5@5 - Paolo Novello, Bryan Burnett and Aaron von Rock
June 8th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Unless you're living under a severely air-conditioned rock, you may have noticed summer has recently made the executive decision to go from zero to full throttle.

As the masses sweat in places we'd rather not know sweat could permeate from, it's easy for our minds to linger to breezy coasts and ice-cold beverages.

As a cool reprieve, the wine team from New York City's Lincoln Ristorante - General Manager Paolo Novello, Sommelier Bryan Burnett and Wine Director Aaron von Rock - has come up with a list of the essential Italian spirits and cold cocktails to make with them at home.

With a little imagination, you'll be living la thirst-quenched dolce vita on the coast of Amalfi in no time.

Five Essential Italian Spirits: The Lincoln Beverage Team

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Filed under: 5@5 • Cocktail Recipes • Sip • Spirits • Think

June 8th, 2011
02:45 PM ET
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We're all for wacky ice cream flavors and can sorta wrap our heads around insect eating, but the combo of the two kinda bugs us out.

This recipe for pumpkin ice cream seems a tad more savory, no? Stay cool and you may live to see your 112th birthday!


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Filed under: Dishes • Ice Cream • Insects • Taboos • Weird News

Even in tough times, there's always beer money
June 8th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Alcohol sales climbed with little interruption throughout the recent recession, and have continued to expand in recent months.

This is in spite of - or maybe because of - the stagnant job market. So the old adage - that the booze industry survives in a recession because people drink even when they're broke - appears to be true.

"I wouldn't say it's recession proof," said Esther Kwon, an alcohol industry analyst for Standard & Poor's. "People will buy less and they will move to different venues, meaning moving to home instead of a bar. But people will continue to drink, regardless."

Read the full story on CNN Money - "Alcohol sales thrive in hard times"

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • News • Sip

Scorpacciata: On ramps
June 8th, 2011
12:45 PM ET
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Scorpacciata is a term that means consuming large amounts of a particular local ingredient while it's in season. It's a good way to eat. Let Mario Batali pronounce it for you.

"Ramps...huh?" "What the heck is ramp puree?"

As soon as we posted the menu for last night's White House State Dinner, the question began rolling in from my colleagues, commenters, folks on Twitter - and I realized I oughta get my head out of my ramp patch and explain.

Ramps are a member of the allium family (Allium tricoccum if you care to get all categorical about it) and are akin to a wild onion. The flavor is pungent and slightly nutty - somewhere between garlic and leeks, and both the leafy tops and tender bulbs are edible.

Food fanatics get all het up about them because they're, well, incredibly delicious - but also because they're somewhat of a rarity. They're difficult, if not impossible to cultivate, so they must be foraged from the wild or as is often the case, bought at a premium from someone else who's gone out to do the dirty work.

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