Happy Hour: The Vermouth Cassis Cocktail

Vermouth Cassis cocktail, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

 

"An ideal summer drink" according to James Beard, this fetching cocktail is anchored in French vermouth and club soda, with a whisper of crème de cassis to balance the bitter fortified wine. The next time you're in the mood for an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, club soda), take the Vermouth Cassis for a spin.

 

Get the recipe.

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Happy Hour: James Beard French Seventy-Fives

 James Beard's French Seventy-Fives

 

In homage to tomorrow's Chefs & Champagne, we present to you James Beard's take on the French 75, the classic mashup of gin and bubbly. While some recipes skimp on the spirit, Beard's version features a two-to-one ratio of gin to Champagne. God bless him.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: Mango–Mezcal Paloma

paloma cocktail

 

While the ubiquitous Margarita may masquerade as the most popular Mexican cocktail, seasoned beverage aficionados know that the Paloma (Spanish for "dove") is one of the most beloved libations south of the border—and it's swiftly gaining traction. A refreshing combination of sweet and tart, the Paloma traditionally combines tequila, grapefruit, lime, and salt with an effervescent kick. This vibrant spin from New York City's La Palapa calls for both tequila and its smoky sister spirit, mezcal (derived from the Nahuatl translaton for "oven-cooked agave"). Mango purée and chopped cilantro lend a decidedly tropical flair. We'll drink to that. 

 

Get the recipe here.

 

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and ... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Fuoristrada Grillo

Photo by Rina Oh

 

At a recent Beard House dinner, we noticed some unusual packaging for the wine served with chef Mark Ladner’s timballo di gattopardo. The pairing, a 2012 Fuoristrada Grillo, wasn't poured from a bottle, but from a slim, rectangular carton that was not unlike a cafeteria juice box. We reached out to Momofuku beverage director Jordan Salcito, who coordinated the evening's pairings, to learn more.
 
Salcito explained that she was on the lookout for Grillo, a Sicilian grape whose “naturally rich texture and earthy, mineral profile” would complement the timballo’s braised poultry, green peas, and summer truffle. She landed on the Fuoristrada Grillo by Monte Bernadi, a winery known for biodynamically farmed Tuscan bottlings.

 

The wine also had a surprising feature: it was packaged in... Read more >

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Wine Wisdom: Add These Regions Less Traveled to Your Bucket List

 

Fresh off the Barn at Blackberry Farm’s win of the 2014 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine Program, Andy Chabot, the restaurant’s food and beverage director, tells us about his favorite less-traveled wine regions. 

 

Paso Robles, California
I imagine that Paso Robles is what Napa was like in the ’70s: farm country, plenty of incredible wines, and friendly winemakers who open their doors to visitors. A nice bonus is that local restaurants sell many of the area’s hard-to-find wines.

 

Chablis, France 
A quick trip from Paris, this is a fantastic region for white-wine lovers. It’s not overly touristy, and there are some very fun restaurants and hotels with great wines. All seven of the Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis sit together in a bowl like an amphitheater. 

 

Tokaj, Hungary
The traditional Aszu Tokaji wines from this region in northeastern 
Hungary are among the world’s finest dessert wines, but... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Sherry Bloody Mary

bloody mary

 

Few classic cocktails are more storied than the Bloody Mary, which is reportedly celebrating its 80th birthday this year. With roots stemming from the Russian Revolution and Prohibition, its original name and recipe have long been disputed—but one thing is clear: it's a beloved brunch tradition, hangover cure, and one of the most ubiquitous libations in America today.

 

This weekend, spice up your cocktail routine with a unique twist on the zesty tomato-infused treat. Created by Leo Robitschek of the Bar at the NoMad Hotel, our 2014 winner for Outstanding Bar Program, this sherry-anchored Bloody Mary doubles up on veggies by featuring beet juice along with the classic tomato juice. This inspired variation is perfect for adding a little spice to your Friday evening happy hour ritual—and for reviving you again in the morning if you happened to get a little too carried away. 

 ... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Mr. Beard's Citrus Cooler

Mr. Beard's Citrus Cooler

 

It’s Friday afternoon, which means you officially made it through another week! Celebrate this weekend's Summer Solstice with our latest Happy Hour cocktail, Mr. Beard’s Citrus Cooler. This recipe comes care of Beard House staff member Victoria Jordan-Rodriguez, who has been making a version of the drink every summer for years. “The base is strong,” she explained, “but the Perrier really lightens it up. And if you don’t add the soda water, the base can be made in the morning and marinate until you want to drink it. Mr. Beard didn’t make this recipe, but I like to think that he would have enjoyed it!"

 

We sampled Victoria’s refreshing cocktail this past week at the launch party for JBF’s Taste America®, where it was a hit with the All-Star chefs and guests alike. It’s the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, so mix up an entire pitcher’s worth. Tomorrow... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Letter of Marque

Clover Club tiki cocktail

 

We know you’re itching to shut down your computer and unwind for the weekend, ushering in the blissful two-day respite with a Friday evening cocktail. Get into the spirit of summer with a tropical tiki libation; one of our all-time favorites is the Letter of Marque cocktail served at Julie Reiner’s Clover Club in Brooklyn. Created by bartender Ryan Lilola, who keeps a stash of coconut cream and tiki gear with him anytime he's behind the bar, this concoction is a clever homage to an unusual tradition. 

 

“A letter of marque was essentially government-sanctioned piracy, a document that let privateers get away with acting like pirates,” he explains. “Considering that tiki was founded on escapism, this drink was a ticket for our guests to escape their daily grind and get a little rowdy." 

 

The... Read more >

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Wine Wisdom: Sustainable Winemaking with Merry Edwards

Merry Edwards on sustainable winemaking

 

2013 JBF Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional Award winner Merry Edwards is a longtime champion of sustainable winemaking. We caught up with Edwards (who is also curating the wine pairings for our gala this fall) to discuss her pioneering work at her eponymous Russian River Valley property.

 

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JBF: Can you give us a specific example of how a sustainable practice in your vineyards ultimately affects the quality of your wine?

 

ME: We use organic mushroom compost, a by-product from our neighbor, Gourmet Mushroom, as a supplement. In some vineyards, we apply the material on a vine-by-vine basis. It evens out the vines’ growth, giving us consistent vine size and ripening. Much of our farming energy is focused on this end result.

 

JBF: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced when implementing green practices at the winery?

 

ME: We wanted to operate... Read more >

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Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations from Terroir’s Paul Grieco

Paul Grieco, winner of the 2012 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

 

With so many flavors on offer at Thanksgiving, the task of finding a bottle that plays nicely with all of them can make us even grouchier than our in-laws. Thankfully, we’ve enlisted Paul Grieco, who won the 2012 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional, to do the pairing for us. His suggestions, which range from values to splurges, will take you from stuffing to turkey and back to leftovers.

 

Hirsch Zöbing Riesling 2009 ($24)

"Because nothing needs good, bracing acidity and crunchy terroir like a plate full of turkey and all the fixings."

 

Argyros Assyrtiko Santorini 2009 ($20)

"This Greek wine’s salty tang and bright, lively flavors make it the perfect palate-mate for stuffing and sweet potatoes."

 

Jean François Ganevat Les Chalasses Marnes Bleues 2009 ($65)

"When the aromas of... Read more >

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