Viewing Party Recipe: Monferrato Cocktail

 

Snacks by JBF Award–winning chefs? Check. Entertaining tips from a consummate host? Check. Your viewing party plan for the James Beard Awards this coming Monday, May 4, is almost complete. But what about some tipples to tip your hat to our beverage nominees? Don't worry, we've got you covered there, too. Leo Robitschek, of the 2014 JBF Outstanding Bar Program Award–winning NoMad Bar, developed the Monferrato Cocktail to equal parts celebratory and refined. This Champagne-anchored drink is the perfect way to toast all the winners on Awards night. Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: La Vida Buena

 

Ron Cooper, of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, respects the Oaxacan tradition of sipping the smoky spirit, but he also firmly believes in mezcal’s vast potential for use in cocktails—and his innovative spin on drink culture is just part of the reason he's a 2015 nominee for our Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional award this year. The mezcal maestro shared his recipe for a twist on the classic Negroni with us that was created specifically for their beloved VIDA line and has become one of the favorites of the entire Del Maguey company. Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: The Stinger

stinger

 

With its refreshing mint flavor from the white crème de menthe and the silky taste of Cognac, the Stinger was originally introduced as a nightcap and popularized in movies through the 1940s and 1950s. James Beard also featured the cocktail recipe in his revised edition of Hors d’Oeuvre and Canapés. We think it’s time to get retro and reintroduce this drink as part of your end-of-the-night routine—or even an after-work treat. Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: White Satin

 

If your cocktail parties tend to grow from an intimate gathering to a boisterous crowd, it’s essential to have a large-format recipe on hand that can easily serve a group. In 1940, James Beard described the White Satin as “a great Prohibition cocktail” in his first book, Hors d’Oeuvre and Canapés. The crowd-pleasing libation blends gin and grapefruit juice in equal measure, so filling a punchbowl is just as easy as mixing one drink. Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: James Beard’s Jack Rose

 

Don’t be deterred by the delicate pink hue of a Jack Rose cocktail; this is no Cosmopolitan. Made with a spirit that predates America, this libation is better suited for devoted history buffs than Sex and the City fans. In the Colonial Era, applejack was a concentrated apple cider, but now it denotes an apple brandy blend. The most prominent distiller of the spirit, Laird & Company, was also the first commercial distillery in the new country, having gotten its license in 1780. 

 

This cocktail peaked in popularity during the Roaring Twenties, but that’s no reason to let it languish—mix it up a few for friends this weekend and impress them with a bit of history. Get the recipe right here.

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Happy Hour: James Beard’s Favorite Bloody Mary

 

Friday afternoon means it’s almost time for brunch, which many here at JBF consider the most important meal of the week. And what's a good brunch without a Bloody Mary? Some restaurants seem to put the emphasis on the garnish, piling on the pickles, sausage, and shrimp until the cocktail becomes almost an afterthought. Like many of James Beard’s cocktail recipes, his Bloody Mary is stripped of unnecessary flourishes to focus on the ingredients. With a third less tomato juice and a bit more lemon juice, this iteration will be brighter and crisper, perfect to perk you up on a groggy weekend morning. 

 

Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: Less-Traveled Wine Regions for Your Bucket List

 

Indulge your Friday afternoon wanderlust with these oenophile-centric travel tips from Andy Chabot, food and beverage director at the Barn at Blackberry Farm, which took home our 2014 JBF Award for Outstanding Wine Program. Here, Chabot shares his favorite less-traveled wine regions for incredible tasting journeys without the pesky crowds.

 

 

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... Read more >

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Happy Hour: James Beard's Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

 

After a long workweek, it’s time to kick back with a simple and satisfying cocktail that uses items commonly found in a home bar. James Beard himself crafted an Old Fashioned recipe that takes the drink down to its essential ingredients. In his own words, “This is my own version of the Old Fashioned, for I loathe ‘fruit salad’ in a drink and all the decorations that usually accompany this simple cocktail.” So drop the cherry, forget the orange wedge, and whip up this timeless drink. Get the recipe here.

 

Alyssa Haak is a New York City–based writer and editor. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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Happy Hour: Negroni Bianco

negroni bianco

 

Gabe and Katherine Thompson’s intimate restaurants offer discerning New York City diners soulful Italian cuisine with a modern spin. For this week's Happy Hour column, we tapped their talented partner and beverage director, Joe Campanale, for one of his delectable cocktail recipes. Behold, the negroni bianco. "The negroni is my favorite cocktail, and I like to have a version of it at each restaurant," explains Campanale. "As we were opening L'Apicio, I was tasting Cocchi Americano (a great Italian aperitivo that's clear in color) and it gave me the idea to create a white negroni." The traditional negroni is equal parts gin, red vermouth, and Campari with an orange twist—Campanale riffed on the cult... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Luca Mano Freddo

 

Gabe and Katherine Thompson’s intimate restaurants offer discerning New York City diners soulful Italian cuisine with a modern spin. For this week's Happy Hour column, we tapped their talented partner and beverage director, Joe Campanale, for one of his innovative cocktail recipes. This light, herbaceous libation shines with its bright notes from fresh mint, the refreshing flavor of muddled cucumbers, and the warm, slightly spicy complexity from Velvet Falernum, a sugarcane-derived syrup that contains hints of almond, ginger, cloves, and lime. The drink is featured in the trio's gorgeous new cookbook, Downtown Italian. But don't fret if you can't get your hands on a copy in time... Read more >

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