Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week - we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us is Greg Best, the mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta. Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.
This drink was conceived in an effort to be contrarian to the contrarians. It’s no secret that there are many affiliated to bar culture who can’t help but cringe when the word "vodka" is mentioned in their presence. I’ve never understood this, because it’s the first thing most drinking folks ask for. Sure, I understand that it’s not the most expressive or exciting spirit to play with, but let’s face it, it’s not going anywhere.
Enter the Punch Wagon. Delightfully refreshing, bright and snappy, this is a perfect example of what I’d call a "gateway cocktail," or "trust-building drink." Using well-known ingredients in a playful recipe allows for the feel of a user-friendly cocktail experience without some of the more eccentric trappings that we drink geeks are prone to.
One of a bagel’s greatest virtues is that it's a single serving of fresh-from-the-oven bread, baked just for you.
Even better: if you do the baking yourself, there's usually at least 11 more just like it cooling nearby, creating a perfect excuse for a weekend get-together.
For the owners of Surfside Bagels in Far Rockaway, New York, the hand-rolled boiled and baked bread should be dense and chewy. Its exterior, shiny; its interior, yeasty but not too sweet. Fortunately, they’re willing to spread their knowledge.
While you were scribbling down your 2013 resolutions, is there any chance you thought to include "Get really good at making cocktails"? Nope?
Well, the year is young and we're here to help: "we" being Turner's photography director Mark Hill and Greg Best, mixologist and partner in Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House and H&F Bottle Shop in Atlanta.
In a 62-33 vote, Louisiana House of Representatives declared the Sazerac to be New Orleans' official cocktail. It's a potent blend of rye whiskey, sugar, two kinds of bitters (including the city's native Peychaud's), lemon peel and a little hint of absinthe. For many years, that last one got in the way because it was banned in the United States. New Orleanians made do with Herbsaint - a kindred licorice-tasting pastis - until absinthe's legality was reinstated in 2007.
Just in case you still have eggnog to spike or plums to sugar before the gang arrives, consider us Santa's little helpers.
We're sharing our time-tested Christmas tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Christmas with a jolly smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on December 26 with your sanity intact.
Here are a few helpful holiday posts that may make your holiday bright.
Sugar cookies in every seasonal shape - from snowflakes to Christmas trees, stars to Santa hats, snowmen to holly leaves - overcrowd the dessert table this time of year. Even Santa is crying "Uncle!" for a little variety by the time he reaches St. Louis.
This year, try adding a little New York attitude to the traditional cookie swap with black-and-white cookies, a staple of New York bakeries and deli counters.
More cake-like than cookie-like, this oversized sweet is downsized into a fantastically festive treat by pastry chef Stephanie Teekaram of Kutsher's Tribeca in, where else, New York City.
"Seinfeld" fans might remember the baked good being forever immortalized in the episode, "The Dinner Party."
"The thing about eating the black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite," said Seinfeld. "Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate, and yet, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved."
In this season of good tidings, peace and goodwill toward all, harmony vis-à-vis a cookie is a welcome addition.
CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski and paska.
When we were kids, stuck inside during a long, cold winter or seeking respite from the summer heat under a shade tree, my friends and I often played board games. These games could go on for quite a while, and we'd get to talking about sports and whatever else young boys think about. Eventually we'd get around to the topic of our favorite foods.
We all agreed that stuffed cabbage, known as holupki, was the best of all. Second to pizza, of course.
Halloween is lurking around the corner and while the trick-or-treaters that come to your door, no doubt, want the classic candy brands they know and love, Halloween parties and office gatherings scream out for homemade peanut butter cups.
Homemade peanut butter cups might seem like a mystery - just how do they get the peanut butter inside the chocolate cup anyway? Lee Zalben, the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., solves the riddle with this step-by-step guide for peanut butter cups made in your own haunted house.
Samantha Reichman is an intern on CNN Early Start and Starting Point. She is a senior at The College of William and Mary, a coffee fiend and a trained barista. She blogs at Alimentación. All pictures taken at Blue Bottle Coffee in Manhattan.
As local coffee culture seems to be approaching critical mass, the need for a superior, distinctive product is becoming even more pressing.
Caffeine aficionados are also experiencing a phase of experimentation. Myriad styles of coffee preparation and presentation combined with selective sourcing allow for unprecedented levels of personal flair. But can individuality truly be achieved at an espresso bar?
"No matter what else is served at a cocktail party, you will always find a tray of stuffed eggs," wrote James Beard, the so-called dean of American gastronomy, in his first cookbook, Hors D'oeuvre And Canapes.
The well-received appeal of these one-bite appetizers isn't limited to cocktail hour. They're also a superb addition to picnics and cookouts during the lazy, hazy days of summer.