Beverage Recipes & Ideas
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Winemaking 101: How White Wine Is Made
Ever wonder, as you sip that glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, how it was made? Fermented grape juice of course. But what does that mean? And what choices are made along the way? Here’s a bird’s eye view of how wine is made, from start to finish. The first decision is when to harvest. The longer the grapes are left to ripen on the vine the more sugars accumulate in the grapes. When to harvest depends on many things.
Oct 28, 2010
It’s True! Yuengling Beer Is Coming To A State Near You
America’s oldest beer maker, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., announced plans to expand this week. Are you familiar with this sought-after beer? Remember the first beer you learned to order in a bar? You know, your go-to choice when you were too young to know much about beer except that you were happy to get it? Yuengling (pronounced ying-ling) was mine. It sounded a lot cooler than Bud or Miller and tasted better, too.
Oct 22, 2010
Know Your German Riesling Wine Regions: Mosel, Rheingau, & Pfalz
In previous posts I’ve discussed German Rieslingdifferent styles and levels of sweetnessRiesling is the lynchpin of the German wine industry. While it accounts for only about 20% of all vineyard plantings, it is the first grape that comes to mind when anyone mentions German wine. Riesling is considered the most noble of varieties planted in Germany and is planted in all wine-growing regions.
Oct 14, 2010
Look! Deep-Fried Donut Peaches (aka Donut Peach Donuts)
Really, it was only a matter of time before someone took the adorable, UFO-shaped donut peach and turned it into an actual donut. Or doughnut, depending on how you spell it (it is back to school week, so maybe we should get that straight).These deep-fried peaches are from Cathy at Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn. She makes lunch there every day and writes about it on her blog, Lunch at Sixpoint.Of course, given the setting, she used a beer batter.
Aug 24, 2010
Soda with Bitters: Simple and Refreshing
I love a good gin and tonic in the summertime, and I also enjoy more exotic, herb-tinged sparklers. But lately my drink of choice has been simpler, lower in alcohol and lower in calories. It’s sparkling and perfectly refreshing.Bitters, such as Peychaud’s and Angostura, are herbal concoctions of alcohol and dozens of (usually mysterious) ingredients. They have bitter, complex flavors and they are usually used as a flavor accent in cocktails.
Aug 20, 2010
Recipe: The Meg Ryan – A Bright & Bubbly Berry Drink
If you’re not a classical alcoholic drink (or a Shirley Temple) chances are you don’t get the luxury of a real name. So we’re going to call this light and luscious drink a Meg Ryan. Even if you’re not a fan of her acting style, you simply can’t help but love the woman. She’s light and airy, makes funny little faces and at some point in time you’ve wanted to be her or at least have her hair.
Aug 19, 2010
Cocktail Parties: 5 Hors D’œuvres & Cocktail Pairings
We talk a lot about pairing wine and beer with food, but what about cocktails? Do you sip cocktails with snacks or with meals — or do you just drink them alone? If you drink them with a bite of food, do you have pairings that you love? Here are a few ideas for pairing cocktails with delicious snacks.What makes a good pairing of cocktail with appetizer? Do you look for complementary flavors, colors, or textures?
Aug 18, 2010
Spotlight on Marionberries: Marionberry Agua Fresca
Living in the Pacific Northwest brings forth an incredible and diverse bounty of produce — especially during this summer harvest season — but there’s one fruit that stands alone as the most definitive taste of Oregon summer.The big, shiny, tender marionberry is a local delicacy with about a two month window (late July to early September) at local farmers’ markets and grocery stores.
Aug 18, 2010
Why Drinks Taste Better When Sipped Through a Straw
We are big fans of Fine Cooking‘s Kitchen Mysteries with the Food Geek column; Brian Geiger investigates and examines readers’ questions and kitchen science mysteries.Here’s one post we thought was fascinating: Why some things taste better when sipped through a straw. Yes, they actually do, and no, you’re not imagining it!Geiger goes on a long exploration of what, exactly, creates flavor on our tongues.
Aug 18, 2010
Try This! Easy Homemade Ginger Ale
We have had an epiphany. And it’s called homemade ginger ale. You have to try this.We’ve made a version of this before using homemade ginger syrup, but this is a whole different ball game. This recipe from Crumpets and Cakes has you combine grated ginger, sugar, lemon juice, water, and a pinch of baker’s yeast in a 2-liter bottle. That little bit of yeast is all that’s needed to get this concoction nicely fizzy. After a few days, it’s ready to be sipped.
Aug 16, 2010
How To Make Beer Popsicles At Home
Yesterday we mentioned the beer push up pops that are being served in New York, but since a trip out isn’t on the agenda for us, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We learned lots of tricks along the way and although this isn’t the healthiest summer treat you can eat — that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it at least once!
Aug 13, 2010
Purple Power: Cool Ways to Use Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is so tart that it makes our mouths pucker just thinking about it. We’ve also stained more than one shirt with an errant splash of the stuff. So why do we keep it around? Because there’s just so much it can do!It’s a little hard to write this post without coming off sounding like an ad for POM, but their pomegranate juice is one of the most widely available products in stores. POM can also be credited for making the juice mainstream.
Aug 6, 2010
Just Add Water: Trying McGee’s Experiments With Wine
I read with huge interest Harold McGee’s article in last week’s Dining section of The New York Times, about how adding water to a variety of alcoholic drinks — including wine — can enhance flavor. While the theory and examples were compelling, I just had to experiment myself. When we add water to something we usually do so to dilute rather than concentrate.
Aug 5, 2010
Cherry Lambic Ice Cream Float
There’s nothing terribly original about pouring beer over ice cream; if nothing else, root beer keeps us reminded of that tradition. I’ve been lazy with my beer and ice cream pairings — who isn’t? — and so it wasn’t until recently when a guest brought over a bottle of super-sweet Framboise Lambic, a raspberry beer of sorts, that I gave some serious thought to pouring boozy brews over ice cream.
Jul 22, 2010
Crisp & Refreshing: 19 Fabulous White Wines for Summer
It is hot out there, and while I do love a full-bodied red wine with dinner, these days I am all about refreshing whites, rosé or lighter reds that I can serve slightly chilled. This week let’s talk about the whites that are great for these hot summer days.
Jul 15, 2010
How To Make Umeshu (Japanese Plum Liqueur)
The other day, I posted about Japanese ume plumsThis sweet, fruity liquor is super easy to make, requires few ingredients, and when it’s ready to drink, you can eat the plums, too! It’s terrific on its own, on the rocks, or mixed with a little sake or sochu.Rock sugar is used because it dissolves more slowly than table sugar, and it flavors the alcohol more proportionally.
Jun 3, 2010
Try a Little Bitterness: Fernet-Branca Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Does your palate lean to the bitter side? Do you enjoy the sharp, bracing flavor of Campari on a hot summer evening? Ready to try something that packs an even bigger punch? How about nip of Fernet-Branca?The FlavorOn first sip, Fernet-Branca is just plain bitter. But let it settle on your tongue a moment and the full, dark complexity of its flavors really starts to shine.
May 21, 2010
Chai Tea and Vietnamese Coffee Gelatins: Jiggly Desserts!
It’s always fun to find a new culinary rabbit hole to jump down. While cruising the interwebs, we ran across a recipe for chai tea gelatin which was a spin off from a Vietnamese coffee gelatin. Following recipes as they morph from one thing to another is always fascinating and while these two recipes are very similar, they have very different tastes!Forget serving dessert and a drink, these recipes combine both into one — plus the jiggle and who doesn’t love jiggly food?
May 21, 2010
Strawberry and Balsamic Basil Soda
We adore the combination of strawberries and basil and strawberries and Balsamic vinegar, so we wondered: what happens when you combine all three ingredients … in drink form? Pure, summery refreshment.Fragrant, fizzy, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet, On The Lamb’s strawberry and Balsamic basil soda is destined to become our non-alcoholic drink of choice for spring and summer brunches and picnics.
May 14, 2010
On Pouring Wine: How Full Should a Glass of Wine Be?
When pouring a glass of wine how much do you pour? How full do you expect the glass to be when buying a glass of wine a in a restaurant or wine bar?I have asked various sommelier friends about this. In the US, the measure poured for a glass of wine is not regulated. Hence, restaurants and bars are pretty free to take it upon themselves to decide what constitutes a single wine glass serving.While some bars and restaurants do indicate the serving sizes on the drinks menu, many do not.
May 6, 2010
What Are Good Desserts or Snacks to Go With Lemonade? Good Questions
Q: It’s a beautiful summer day in Brooklyn today, and there are lemonade stands popping up all over Park Slope. They’ve inspired me to make my own homemade batch, but I can’t decide what to serve with it.What are some not-too-sweet desserts (strawberry, maybe?) or snacks that go well with my favorite recipe, lavender lemonade?Sent by ShannonEditor: Shannon, honestly, we are total suckers for the sweet lemonade/salty pretzel combo. How about one of these recipes?
May 5, 2010
Delicious Dessert Wines for Dessert Week
It’s dessert week here at The Kitchn. Dessert wines are often over-looked, as many of us don’t bother with wine if we are having dessert, or find the challenge of pairing too complicated — but few simple guidelines should make it a fun exercise!Firstly, back to the golden rule for pairing wine with desserts – the wine should be sweeter than the dessert. Secondly, match the flavor intensity of the dessert with the flavor intensity of the wine.
Apr 29, 2010
Recipe: Chocolate Whiskey Pots de Crème
Pudding – the dessert many of us grew up on – has made a big comeback as a trendy treat. If the occasion calls for something a bit more impressive, we have the perfect fancy pants solution – bake your pudding in a water bath and call it pots de crème.OK, so the recipe and process is a bit different, but pots de crème are quite similar to the puddings we all know and love.
Apr 29, 2010
Reserva, Riserva, Reserve: What Do They Mean for Wine?
These terms: Reserva, Riserva, Reserve, Grand Reserve, Vintner’s Reserve and so forth — what exactly do they mean on a wine label? And is there any consistency between them? Simply answered, these terms mean different things, depending on the origin of the wine. Old World Wines In general, the use of these terms in the old world is fairly regulated. Firstly, it is supposed to indicate a superior wine, a wine made from riper grapes, resulting in a higher minimum alcohol.
Mar 25, 2010
Try This: Eight Treasure Tea
I discovered Eight Treasure Tea in Chinatown a few years ago. I was wandering around and found a little tea shop/cafe where you can order any one of their hundreds of teas and enjoy a cup brewed for you. There was one tea propped up on the shelf behind the counter, and the name sounded intriguing; Eight Treasure Tea – so I ordered it. It was sweet and light all at the same time, not too strong or too deep, but a lovely, fragrant flavor. I was hooked.
Mar 23, 2010
Lighter Treat Recipe: Frozen Banana, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Milkshake
You may have heard about one-ingredient ice cream, one of our all-time most popular recipes here at The Kitchn. It’s a marvelous trick of a treat, made from frozen bananas that have been whipped furiously into a smooth, dreamy dessert. And yes, it tastes (and scoops) just like soft-serve ice cream.
Mar 18, 2010
River Café Wine Dinner: My Tribute to Rose Gray
It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Rose Gray last week. Rose was the co-author of the iconic River Café Cookbooks as well as co-owner of the River Café restaurant in London. In the early nineties Rose was my icon – my Alice Waters. She may not be as well known on this side of the Atlantic but in the UK and Ireland she and her partner Ruth Rogers were possibly the first of the great modern chefs where simplicity and good ingredients were everything.
Mar 11, 2010
Cooking with Alcohol: The Science Behind the Scenes!
You learn something new every day! We’ve always thought that using a splash of wine to deglaze a pan or adding beer to a braise was just about boosting flavors and adding some intrigue to our dishes. Well, according to an article in the latest issue of Fine Cooking, there’s actually something more going on in there!This article explains that alcohol actually enhances the flavor of foods in two ways.
Mar 9, 2010
Can I Also Store Food in My Wine Refrigerator?
Q: My partner and I live in a small NYC apartment. One thing we couldn’t part from when we moved here was our 50-bottle wine refrigerator. It keeps a temperature of around 45-47 degrees. Half of it is always empty and we were thinking of putting some food items in here – what do you suggest?Our thoughts run from artisan cheeses, potatoes, onions, garlic, fruits…?Sent by MichaelEditor: Michael, you can definitely double-task your wine refrigerator for certain food items.
Feb 24, 2010
Valentine’s Breakfast in Bed Recipe: VS Mocha Café
What are you drinking on Valentine’s? (Or, for that matter, Chinese New Year, President’s Day, or Fat Tuesday?) A little later today we have a roundup for you of creative and delicious Valentine’s Day cocktails. But first, let’s consider breakfast. Why not start the day off with a spiked mocha? Here’s one recipe that looks so good; we’d love to curl up with a hot mug of mocha on this snowy weekend!
Feb 12, 2010
Making Smoothies: Easy Tips from Alton Brown
It may be frigid outside and prime season for oatmeal, but we’re in the middle of a smoothie kick. We don’t have the best blender – just your average model – but a couple of tips from Alton Brown have saved us from struggling and shaking it every morning as we make our breakfast. They’re so obvious, too!Earlier this month, Sarah Rae highlighted Alton Brown’s tips for eating light and his food lists that helped him lose 50 pounds.
Jan 29, 2010
Oaked White Wine: Dated, Timeless, or on a Comeback?
The late 80’s and 90’s were boom years for big, oaky white wines, especially Chardonnay. Over the past decade, it has been all about unoaked whites, with Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc taking center stage. Is oaked white wine still a timeless classic? Largely outdated? Or is it primed for a strong comeback? What are your views?Oaked white wines were all the rage 10 to 15 years ago. All those creamy, spicy vanilla aromas and flavors were delicious. These wines made bold statements.
Jan 21, 2010
An Easy Guide to Choosing Lower Alcohol Wines
The feasting and festivities of the holidays is over. Having over-indulged, many of us have made resolutions to cut back on or cut out certain foods and alcohols during January. So how can we reduce our alcohol intake, whilst still enjoying a glass or two of wine? Obviously, one way to cut back on alcohol intake is to stop drinking it. However, if like me you enjoy the way wine enhances food, and vice versa, here are some options. Look out for lower alcohol wines.
Jan 7, 2010
Favorite Product: PG Tips Tea
It started with an innocent impulse buy several years ago in a cheese shop in San Francisco. A square cardboard box with a lady in an orange sari on the cover and the intriguing promise of unique, triangular tea bags within. Now it’s an everyday ritual almost impossible to skip: wake up, boil water, PG tips, milk, back under the covers with a steaming cuppa and 15 minutes of slow sipping and emerging into the day.
Oct 19, 2009
Sweet Wines That Are Cool With Ice Cream
August is Stay Cool! month at the Kitchn. As the temperatures have been rising, so has our frequency of serving ice cream for dessert. This always brings up the question of what are the best wines to serve with ice cream. Of course, you don’t have to serve wine with ice cream, but if you do here are some of my favorites.First, a handy rule of thumb is to remember that for desserts the wine should be sweeter than the dessert. As ice cream is very sweet you need an extremely sweet wine.
Aug 27, 2009
Summer Recipe: Cappuccino of Tomatoes & Mozzarella
Have you ever had a cappuccino — of tomatoes? Here’s a recipe that upends the traditional idea of a cappuccino and replaces it with tangy tomatoes and a froth of whipped mozzarella and cream.This recipe was developed as a pairing for Chablis. This wine, made with Chardonnay grapes, is one of our favorite types of wine to drink in the summer. Here are a few good tips on Chablis and Chardonnay; any one of them would go very well with this recipe.
Aug 21, 2009
My Favorite Wine Glasses: Best Value for the Money
When I first became serious about wine, I really noticed the difference that a good glass made to my appreciation of the wine. At that time the choice of wine glass was pretty polarized. Either I spent a great deal of money (more than I could afford) or I had to be content with an industrial, heavy, thick-lipped glass. There was very little to choose from in between.Today, I can still spend a lot of money on a great glass, but I can also get a really good wine glass for a modest spend.
Aug 20, 2009
How To Make Lemon Shake Ups at Home Street Fair Food Week
It’s the middle of August, and you know what that means? It’s fair time! County, state, and street fairs are happening all over America right now. We admit to secret cravings for fair food: the fried dough glories of funnel cakes, and the once-a-year indulgence of a hot corn dog on a stick. But we don’t feel like braving the crowds this year, so instead we’re bringing you fair food for your own kitchen!
Aug 10, 2009
Great Wineglasses: Are They Worth the Investment?
Are good wineglasses worth the money? Does a good wineglass enhance the wine? Should you use different glassware for red, white and sparkling wines? Are all good wineglasses expensive?In my opinion, the wineglass matters. However, as with wine itself, there are many opinions about wineglasses, and, as expected, a great deal of snobbery. From my experience tasting wine professionally for many years, here are a few of my thoughts on what really matters in a wineglass.
Aug 6, 2009
How Cold Should Beer Be Served? Beer Guide
Cracking open an icy cold beer on a hot afternoon is as much a part of summer as cook outs and frisbee. Or is it? As refreshing as a cold beer can be, we recently learned that we might be doing some of those beers a real disservice!In talking to the bartender at a local brewery restaurant, we learned that they serve all their beers at around 42° Fahrenheit, which is significantly warmer than is common in the United States.
Aug 5, 2009
Cool Recipe: Michelle’s Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade Stay Cool!
We asked you how you’re staying cool this August, and your answers are already coming in! Here’s our first reader Stay Cool! recipe.Name: MichelleLocation: PennsylvaniaHow are you staying cool? Lots of icy cold fruit drinks keep us cool on summer days. Sparkling strawberry lemonade recipe below!Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade4-6 lemons, enough to equal 1 cup of lemon juice1-1 1/2 c. simple syrup (recipe follows)16 oz.
Aug 5, 2009
West African Ginger Drink
With faraway travel in mind this month, we have been watching online videos of the Australian television program “Food Safari,” which takes viewers into multicultural kitchens across the country. We recently tried a recipe from the Africa episode and have found our new favorite summer cooler: West African ginger drink.Non-alcoholic ginger beverages (sometimes referred to as ginger beer) are popular throughout Africa.
Jul 29, 2009
How To Pour and Taste Beer Like a Boss
Good beer deserves its own glass. Left in the bottle, your beer experience is limited to one thing: how the beer tastes. That’s of crucial importance, to be sure, but to really appreciate your finely crafted brew in all its glory, that beer must be liberated. Pour your beer into a glass, my friend — you’ll be rewarded with not only taste, but aroma, color, bubbles, and a foamy upper lip. Here’s what to do.
Jul 15, 2009
Food Science: Why Carbonated Soda Explodes When Shaken
As kids, we always thought it was a pretty funny joke to shake up a bottle of soda and leave it for the next unsuspecting person. Our sense of humor has improved since then, happily – and we’ve gotten a lot more curious! Why does shaking fizzy drinks make them even fizzier? And more importantly, once shaken, how can we avoid getting a shower?Carbonated drinks are made by forcing carbon gas into a beverage under pressure.
Jul 14, 2009
Recipe: Che Dau Xanh (Vietnamese Dessert Soup With Mung Beans)
Earlier this week, a reader inquired about more uses for mung beans. Like several of you, my thoughts turned to Asian-style sweet mung bean soup.In Vietnam, sweet soups or puddings are known as chè. They may be served hot or cold in bowls, glasses, or over ice, and contain ingredients ranging from various kinds of beans to tapioca, glutinous rice, jellies, lotus seeds, and fruit. As a child, the scent of chè simmering on my family’s stove always had me jumping in excitement.
Jul 2, 2009
Hot Drink for Summer Evenings: Lemon Verbena Tisane
Even summer evenings can be breezy and cool, and some nights we want a warm drink that is still refreshing. The perfect choice is an herbal tisane, especially one made with lemony summer herbs: lemon balm, or lemon verbena.We’ve talked about tisanes before; a tisane (tih-zahn) is the proper name for an infusion of herbs and spices.
Jun 15, 2009
Cinco de Mayo Recipe: Mango Michelada
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Today is a great excuse to eat plenty of Mexican food. Do you love Mexican food? If so you’re right there with Michelle Obama, who said yesterday that it is her “favorite food in the whole wide world.”And if you want a refreshing drink to wash down all that spicy Mexican food, try a michelada. Have you ever had one?A michelada is a beer cocktail with hot sauce, lime, and salt — a beer margarita, if you will.
May 5, 2009
Beer Guide: What Are Hops?
Beer buffs will often describe the flavor of a particular beer by saying things like “It’s hoppy,” or “Not a lot of hops.” Ever wonder what the heck these guys are talking about? Read on…Hops are one of the basic ingredients in beer brewing – the others being grain, yeast, and water. The hops we use in brewing is actually the flower of the hop plant, which is a member of the hemp family.
Apr 8, 2009
Beer Guide: What is Double Bock?
Double bock (or doppelbock) beers have became one of our new favorites this winter! And with cold weather lingering in many parts of the country, there’s definitely still time to enjoy this warming malty brew. Read on for more info and a few suggestions…Double bocks are often described as “liquid bread.” Indeed, some of the ones we tried we so thick and hearty that they could have been a meal unto themselves!
Apr 1, 2009
Food Science: Artichokes and Sweetness
Did you know that artichokes can make other foods taste sweet? We’ve never noticed this ourselves, but an article in the March issue of Saveur Magazine mentioned the fact in relation to pairing artichokes and wine. Now we can’t wait to get our hands on some fresh spring artichokes to see for ourselves!The article explains that artichokes naturally contain an acid called cynarin.
Mar 31, 2009
Quick Tip: Use Tea Balls To Flavor Soup
Do you use a bouquet garni to flavor your soups? If so, try tucking them into a tea ball instead of cheesecloth.We came across this idea at Williams Sonoma – it’s so simple and obvious, but we’d never thought to try it. Cheesecloth and muslin bags are great, but this is a good alternative. Plus, it’s reusable.We found a few other tea infusers that could work well with spices too, including a couple of heart-shaped versions. A little cheesy, sure.
Feb 11, 2009
Recipe Report: Quince Ratafia
Two months ago I started a ratafia. What’s a ratafia? Well, it’s a simple liqueur made from fruit steeped in alcohol. Or, as reader Bx put it, BOOZE FROOT.Want to hear how it turned out?Here’s the original post with the recipe:• Quince Ratafia: How To Make Fruit LiqueurI shredded a couple of quince fruit (delicious, heavenly things) and let them sit in a jar of pure vodka along with some sugar and a pinch of spices.
Jan 29, 2009
Wine Alternative: White Jasmine Sparkling Tea San Francisco
It’s the holidays, a time for special parties, feasts and fetes, and lots of good cheer. For some, it’s helpful to have a non-alcoholic bottle on hand that still captures the feeling of celebration. Or maybe you’re hosting a dinner party and you want to offer a distinctive pairing with the cheese course, something that balances perfectly with your ForsterkaseThen you’ll want to check out Golden Star’s White Jasmine Sparkling Tea.
Dec 10, 2008
New Favorite Indulgence: Pear Brandy
Many months ago, we bought a bottle of pear brandy to make a pear clafouti, which turned out to be a disappointment (unlike this berry one, which Faith highly recommends). The brandy sat in a cupboard, forgotten, until we pulled it out to make a version of Nora’s Thanksgiving Poinsettia cocktail.
Dec 1, 2008
Wine: All About Fair Trade Wine
While Fair Trade wine has been available in Europe since 2003, it was only in 2007 that the first Fair Trade wines became available in the United States.Like other Fair Trade products, Fair Trade wine means that the wine was produced in a fair and humane way, to meet the Internationally recognized Fair Trade standards. Farmers are treated with respect, paid a decent wage, and the grapes are cultivated in an environmentally sustainable manner.
Oct 9, 2008
Wine Bottle Closures: Cork vs. Screw Cap
Do wine closures matter to you? When buying a bottle of wine are you influenced by the type of closure? Do you consider screw caps to contain cheaper or lower quality wine? Have you embraced screw caps or are you a die-hard devotee to cork?At its simplest the closure on a wine bottle must keep the wine in and oxygen out. Tradition, regulations, cost, the style of wine, and consumer acceptability all influence the closure selected by the producer.
Sep 4, 2008
What’s the Difference? DOCG, DOC, and IGT Italian Wines
Pick up a bottle of Italian wine and you’re likely to see one of these designations somewhere on the label. What exactly to these letters stand for and what do they mean? Read on…In the second half of the 20th century, Italy decided to establish a series of laws to safeguard the quality and authenticity of their wine.These safeguards take the form of protected zones where growers and producers must adhere to strict regulations in order to be certified by these laws.
Aug 22, 2008
Straight Up: What Is Cachaca?
A certain South American cocktail has been taking North America by storm. And suddenly a whole new market for a once little-known spirit has sprung up.The cocktail? The Caipirinha.The spirit? Cachaça.Of course, back in their birthplace of Brazil, cachaça (kah-SHAH-sa) – and Caipirinhas (kai-pee-REEN-yuhs) – are nothing new.
Jul 18, 2008
Quick and Easy Cocktail: Blood Orange Gin Fizz
Now that we’ve learned a few tips for creating our own cocktails, we’ve been experimenting a bit. We’ve found one combination that’s super-simple and refreshing using Trader Joe’s Villa Italia Blood Orange Italian Soda. OK, so we didn’t exactly follow the fresh juice tip, but it’s still really tasty …Blood Orange Gin Fizz1 ounce gin Blood orange soda Lemon slices Fresh mint Muddle the mint and lemon slices in a glass.
Jun 28, 2008
Recipe: Lemon Verbena and Orange Blossom Fizz
Fizzy, cold and herbal – that’s what we want out of our drinks this time of year. We’re trying to break out of our gin and tonic rut, and for our spread of Memorial Day cocktails (all summer cocktails! all day!) we played around with our favorite lemon verbena syrup and a touch of orange blossom water. Orange blossom water is one of those dividing factors, in cocktails.You can either hate it or love it. It has an intensely floral and citrus taste – almost like perfume.
May 26, 2008
Recipe: Lemon Verbena Simple Syrup
Lemon verbena is one of our favorite herbs. It’s a tall, spare, long-leafed plant with slender leaves and a fragrance to die for. It’s not hard to capture that fragrance in a simple syrup.We grow lemon verbena out on the patio; we clip the top leaves regularly and so far it’s doing beautifully.This simple syrup is a snap to make.
May 26, 2008
Rosé Wines: Versatility and Affordability in a Glass
I just love rosé wines. I get so excited at this time of the year, as the new vintage arrives on the shelves, and I know that I have a whole four to five months to enjoy them. Over the past four to five years sales of rosé wines worldwide have exploded. Call it the Rosé Renaissance! Whatever, it’s great. Despite this I am still surprised when people tell me again and again “I don’t like rosé wine”, “I never buy rosé wines”.
May 15, 2008
Good Question: Best Burr Grinder Under $100
I am looking to buy a new coffee grinder for my husband, a coffee lover. We currently have a Cuisinart blade grinder, but I would like to upgrade to a burr grinder. We use both a French press and a Cuisinart drip pot. Can anyone suggest a great grinder for under $100? Thanks!– Kristen (To All Good Questions) Kristen, we really researched this one for you. We went to our favorite coffee shop and roastery and quizzed the coffee geeks there on burr grinders. Here’s what they told us.
Apr 22, 2008
Good Question: Can I Adapt European Appliances for American Electrical Outlets?
I live in Rome, Italy, and today I saw a sweet, sweet deal on an Illy FrancisFrancis X1 espresso machine. It is red. It is sexy. And even with the terrible exchange rate, it is still costs less than half what the same machine would cost in the United States. There is, however, one big problem: it is wired for an Italian outlet. I have looked online, and I can get a European/American voltage adapter with surge protection for about 20 bucks.
Apr 16, 2008
Recipe: Authentic Chai
In Devesh and Tara’s Spice Pantry kitchen tour, Devesh shared two recipes: one for an Indian breakfast called Poha, or flattened rice, and another for authentic Chai – that strongly spiced, milky tea we love.The Chai was so different from what I’ve come to know as the slightly cloying, heavily spiced Chai from local teashops that I couldn’t believe it was the same thing. It was truly wonderful.
Apr 2, 2008
Good Question: How to Make the Perfect Cafe au Lait?
All the coffe coverage has Cortney thinking about perfect cafe au lait…Any tips on how to make the perfect cafe au lait? Whether it was in Paris, Bilbao or Madrid, the ones I had in Europe were so far superior to any I have been able to find in the US. I’d like to know how to make my own! – Cortney(To All Good Questions)Cortney, this a hard one for us because we are not completely sure what makes a perfect cafe au lait.
Feb 7, 2008
Good Eats: The Ultimate Coffee Cup
Since coffee is our big thing this week, we reached back into the archives over at Serious Eats to see what our friends there had to say about coffee. We found good stuff – it looks like they need their java jolt too. Our favorite find was this cup, labeled the “Ultimate Coffee Cup” by its creator… • Artist David Piers created this cup to meet his criteria for the perfect, ultimate coffee cup.
Jan 31, 2008
Recipe: D.I.Y. Ginger Ale, Part I
Here’s our recipe for a syrup-based homemade ginger ale. You can combine the ginger syrup with sparkling water for ginger soda, or steep it with lemon juice and brewed tea for a hot drink. This isn’t true ginger ale, however; that takes a little more kitchen science magic. We’ll look at that next week.
Oct 22, 2007
Recipe: D.I.Y. Mango Lassi
One of our favorite parts of going out for good Indian food is the classic mango lassi. This tangy drink is made of yogurt and mangos and it ranges from overpoweringly orange and sweet to heady and fragrant with real mango. A good homemade mango lassi is easy, but very dependent on the flavor of the mangos. It’s hard to get good mangos in the States, so sometimes we use the mango puree found in boxes at the Asian grocery to heighten the flavor.
Apr 23, 2007
The Celluloid Pantry: Sweet Vermouth on the Rocks with a Twist and Groundhog Day (1993)
If you had to choose just one drink for all time, what would it be? For me, it wouldn’t be sweet vermouth.But in Groundhog Day (1993), disgruntled weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray, right) chooses just that. Caught in an endless time loop, he relives the same day repeatedly until he gets it right.The first “day” he sits down at a bar with his producer, Rita (Andie MacDowell, left), he orders a “Jim Beam, ice, water.
Jan 30, 2007