Nancy Mitchell's Recent Articles
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Downton Abbey Cocktails: Sybil
Now that Downton Abbey season 2 is over, we’re all waiting with bated (pun intended) breath to see what will happen in season 3. Until then, enjoy a little break from the action…and enjoy one of these cocktails inspired by characters from your favorite British drama. It was my ambition to create cocktails for all three Crawley sisters (because original cocktails for the whole cast, while admirable, might be a bit daunting).
Feb 22, 2012
For Valentine’s Day: The His & Hers Gin and Tonics
Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and if you have a special someone in your life (or even if you don’t), you may want to make a few drinks. These gin and tonic variations are labeled ‘his’ and ‘hers’, but don’t let yourself be limited. I enjoy a nice manly cocktail every now and then – and the pretty pink ‘hers’ variation is so delicious that men might find themselves reaching for it by the end of the night.
Feb 10, 2012
Seven Days, Seven Hot Toddies: Part 2
The toddy project continues with two delicious combinations of tea and booze – whiskey and black tea to perk you up, and chamomile and bourbon to send you off to sleep. I couldn’t stop drinking this. It’s so many things I love, mixed into one: whiskey, tea, spices, honey. I can see myself drinking this après-ski in front of a roaring fire, or just après-work at the end of a long day. Go ahead, make one: you’ve earned it.
Jan 27, 2012
How to Drink Scotch: 4 Mixed Drinks to Ease You In
I love scotch. I like to think this has to do with my Scottish ancestry. My senses thrill to the aroma of peaty bogs and highland breezes. When sipping a complex, peaty scotch, I feel fully and deeply alive.But straight scotch is not for everyone. (“Tastes great, except for the smoke flavor”, one friend said.) It can be a bit brash, especially if you’re not in the habit of sipping hard liquor.
Jan 13, 2012
Bar Basics: 12 Bottles Any Bar Should Have
The new year is a time of new beginnings. This year, resolve to start your bar out right with these 12 essentials. I can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to make every drink you come across – but you’ll definitely be off to a good start.Read on for the list, the best brands to buy (even on a budget!), and cocktails you can make with your sweet new stash.1. GinLots of people think they don’t like gin. Once upon a time, I was one of them.
Jan 6, 2012
A Very Merry Cocktail Recipe: The Spiced Pear Margarita
Nothing brings people together quite like a good cocktail. This holiday season, whether you’re spending time with family, or gathering with old friends to reflect on the past year, mix up something special, like this Spiced Pear Margarita.Typically one thinks of margaritas as a drinking-on-the-beach kind of cocktail; this one gets seasonally appropriate with pear and a medley of spices.
Dec 16, 2011
Winter Gift Recipe: Apple Spice Bourbon Infusion
Go ahead…start a new holiday tradition with this subtly sweet spiced bourbon.It’s cold. And when I think of a liquor that will warm you up, I think bourbon. (Although maybe that’s just because I love bourbon so much.) Add spices and apple and you’ve got a delicious little concoction that is perfect for wintry weather…and perfect for everyone on your list.I can’t think of enough good things to say about this drink. In fact, I am enjoying one as we speak.
Dec 2, 2011
Cold-Weather Cocktail Recipe: Pumpkin Buttered Rum
pumpkin butter Alcohol always warms the body, and hot alcohol doubly so. Delight your guests, and warm your insides, with this tweak of an old recipe. Now, if you have never had hot buttered rum before, you may be a bit skeptical. Alcohol and butter? Believe and do not doubt. Butter adds a certain richness to this drink, as well as a bit of flavor. Imagine drinking a warm glass of boozy pumpkin pie. Don’t you love fall? Nancy Mitchell loves a hot drink on a cold day.
Nov 11, 2011
Halloween Pitcher Cocktail: El Diablo
Here’s a pitcher-sized version of a classic cocktail that’s sure to be a big hit at your Halloween party (or any other party, for that matter). The El Diablo cocktail first appeared in Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink as early as 1946. The original recipe called for tequila (white, or silver), creme de cassis, lime juice, and ginger ale (which at the time would have been much more similar to the spicier ginger beer of today). What, you may ask, is creme de cassis?
Oct 28, 2011
Fall Fig Cocktail: The Fig Old-Fashioned
Here’s a delicious variation on an old favorite, made with fresh figs, bourbon, maple syrup and…balsamic vinegar? Yes, you read that right. The old-fashioned, traditionally made with bourbon, sugar, bitters, and orange, is almost as old as the cocktail itself. Its simplicity invites endless variation, so when I set out to create a cocktail with figs and bourbon, of course the idea doing a sort of autumnal old-fashioned popped into my head.
Oct 21, 2011
Summer Cocktail Recipe: The Blueberry Rum Smash
Labor Day weekend always seems like the last gasp of summer before fall begins in earnest. Everyone scrambles to make the most of it — one last vacation, one last trip to the lake or the beach. And, for those of us taking the simpler route and staying home — one last summer cocktail. The beauty of this cocktail lies in its simplicity.
Sep 2, 2011
Friday Cocktail Recipe: The Summer Sage
You got the kids back to school. You survived the 105 degree late-August heat. And now — it’s time for a drink. This cocktail, with red plums, sage, and rye whiskey, is like a grown-up whiskey sour. Rye whiskey, a cousin to Tennessee whiskey (aka Jack Daniels) and bourbon, is a sort of forgotten American classic. Whiskey made from a rye mash has been around for hundreds of years — George Washington used to distill it at Mount Vernon.
Aug 26, 2011
History of Drink: What Exactly is Sloe Gin, Anyway?
The question I get asked most often about sloe gin is: “Sloe gin? What’s that?” Sloe gin is many things – a home-grown British favorite, a triumph of ingenuity, and a forgotten cocktail classic that deserves a second look. To understand sloe gin, we must first answer the question: “what, exactly, is a sloe”? Sloes are little berries, about the size of a dime, that grow wild in hedgerows all over England.
Aug 19, 2011