5@5 - Low-alcohol bottles for your summer bar
July 30th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Christophe Hille and Chris Ronis are the chief operating officer and managing partner, respectively, of Northern Spy Food Co. in New York City. Follow them on Twitter @nothernspyfood.

Borrowing from that old saw, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade," we say, "When the community board denies you a full liquor license, make aperitif cocktails."

We discovered a whole world of crafty and delightful drinks that are stronger and weirder than wine, perfect for creating cocktails or enjoying alone. Most are variations on a theme: a base of wine, fortified with grape spirits or brandy to reach 15-20% alcohol by volume and flavored with an array of complex and highly-guarded herbs, spices, fruits and aging regimes.

Some, such as sherries, are their own category of wine, with long-established rules governing grape varieties, region of production and classification. To find these beverages, wander to where your local liquor store keeps the bottles that seem to belong in your grandma's booze cupboard. Below are a few of our favorites and cocktail recipes to go with them.
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July 10th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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Editor's Note: In the midst of a record-breaking heat wave, we could all probably use a cold drink. Here to help us are Karl Injex and Navarro Carr, the owner and bar manager respectively of the Sound Table in Atlanta.Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.

You are probably acquainted with the mint julep, made with Kentucky bourbon and often enjoyed while sporting an elaborate chapeau at the Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The Genever julep is its lighter-spirited relative; substituting gin for the brown water. (Genever, sometimes referred to as Holland or Dutch gin, is oak-aged and less dry than the later styles like Old Tom gin.)

A heap of crushed ice keeps the drink frigid, while the mint adds a tongue-tingling sensation.  Fun fact: Menthol, the organic compound in mint, stimulates the same nerve receptors in your mouth that cold temperatures do - hence the cooling sensation.

Despite the urge to gulp down anything cold in a glistening arm's reach, sipping is advised.
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5@5 - Make the most of the farmers market
June 20th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Say the name "Franny's" to any pizza-loving New Yorker, and they'll grow visibly excited. Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, have developed a large and loyal following for their Brooklyn restaurant, due in large part to their commitment to using sustainable, in-season, locally-grown ingredients.

In their new book, "Franny’s Simple Seasonal Italian," the duo, along with food writer Melissa Clark, celebrate the fundamental pleasure of fresh food gotten straight from the men and women who grow, raise and craft it.

Creating those trusting relationships is an essential and enjoyable part of the process. It can also be a little intimidating for people who aren't used to coming face-to-face with the people who produce their food, or fruits and vegetables that don't come shrink-wrapped from the grocery store.

Feinberg and Stephens are here to help your confidence bloom.

Five Ways to Maximize Your Farmers Market Visit: Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens
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Filed under: 5@5 • Cocktail Recipes • Farmstands • Local Food • Make • Recipes • Sip • Spirits • Think • Vegetables


June 7th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
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Editor's Note: It's Friday, and it's been a long week – we could all probably use a drink. Here to help us are Karl Injex and Navarro Carr, the owner and bar manager respectively of the Sound Table in Atlanta.Visual aids provided by Mark Hill, the Director of Photography for Turner Broadcasting.

The first rule of Pegu Club? Don't talk, drink.

In "The Savoy Cocktail Book," famed mixologist Harry Craddock wrote of the gin-based libation: "The favourite cocktail of the Pegu Club, Burma, and one that has traveled, and is asked for, around the world."

Rudyard Kipling also patronized the popular gentleman's social club in British colonial Rangoon. In his collection of travel letters entitled "From Sea to Sea," he wrote: "The Pegu Club seemed to be full of men on their way up or down, and the conversation was but an echo of the murmur of conquest far away to the north."

Now that the club is deserted and a derelict reminder of colonial rule, the only way to visit the Far East watering hole is by making its namesake cocktail at home.
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