or sugar, a little more can be stirred into the mix, but start with the recommended amount.
What’s the best way to get the most flavor out of your cocktail? Muddling. The gentle mashing and combining of fruits with other ingredients will help to release fresh flavors and encourage a mingling of your base and spirit. In fact, it may be even more important than shaking or stirring when it comes to creating the perfect summer cocktail. Be careful not to over-muddle when working with delicate herbs such as mint and basil (which will become bitter) or delicate fruits that may benefit from larger pieces (for color and for visual appeal). Rosemary, lemon, limes and sturdier ingredients will be able to stand a heavy muddling. Whether you choose to use a wood, plastic or metal muddler, it’s the ultimate tool to craft these summer cocktails.
Pineapple-Raspberry Rum Refresher (pictured above)
Skip soda water or tonic and use coconut water for your summer cocktail. Melissa D’Arabian gently muddles frozen raspberries before topping with coconut water, pineapple juice and rum. Stir gently and serve with sprigs of mint.
We’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.
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.
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.
Alton Brown may be spending most of his time on the set of Food Network Star or Cutthroat Kitchen, but there’s always time for a cocktail. He gave us the low-down on his favorite drink for summer, told us which trends he is totally over and answered how you can best stock your at-home bar.
What cocktail trends are you over?
Alton Brown: I’m over anything that involves a cheese-stuffed olive because I don’t like cheese in my booze.
There’s no reason kids should have all the fun when it comes to slushies. They’re simple to make and they do a nice job of cooling you off during the hottest months of the year, so what’s not to love? While these options include alcohol, they can easily be made family-friendly with a bit of simple syrup or fruit juice. Either way, FN Dish is convinced that after a few sips of one of these guys, you’ll be bidding farewell to punch and beer this summer.