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Repost: Put A Egg On It’s Cake Project

27 Jan

Photo by Sarah Frances Keough

In the middle of this nasty New York winter storm, I’m reading like Hermione Granger and missing the warmth of the South more than ever. I’m particularly pining for my trip to New Orleans with Put a Egg On It, which taught me more about cocktail making and my own passion for food than any old stack of books. Read up on how people party in the Crescent City.


Recipe: “Zapata’s Grove”

11 Jul

 Zapata's Grove

Here is my weekly post for Put A Egg On It. Here, I made a long-sipping cocktail with chipotle and tequila that I smoked(!). There’s a lot of DIY ingredients in this drink, such as a chipotle-honey syrup and a homemade batch of grapefruit bitters. I shot some video of the cocktail mixing and how to use the Polyscience smoking gun, which may be the coolest gadget I’ve used in a while.

Click this link for the recipe:

Recipe: “The Fitz”

27 Jun

thefitzHappy Friday, all! Here’s my weekly installment at Put A Egg On It‘s blog. This week, I made a lavender and citrus cocktail, perfect for sipping on the pool side or the fire escape.

Maté Con Sentido

23 May

I remember the first time I tried maté while living abroad in Buenos Aires with a host family. The Guzmans introduced me to a number of traditions, and I showed them cheese grits and hot sauce. Cultural exchange just goes better with pepper sauce.

My two daily meals with the family were distinct: breakfast would be toasted pan con miel with long conversations about everything my host father, Alejandro, saw wrong with Argentinian politics. We’d often get engrossed in our chats, and I’d have to make the 25-minute walk to class in 15 minutes. Dinners were pizzas or gnocchi, with three kids and a mom trying to keep everyone in check (my 12-year-old sister loved to spar with my 13-year-old brother about boys at school; I loved to debate Brüno Mars’ musical legitimacy with her). It was a microcosm of chaos. That’s one human characteristic that doesn’t stop at borders.

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Wine Tasting and the Talking Bush That Saved My Life

2 Apr
While clowning around, Becky, myself, Lau, and Veronica found some wild horses.

While clowning around, Becky, myself, Lau, and Veronica found some wild horses.

Here’s a story I wrote for Vine Pair, an email newsletter devoted to wine education, terminology, and slashing the snobbery of wine drinking:

Put Some Sherry on Top

27 Mar

Sherry is super cool. Like bourbon (or awesome hot sauce), it’s aged in barrels in basements. Often winemakers use a blend of white grapes aged over a long timespan, so most don’t have a vintage. My favorite wine bar has some fantastic varieties now, and there are certainly a lot of them. Some can taste like raisins and molasses, like the Toro Albalá Gran Reserva PX. Others are nuttier and amber-colored, like the Oloroso Don Niño Emilio Lustav. The first sherry I ever tried (from Trader Joe’s) had a nutty and briny taste that was almost ocean-like. So far, I haven’t met a sherry I didn’t like, and it actually makes for a really cool cocktail mixer.

EDIT: For additional reference, this sweet sherry guide from Tasting Table is really useful.

For this drink recipe, the fortified sherry lends some sweetness to bourbon. It’s my take on the Brown Derby, a bourbon-grapefruit concoction named for the famous Los Angeles restaurant. It looks like a naughty iced tea when served, with plenty of grapefruit and ginger bite. It’s a drink for the tumultuous seasons: warming bourbon for cold evenings and sweet sherry and citrus for spring’s hopefully-soon-before-my-feet-take-on-freezer-burn arrival. One of these days.

Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice

1 oz. 90-proof bourbon (I use Maker’s Mark)
1-2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
2 tsps. grapefruit bitters (recipe follows)
1 oz. ginger simple syrup (recipe follows)
1/2 oz. Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. cream sherry
1 grapefruit slice for garnish
1 ginger slice for garnish

In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine bourbon, bitters, syrup, grapefruit juice and sherry. Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass or lowball. Garnish with grapefruit slice and ginger.

DIY Grapefruit Bitters (adopted from Serious Eats)

1 1/2 cups 100-proof vodka
Peeled zest from 1 grapefruit
Peeled zest from 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
4 dried juniper berries
3 dry sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cut gentian root
1/4 cup golden rum
2 ounces simple syrup

Combine citrus zests with vodka in a glass jar. Shake to agitate and let steep overnight.

Add lavender, juniper, sage leaves, coriander, gentian root, and rum to jar. Seal and shake to combine. Keep in a cool, dark place (like a closet, pantry, or the dungeon of Castle Bitter).

Keep in dark place 10-15 days (I kept mine steeping for 17 days).

Using coffee filters or cheesecloth, strain mixture into another jar or bottle until all impurities are removed. Add simple syrup and shake to combine. Let sit overnight before using.

Ginger Simple Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 thin slices ginger root

In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat, add ginger slices, and steep for 15-20 minutes. Let cool before using.

What Should I Drink Tonight? Let this graph decide

14 Mar

It’s Friday night, and you don’t have a clue. Can’t decide what to order at the bar? Want to try something new?

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 10.42.37 PM

A kind-as-cupcakes team at Stanford collected data over a 10-year period and built this fancy algorithm and visual display. Say you like Stone Russian Imperial Stouts and want the brand name (or even aroma) of a similar beer. Faster than a frat party keg stand (but not as messy), this guide selects brews that play well together. It’s kind of like the Genius feature on iTunes, or a “You Might Also Like” column on Amazon.

My shopping for St. Patrick’s Day beers just got easier, thanks to these scientific cicerones (the fancy word for a beer sommelier)

Have a happy and responsible weekend.

If you have as much time on your hands or want something to read while you sip, here’s how the research worked: