Nora Maynard

Nora Maynard is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her recent work has appeared in Salon, Drunken Boat, and The Millions. She recently completed her ninth marathon and her first novel, Burnt Hill Road. Nora wrote for The Kitchn from 2006 to 2011.
How to Properly Salt the Rim of a Glass for Margaritas and More
Here's how to get the perfect amount of salt on the glass.
May 4, 2022
The Income Tax Cocktail
Yes, believe it or not, there really is a drink called the Income Tax cocktail. And what better day than Tax Day to give this gin-based classic a try?
Jul 14, 2020
Recipe Review: Lillet Liberté Cocktail for Bastille Day Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Just because the 4th of July weekend is over doesn’t mean our look at quick and easy celebratory cocktails has to end. After all, Bastille Day’s just around the corner, storming in next Thursday, July 14th. Here’s a light and lovely 3-ingredient cocktail to toast the occasion: the Liberté featuring the summery, citrusy apéritif, Lillet Blanc.When I first spotted this cocktail on the menu at an event I attended the other week, I was eager to give it a try.
Jan 29, 2020
Recipe Review: The Lazy Boy from Left Coast Libations Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Bourbon. Figs. Ginger. Honey. While this might sound like the beginnings of a luscious dessert, it’s actually the shopping list for a culinary-style cocktail with a sassy name.One of over 100 original recipes featured in Left Coast Libations, a cocktail book showcasing the creations of 51 mixologists from the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada, The Lazy Boy by Chris Churilla takes its inspiration – and most of its ingredients – from the kitchen.
Jun 9, 2019
Straight Up: DIY Cocktail Onions
There’s nothing like the briny crunch of a cocktail onion to complement a Gibson’s bracing coolness (in fact, garnished any other way, the drink would just be called a Martini). We like to leave ours til last, savoring the crisp, subtly sweet onion flavor with that final sip. But store-bought pickled onions can often be a letdown – squishy and flavorless duds.
May 3, 2019
Straight Up: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails that Impress
Infused syrups. Muddled fruit. Zippy garnishes. Stylish glassware. Why should drinks made with a shot of the hard stuff have all the fun?Move over, Shirley Temple. “Soft” cocktails are growing up.This is the philosophy of the folks behind the bar at New York’s Eleven Madison Park. Here, alongside the usual booze-laden summer classics, is an intoxicating array of alcohol-free composed drinks.
May 3, 2019
A Bouquet of 12 Valentine’s Drink Ideas Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Looking for new ways to toast Valentine’s Day at home this year? Polish up your best stemware for this bouquet of 12 cocktail and spirit ideas.Say It with Flowers St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur – A crystal-clear liqueur made from a white, star-shaped flower hand-harvested from the French Alps and delivered to the distillery by bicycle. Spirit backstory doesn’t get much more romantic than this.
May 2, 2019
All About Bloody Marys Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
The Bloody Mary is one of those decades-old drinks that seems to have earned itself as many die-hard haters as it has devoted fans. But love it or loathe it, this tangy, spicy, vodka and tomato juice-based cocktail’s a classic. In honor of Breakfast Week here at The Kitchn, here’s an up-close look at this savory brunch tipple/hangover cure.
May 2, 2019
After-Dinner Tipples: Digestifs Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
It’s been a full week of dinner coverage here at The Kitchn. How about a little glass of something to round off the meal? We’ve posted about apéritifs before, those appetite-stimulating lead-ins to an evening meal, but today we’re going to be looking at the very last course in the alcoholic beverage menu: the digestif. As the name might suggest, digestifs were originally believed to aid digestion.
May 2, 2019
Weekend Countdown: 22 Tantalizing Memorial Day Drinks Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Um, is it the long weekend yet? Here are 22 tantalizing (and citrusy, fizzy, garden-fresh, and easy) drink ideas to help get you into summer holiday mode.Citrusy and TangyKick back with something citrusy. There’s simply no substitute for the bright tang of just-squeezed lemon or lime (or grapefruit, or yuzu…) in a cocktail.
May 2, 2019
Recipe Roundup: 12 Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Looking for drinks to serve a crowd this Thanksgiving? Or maybe just to toast a romantic dinner for two? Something traditional? Or perhaps something with a more modern twist? Here are 12 Thanksgiving cocktail ideas from The Kitchn’s archives that we hope will inspire you.Looking for Something Using Fresh, Seasonal Ingredients?
May 2, 2019
Recipe Roundup: 20 Super-Simple Cocktails for 4th of July Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Looking for a cocktail to cool off with over the Fourth of July weekend? Something simple and not too fussy that can help max out your chillaxing time? Here are 20 quick-and-easy ones from our archives, each made from no more than three simple ingredients. Perfect for these lusciously lazy days of summer.Fizzy Free-PoursJust a shot of spirit, a couple of glugs of soda, and a squeeze of citrus – these brightly bubbly combos can be thrown together in a snap. Exact measurements optional.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Spicy, Savory Sangrita from Mayahuel NYC Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Spicy, zesty, and addictively tangy and salty, Sangrita makes the perfect sipping partner for tequila. I recently tried a version I’m over the moon for, and am excited to share the recipe with you today. What Is Sangrita? But first a little background. Sangrita is a non-alcoholic beverage traditionally served in a small glass alongside a shot of tequila or mezcal.
May 2, 2019
Recipe for Fall: Sazerac Cocktail
image:4db405b5c855741b7a4758aeeb7f7280c1c8ef10 w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" As the days grow shorter and cooler, I begin to crave drinks with subtle, complex flavors. With its delicately layered and nuanced flavors and aromas, the Sazerac feels like the perfect drink for this time of year.
May 2, 2019
Casino Royale Showed Us What James Bond Actually Drank the Most
A James Bond movie is nothing without champagne, and so it only stands to reason that any good James Bond spoof needs a silly scene where corks get popped. Fortunately the first Casino Royale (1967) rises to the occasion.
Feb 7, 2014
French Soufflés and Sabrina
“A woman happy happy in love, she burns the soufflé. A woman unhappy in love, she forgets to turn on the oven.” In Sabrina (1954), Audrey Hepburn plays a chauffeur’s daughter in love above her station. Unnoticed and brokenhearted, she goes to culinary school in Paris to forget. But even so far away, she can’t keep her mind on her cooking.
Feb 5, 2014
White Russians and The Big Lebowski
A rich and satisfying after-dinner drink blended from vodka, coffee liqueur, and light cream, the White Russian could almost be said to have it all. A one-stop source of alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and milk fat, the only legal substance it lacks is nicotine. The Coen brothers’ cult comedy classic, The Big Lebowski (1998), is a trippy, California-noir, loosely inspired by The Big Sleep (1946).
Feb 4, 2014
A Picnic of Chicken, Beer, and Innuendo in To Catch a Thief
In Hitchcock’s lush thriller, To Catch a Thief (1955), a cliff-side picnic lunch gets served up with equal measures of innuendo, elegance, and cheek. Have you seen this film? If not, you must. Now retired in style to the French Riviera, John Robie (Cary Grant), a.k.a. “the Cat,” is a reformed jewel thief and former French Resistance hero wrongfully under suspicion for a series of burglaries done by an imitator of his distinctive techniques.
Feb 3, 2014
Baby Carrots and Rushmore
This is going to sound odd. But of all the food seduction scenes in movies, this one’s our favorite. While the elegant picnic innuendo in To Catch a Thief (“a leg or a breast?”) and the racy dinner-table antics in Tom Jones (lobster, chicken, and oysters) are both standout classics, the strange, subtle poignancy of baby carrots on a plate in Rushmore (1999) deserves a romantic category all its own.
Jan 10, 2014
Garlic Prep, the Goodfellas Way
Every family has its own way of prepping garlic. Some, proud of their knife skills, wouldn’t be caught dead with a garlic press; others — the specialists — go for the high-end uni-taskers, swearing by the Zyliss Susi 2. In Goodfellas (1990), mobster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) recalls his days in stir, where Paulie (Paul Sorvino) developed a method all his own: “He was in a year for contempt and he had this wonderful system for doing the garlic.
Jan 9, 2014
Donut-Dunking and It Happened One Night
“Twenty millions and you don’t know how to dunk.” Donuts have long been an American staple, but in 1934 they hit the big time when they were billed as “The Hit Food of the Century of Progress,” and churned out to the masses by up-to-the-minute machines at the Chicago World’s Fair. The same year saw the release of the screwball classic, It Happened One Night (1934).
Jan 8, 2014
Ramos Gin Fizz and Dead Reckoning
A delicately floral-scented cocktail with a smooth, creamy finish, and the heady kick of gin, the Ramos Gin Fizz is the perfect drink for a Southern femme fatale. Invented in 1888 by Henrico C. Ramos at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans, the formula for this drink was a closely-guarded secret for many years. But when the saloon closed in 1920 under Prohibition, Henrico’s brother, Charles Henry Ramos, shared the recipe with the public in consolation.
Jan 7, 2014
Big Cold Cuts, Small Bread and This is Spinal Tap
There’s a story about Van Halen and M&M’s. The band’s tour rider was said to specify that a bowl of the candy always had to be waiting backstage with the brown pieces removed. If a single brown one was found, all bets were off. Lead singer David Lee Roth later claimed this was only a litmus test, a kind of a marker for the ability to follow instructions. “We have a very technical tour operation,” he explained.
Jan 6, 2014
5 Troublesome Cocktails & Spirits Terms
Do you know your whisky from your whiskey? A pony from a jigger? Here are 5 sets of cocktails and spirits terms we find to be the most frequently flummoxing. Tell us, what are yours? 1. Cocktail/Mixed Drink Cocktails and mixed drinks are the same thing, right? Well, yes and no. These days, “cocktail” is generally used as a catchall term for all kinds of mixed alcoholic drinks, from Martinis, to Moscow Mules, to Margaritas, to Mudslides.
Sep 9, 2011
Product Review (+ Recipes): Becherovka Herbal Liqueur Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Have you tried Becherovka? Spicy, aromatic, and bittersweet, this iconic Czech liqueur makes a surprisingly flavorful addition to summer cocktails.Up until this year, Becherovka (pronounced beck-ur-OHV-kuh) was a rare sight in U.S. bars and liquor stores. But thanks to its recent acquisition by liquor giant Pernod Ricard, it’s now popping up on shelves nationwide.And although it’s relatively new to this part of the world, the liqueur comes with a 200-year-old pedigree.
Aug 5, 2011
Recipe Review: Watermelon-Cucumber Refresher Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Looking for a mouthwateringly good warm-weather cocktail with garden-fresh ingredients? How about a savory-sweet Watermelon-Cucumber Refresher?I was leafing through DIY Cocktails when this summer sipper immediately caught my eye. A drink made from cool slabs of sweet watermelon and soothingly vegetal cucumber seemed like the perfect thing on a hot day.
Jun 17, 2011
The Gin & Tonic: 4 Fresh New Botanical Twists Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
The tinkle of ice. The scent of fresh-cut lime. The bittersweet effervescence of tonic water. The soft, junipery astringency of gin. Mixed together, these four ingredients are heaven enough, no? But what would you say if we subbed out or added in one more element? Something with a botanical twist? Well, this week, I did just that: I mixed a Gin and Tonic four new ways.I’d already been hearing some buzz about souped-up gin and tonics.
Jun 3, 2011
Bar Tool Checklist: The Basics – and Beyond Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
How many tools does a home bartender really need? I find I’m of two minds on this. Sometimes I want to go keep things pared down to the essentials (just a jigger, shaker, bar spoon, strainer, and citrus reamer, ma’am). Other times I find myself eyeing spherical ice molds and ornate absinthe spoons. Here’s my own bi-level bar tool essentials/appealing extras list. Tell us, what’s on yours?
May 20, 2011
Patio Favorite: Southside Cocktail Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Gin. Lemon. Sugar. Mint. That’s all you need to make this cool, citrusy summer sipper. So simple and so refreshingly good.There are quite a few stories about the origins of this gin-based, mint-kissed classic. By some accounts, it came from the South Side of Chicago and was enjoyed by Prohibition-era gangsters looking for a way to cover up the taste of some bad bootleg gin.
May 13, 2011
Recipe: Tribute Cocktail for the Bronx Zoo’s Cobra Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
TGIF: Thank goodness I’ve fangsIf anyone deserves a drink this weekend, it’s the Bronx Zoo’s Cobra. Allow me to explain.The freedom-loving reptile became an instant celebrity when she escaped from the Bronx Zoo in late March. Tweeting as @BronxZoosCobra, she kept her followers entertained with witty reports of her exploits around New York City before she was finally apprehended and returned to her high-security enclosure six days later.
May 6, 2011
A Cocktail for Apricot Lovers: The Knicker Twist Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
If you love apricots as much as I do, you’re in for a treat with today’s cocktail recipe: the luscious – and saucily named – Knicker Twist.I first tried this cocktail at Rye in Brooklyn. I’m a big fan of drinks from the sours family (alcohol + citrus juice + a sweetener) and this combination of vodka, fresh lime juice, orange liqueur, and apricot preserves immediately grabbed my interest.
Apr 8, 2011
2 Spherical Ice Makers: MoMA vs. MUJI (+ Expert Tips) Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Spherical ice doesn’t just look great in a drink, it has practical advantages too. Today we’re going to look at two trays that can be used for making spherical, er, “cubes” at home. And as an added bonus, we’ll be talking to cocktail ice expert Camper English as well.Why Use Spherical Ice?Before we get started testing spherical ice makers, it’s worth stopping a moment to consider the benefits of using the round stuff in the first place.
Apr 1, 2011
Kew Garden Cocktail: A Fresh Way to Celebrate Spring Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
I wanted to try a new recipe this week. Something light and clean and fresh-tasting as a way of toasting the new spring season. Well, I found one I’m absolutely over the moon about: the Kew Garden cocktail.
Mar 25, 2011
Buying Liquor: State vs. Private Stores Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Location, location, location. Where you buy your liquor, how much you pay for it, and the selection available to you: these things are all determined by the region in which you live. Join us – and weigh in with your own experiences – as we take a closer look at the way liquor is sold in different U.S. states. (Readers who live in other parts of the world, we’d love to compare notes with you too.) Let’s suppose you’re looking to buy some gin.
Mar 11, 2011
Black Cup: Like a Pimm’s, but with Port Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Impatiently waiting for spring? Dreaming about the flavors of ripe summer stone fruit and lush, dark berries? How about this tall, roaring-red cocktail made with ruby port: the Black Cup.
Mar 4, 2011
Oscar Night Tipple: White Lady Cocktail Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Looking to channel a little Old Hollywood glamor and elegance for the Academy Awards this Sunday – all from the no-tuxes-or-gowns-required comfort of your own cozy couch? How about shaking yourself up a batch of this simple yet luscious, 3-ingredient beauty: the White Lady cocktail.A pale cousin of the blush-colored Pink Lady, the White Lady is a classic sours recipe with a gin base, featuring the tart tang of fresh lemon juice tempered by the orangey bittersweetness of Cointreau.
Feb 27, 2011