Cocktail Recipes & Ideas
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Spirit Spotlight: Feisty Armagnacs Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
With the days growing shorter and cooler, I often feel like cozying up in the evenings with a glass of something contemplative and warming. Some of my picks for this time of year are smoky single-malt scotches, well-aged tequilas – and a new favorite around my house, Armagnac.While most American drinkers are quite familiar with the classic digestif, Cognac, fewer have heard of its lesser-known, and less prolific cousin, Armagnac.
Oct 29, 2010
A Bloody Mary, With a Twist of Pickle
Bob and Joe McClure decided four years ago to use their great grandmother’s pickle recipe to start a company. Today, McClure’s pickles are sold across the country and they are offering a new delicious product: bloody Mary mix.When the McClure brothers started the venture, Bob, an actor, had just moved to Brooklyn. They thought it would be smart to keep costs down and operate out of their hometown in suburban Detroit and leave the promoting and experimentation to Brooklyn. It worked.
Oct 1, 2010
Lime and Sugar: Gin Gimlet Without the Rose’s
Traditional gimlets (read all about them here) are made with Rose’s, a sweetened, bottled lime juice that’s electric green. Our love for gimlets runs deep, but our patience for the syrupy, artificial flavor of Rose’s was wearing thin. We needed to have a fling with something new—a fresher, tangier, not-as-sweet gimlet. And this is definitely it.We’ve had plenty of gimlets at restaurants and bars.
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
Cocktail Obituary: Sex on the Beach Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
There’s been a lot of creative energy poured into mixology lately, and it seems like a fresh new cocktail is welcomed into the world just about every week. But today, this Friday the 13th, we are here to report a cocktail death. On July 25th in New Orleans, Sex on the Beach was laid to rest.
Aug 13, 2010
How To Make Umeshu (Japanese Plum Liqueur)
The other day, I posted about Japanese ume plums which are in season right now. In this post, I’ll take you through the process of making umeshu, which is a sweet cordial made from the ume plums. Most people call it “plum wine,” but it’s technically a cordial or liqueur.This sweet, fruity liquor is super easy to make, requires few ingredients, and when it’s ready to drink, you can eat the plums, too!
Jun 3, 2010
What Can I Do With a Big Bottle of Dry Vermouth?
Q: After a party, I have inherited a large bottle of dry vermouth. I couldn’t drink that many martinis in a lifetime. What else can I do with it? Is it something that is good for cooking or are there some fun imaginative drinks out there that use it and I’ve just never heard of them?Any suggestions for how to use it up?Sent by EmilyEditor: Emily, one of our favorite cocktails happens to include dry vermouth.
May 28, 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
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
In Search Of: The 3-Martini Lunch Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Today, in honor of Lunch Week here at The Kitchn, we’re setting out in search of a legendary beast of days gone by, that Bigfoot of the corner office: The Three-Martini Lunch.How Did They Do It?How ever did those Mid-century, Mad Men-type business execs manage to swing it? Made mostly of gin (or, if you prefer, vodka) with a measure of dry vermouth mixed in (and, okay, that little bit of dilution that comes from stirring it with ice), the Martini is one bracing beverage.
Apr 16, 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
Does Liquor Ever Expire? Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Q: True or False? Spirits are completely shelf stable. Unlike wine, which can sometimes develop an off taste during storage, or rapidly go downhill once it’s been opened, liquor will keep indefinitely.A: Well, yes and no. Read on to learn how to get the most out of your favorite bottle.
Jan 8, 2010
Whiskey vs. Whisky: What’s the Difference? Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Now that the days are getting shorter and chillier, it’s the perfect time to curl up with a good book and a nice warming glass of whisky – or should that be whiskey? Same thing, just different spelling, right? Well, that depends…Before we get going, let’s define the liquor in general:No matter how you spell it, whisky/ey is an umbrella term for a type of spirit distilled from a mash of fermented grains.
Nov 6, 2009
Traveling Inspiration: A Yuzu Mojito from Tokyo Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
When I visited Tokyo for the first time last month, I enjoyed quite a few memorable food and drink-related experiences: watching a lightning-fast 5 am tuna auction, shopping at a depachika, eating the freshest sushi I’d ever tasted, sampling a variety of Japanese whiskies, and sipping on a tall, cool yuzu mojito with a Quentin Tarantino twist…We had stopped in for lunch at Gonpachi in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. It was a touristy choice but we couldn’t resist.
Jul 31, 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
A Snow Cone-Like Cocktail from the 1950s Gourmet
Gourmet has been running favorite cocktails from the 1940s to today, and this one (from November 1959) caught our eye immediately. Big surprise, huh? It looks like a rainbow slushy. But don’t be fooled. This heavy-hitter is for adults only…The cocktail is called a madras, but it’s not the normal orange juice/cranberry/vodka drink we’re familiar with. This is a mix of EIGHT different liqueurs (eight!), and that’s not the only hitch.
Jun 12, 2009
What is the Best Fizzy Water for Your Cocktail?
This Good Question comes in to us from Amber, just in time for the beginning of tall, cool drink season: At the risk of sounding uneducated about bar staples, I’m posing my question to you Kitchn foodies. I’m wondering…What’s the difference between tonic water, mineral water, seltzer, carbonated water, and club soda? They all seem like fizzy water alternatives, and they may be identical.
May 29, 2009
Mint Juleps for Kentucky Derby Day
Mint juleps have their moment in the sun come Saturday, when people who don’t normally muddle sugar and mint with bourbon will be doing just that (and looking for silver julep cups) in honor of the Kentucky Derby. This recipe from Gourmet actually simplifies the process…We’ve read many different methods for making a mint julep.
Apr 30, 2009
All About Aperitifs Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
It’s finally Friday. Spring is coming into full, glorious bloom, and Tax Day is – for better or for worse – behind us. Why not start off the weekend with a bright, refreshing aperitif? Apéritif is a French word, which, like its Italian counterpart, aperitivo, comes from the Latin aperire, meaning “to open.
Apr 17, 2009
All About Vermouth
A key ingredient in cocktail greats such as the Martini and the Manhattan, vermouth is a must-have for any well-stocked home bar. Taking its name from the German word “Wermut,” meaning wormwood, vermouth is an aromatic fortified wine flavored with herbs, roots, bark, flowers and other botanicals. It comes in two basic styles: sweet and dry, each with different cocktail uses.
Feb 6, 2009
Cocktail Basics: Citrus Garnishes 6 Ways Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Wheels, slices, wedges, spirals, twists – and flamed twists. When it comes to citrus garnishes, cocktail recipes can get quite specific. Here’s everything you need to know to garnish like a pro: THE BASICS Wedges Used in Margaritas, Dark and Stormies, Bloody Marys, and countless other fresh-tasting classics, citrus wedges are usually served perched on the rim of a glass, and can be optionally squeezed and dropped into the drink once it’s served.
Jan 16, 2009
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
Cozy Whiskies for Chilly Fall Days: Smoky Single Malts Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
With the days getting shorter, and chilly winds beginning to blow, now’s the perfect time to cozy up at home with a glass of something warming. Just as we’re putting away our summer clothes and pulling out the woolens and fleeces, we’re moving away from gin and tonics, margaritas, and daiquiris over to something a with a little more heat.
Nov 7, 2008
Good Question: How Can I Tell When Figs Are Ripe?
Here’s a good question from reader Betsy. She writes:I was very happy to receive some gorgeous figs in my CSA this week. How do I know when they’re ripe? They’re a light purple color with light-colored stripes (and they’re still a little green). Should I let them ripen on the counter or in the fridge?Betsy, we love figs! It’s wonderful you get them in your CSA box.Figs do not ripen very well once they’ve been picked, however.
Oct 14, 2008
Where To Buy Fresh Durian
A reader saw a post I wrote a few months back on how to open a durian fruit and asked, “Where can you buy fresh durian?”Well, the answer is pretty easy; if your town has an Asian supermarket or an Asian neighborhood like Chinatown or Little Saigon, you’ll find it there. It may be in the freezer section, however. Most markets freeze durian because it helps preserve their shelf life and cut down on the strong odor.
Oct 13, 2008
Cocktail Basics: All About Bitters Straight Up Cocktails
What a difference a drop makes. Warm, rich, spicy, and astringent, bitters can transform a cocktail, balancing its flavors and adding new dimension and depth. An essential ingredient in classics such as the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Sazerac, and Champagne Cocktail, bitters are a must-have for any well-stocked home bar.
Oct 3, 2008
Straight Up: IMBIBE! by David Wondrich
Father of the cocktail, “Professor” Jerry Thomas was the consummate showman, a kind of early “flair” bartender. He wore diamonds. Lots of them. He hosted a pair of frisky white rats on his shoulder while giving a reporter an interview. He’d mix drinks by pouring them through the air in a wide – and sometimes flaming – arc. In 1862 he landed a book deal.
Apr 11, 2008
Trend Spotlight: St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
As the seasons change, so do our tastes in cocktails. As winter ends, we find ourselves pushing the warming, drink-by-the-fireplace libations such as cognac and bourbon to the back of the liquor cabinet and reaching for the lighter, fresher spirits. One such liquor we’ve been in the mood for lately is St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, a new addition to the bar scene and currently a hot commodity.
Mar 24, 2008
The Celluloid Pantry: Champagne and Casablanca (1942)
One of the most romantic movies of all time, the champagne just flows in Casablanca (1942). Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart, left), the cynical proprietor of a stylish nightclub in Morocco during WWII, nurses a broken heart with bourbon and brandy, but recalls happier days in an unoccupied Paris with old flame Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman, right) and Mumm Cordon Rouge champagne.
Feb 13, 2007
We Review Alaskan Polar Bear Heaters, the Crazy Cocktail from The Nutty Professor
“You going to drink this here, or are you going to take it home and rub it on your chest?” It’s the cocktail to end all cocktails. In The Nutty Professor (1963), nebbishy chemistry instructor, Julius Kelp (Jerry Lewis), goes all Jekyll and Hyde when he mixes himself up a strengthening potion with some startling side effects.
Sep 5, 2006