Happy Hour: Small-Batch Wine

 

With so many high-volume, global brands on the market, it’s easy to understand the allure of artisanal wine. Traditional, old-world winemaking—small-batch, terroir-driven wines, with minimal interference by the vintner—can yield thrilling results. Production limitations often result in big price tags, but there are still plenty of good values to be found. We enlisted JBF Award winner Daniel Johnnes, wine director at Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, to do the digging for you. 

 

Château Jean-Pierre Gaussen Bandol 2008 ($28)
Septuagenarian Jean-Pierre Gaussen does practically everything himself at his ultra-traditional estate in Bandol, a Provençal... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Cardamom Old Fashioned

Cardamom Old Fashioned

 

A subtle riff on the classic Old Fashioned, this version—a staple of senior editor Elena North-Kelly’s cocktail repertoire—uses maple syrup in lieu of standard sugar, while handmade cardamom bitters step in for the more traditional Angostura variety, creating a warm, fragrant antidote to late-winter doldrums. Get the recipe here. 

 

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

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Happy Hour: The Hooker

The Hooker cocktail

 

A jilted John Lee Hooker comforted himself with “one bourbon, one scotch, one beer.” Those wanting a more efficient consolation should seek out this marvelous cocktail by mixologist Jamie Boudreau from Seattle's acclaimed Canon. “It came about as John Lee Hooker's song came on the sound system. It made me realize that I hadn't heard of or seen a cocktail with bourbon, scotch and beer as ingredients, so I set about to make one. Surprisingly it became very popular.” Can't make it to the Pacific Northwest? Don't fret: we've got the recipe right here.

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Happy Hour: Sinatra Smash

Sinatra smash cocktail

 

Awards season is in full swing, and the anticipation has us reminiscing about the many opulent galas in our past. One of the highlights from the 2009 Beard Awards reception was the eclectic mix of festive cocktails, and among our favorites was this delicious blackberry and whiskey concoction from Patricia Richards of the Wynn Las Vegas. The beauty of a smash, which dates all the way back to the late 1800s, is its versatility: it's refreshing in the summertime, and it's uplifting in the dead of winter; it's most often made with whiskey, but is equally delightful with gin, vodka, or rum; and any garnishes you have on hand (mint, citrus, fresh berries, or anything you favor) will only make it shine even more. This luscious, elegant rendition, however, might just win our vote. Get the recipe here.

 ... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Homemade Ginger Beer

ginger beer

 

A powerhouse with medicinal properties, ginger has a warming effect on the body, stimulates circulation, reduces inflammation, and inhibits viruses and bacteria—all of which makes it the perfect antidote to winter. We toss it into soups and sautés, steep our favorite teas with it, and even better, mix it into our cocktails. Here, Pegu Club mixologist extraordinaire Audrey Saunders shares her recipe for homemade ginger beer. We love using it in a Moscow Mule, Dark & Stormy, or just about any cocktail to add soothing hints of warmth and spice. Get the recipe here.

 

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

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Happy Hour: Hot Spiced Wine

mulled wine

 

The holidays have come and gone, the streets are littered with discarded Christmas trees, and the temperatures have dropped to cruel lows in many parts of the country. With winter doldrums in full bloom, we could all use a little something to warm our hands and spirits. Hot spiced wine, also known as “mulled wine,” goes by many names: glögg in Swedish, glühwein in German, vin chaud in French, and so on, and varies slightly from country to country. Simmer whatever red wine you have leftover from holiday reveling with cloves, oranges, lemon rinds, sugar, bay leaves, and your choice of dark spirit for James Beard's own spin on the classic winter libation. Get the recipe here for a decidedly cozy start to your weekend. 

 

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

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Happy Hour: Holiday Dessert Pairings (Part III)

wine bottles

 

For those who are looking to make the holidays even merrier, we asked Bernie Sun, corporate beverage director of JBF Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants, to suggest affordable wine pairings for the season’s classic desserts.

 

For our third installment, we asked Sun to recommend the perfect pairing for bread pudding​​​. His pick? Domaine de Durban... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Holiday Dessert Pairings (Part II)

wine

 

For those who are looking to make the holidays even merrier, we asked Bernie Sun, corporate beverage director of JBF Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants, to suggest affordable wine pairings for the season’s classic desserts.

 

For our second installment, we asked Sun to recommend the perfect pairing for gingerbread cake or cookies​. His pick? Disznókó Tokaji Late Harvest 2011 ($22/500ml). "This special Hungarian sweet wine, made from botrytised Furmint... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Holiday Dessert Pairings (Part I)

red wine

 

For those who are looking to make the holidays even merrier, we asked Bernie Sun, corporate beverage director of JBF Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants, to suggest affordable wine pairings for the season’s classic desserts. To start, we asked Sun to recommend the perfect pairing for a chocolate–peppermint ganache tart. His pick? Justin Obtuse Dessert Wine 2011 ($15). "Chocolate and mint are prized Cabernet flavors, and this late-harvest blend from California’s Central... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

wine

 

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 Terroir's 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 this nectar fill the room, all... Read more >

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