5@5 - Pack a punch this Mother's Day
May 11th, 2012
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.

Editor's Note: Lara Creasy is the Beverage Director at The Optimist and Oyster Bar at The Optimist in Atlanta, Georgia. She's also the  beverage director at JCT Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta and No. 246 in Decatur, Georgia.

Modern Americans think of punch as a quick, cheap beverage to throw together and serve at a baby shower, with ginger ale and sherbet on the list of potential ingredients.

But, punch is actually a cocktail of great historical significance, hugely popular in Colonial America and 18th century Europe. Many recipes from that era survive to this day, and are still delicious.

Originating in India, punch actually derives its name from the Hindu word "panch," which means five. Classic punch always has five ingredients or elements, and it can actually be quite boozy, complex and wonderful.

If you’re brainstorming ideas of something fun to serve at your Mother’s Day brunch this weekend, or by the pool this summer, just keep these five basic building blocks in mind, and let your imagination go wild.

If your friends and family snicker, just remind them that Benjamin Franklin drank punch.

The Five Elements of Punch

Filed under: 5@5 • Holidays • Mother's Day • Mother's Day • Sip • Think

Here comes the bride ... and her dietary restrictions
May 11th, 2012
03:00 PM ET
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When it came time for Sivan Pardo, 31, to plan her wedding to her 28-year-old fiancé Scott Renwick, she knew she wanted a “big fat vegan wedding.”

“As Scott and I are both vegans for ethical reasons, it was very clear to us that we wanted our wedding, and everything around it, to reflect our ethics and values,” said Pardo, the founder and director of “The Vegan Woman” website.

Pardo has been vegan for one year and a vegetarian since she was 12. There will be no animal-derived products served at her reception on June 1.

Demanding Mother's Day brunches
May 11th, 2012
12:30 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Were you thinking that this is the year to be low-key about Mother’s Day? That your mom wouldn’t care? Wrong move. Here are some statistics from a recent survey by OpenTable.com about what moms want for Mother’s Day.

  • 28 percent want a spa day.
  • 28 percent want a weekend getaway.
  • 11 percent want a new iPad.

That’s in addition to a celebratory Mother’s Day meal, which, according to OpenTable, is probably going to be spelled b-r-u-n-c-h.

Here’s one ray of hope for all those who are thinking that Mom can buy her own iPad: The OpenTable poll also reveals that 65 percent of moms make the dining reservations for Mother's Day.

Take that extra step and make the reservations yourself. The following are some more unexpected suggestions for where to take your mom.

Chardonnay for Mother's Day
May 11th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

After an informal survey of the mothers of five or six friends of mine, I have determined that mothers, as a rule, are OK with Chardonnay. Some people might question the scientific legitimacy of this analysis on the grounds that the statistical sample was ridiculously small, and they’d be right. But nevertheless, if you’re going to buy your mother a bottle of wine for Mother’s Day, Chardonnay - the most popular grape in America, by the way - is likely to be a good choice.

Moreover, since the variety has been cultivated for nearly 700 years, ever since the Cistercian monks in Burgundy figured out what to do with it, giving her a bottle will allow you to say something endearing like, “Mother, I am giving you this wonderful bottle of Chardonnay because it is from a grape variety even older than you.” She'll be thrilled. Trust me.


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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Mother's Day • Mother's Day • Sip • Wine

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