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.
Sure, it's five o'clock somewhere - but that doesn't mean you have to subject yourself to Happy Hour's half-priced bottles of light beer and "specialty cocktails" made with bottled sour mix.
Five Non-traditional Ingredients to Spice Up Your Cocktail: Zeb Stewart
Some favorite finds in the market now that make for wonderful infusions - fragrant concord grapes, tart apples, late harvest peaches and stone fruit, and even the last of the batches of tomatoes for Bloody Marys in the middle of winter. The trick with making infusions at home is to ensure the fruit is completely submerged in alcohol, so they’re not exposed to air."
Some of my favorites for the upcoming winter incorporate warmer spices like cinnamon and vanilla, and ginger and clove. We use the ginger and clove syrup in a Hot Toddy.
To make your own simple syrup, take equal parts sugar and water, and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add your flavor component like fresh herbs, spices, whatever you like, stir and reduce by half. Then strain and keep on your bar for cocktails."
Add hot water to a coffee mug, and mix in other ingredients stirring to incorporate. Garnish with an orange peel and star anise.
Try making, what we call, the 'Ginger Spike' – it’s a combination of fresh lemon juice, ginger syrup, a Belgian-style white ale, stirred and garnished with a slice of candied ginger."
5. Chili peppers, and specifically yuzu kosho
You don’t need a lot of it - a little goes a long way. Add a quarter teaspoon to a traditional margarita for a kick, or even mix it with salt to line the rim of your margarita glass. It’s a flavor that works well with tequila, as well as gin or mezcal."
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
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