Raising the Bar: How to Make Better Cocktails at Home with Audrey Saunders

 

We tapped the Pegu Club owner and 2013 JBF Gala mixologist to share her tips for better at-home mixology.

 

Simple Syrup, Simply Put

When it comes to cocktails, we don’t want to cook simple syrup; that increases its viscosity. There are exceptions, but we generally don’t want heaviness in a cocktail. Fill a bottle halfway with superfine sugar, which is gritless and dissolves instantly. (I like to repurpose 10-ounce glass soda bottles. They’re ideal for home use and a speed pourer fits perfectly into them.) Fill the other half with filtered, room-temperature water. Cap and shake well. The mixture will appear cloudy at first but will quickly settle. Top off with more water... Read more >

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Recipe Roundup: Holiday Spirits

 

No chestnuts roasting on an open fire? No Jack Frost nipping at your nose? No worries. Just mix up a pitcher (or two) of one of these Yuletide-evoking drinks and you and your guests will be in the holiday spirit in no time.

 

Mary Rockett's Milk Punch [JBF]

Apparently folks in the eighteenth-century also needed a little tipple to get through the holidays. This traditional recipe, adapted by cocktail expert David Wondrich, dates back to 1711.

 

Champagne Mojitos [F&W]

Mojitos get fancy in this Champagne-splashed cocktail from JBF ... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Sean Brock’s The Charleston Light Dragoon Punch 1792

Excerpted from Heritage by Sean Brock (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards.

 

Although JBF Award winner Sean Brock is a self-proclaimed bourbon buff, his innate Southern love of entertaining extends across the spirit spectrum. This punch is a mélange of the historic and the present-day South, updated from an antebellum militia recipe found by a friend of Brock’s at the South Carolina Historical Society. Mixing a sweet tea base with rum and brandy, this crowd-pleasing punch is a perfect expression of Southern hospitality.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: 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 cold-weather 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: JAMES BEARD'S FRENCH SEVENTY-FIVES

 

We've partnered with Simmer, a new app that allows you to generate step-by-step recipe videos that you can create, watch, and share from your very own kitchen. In the coming weeks and months, we'll continue sharing instructional videos that will teach you how to create tantalizing dishes from JBF Award winners, Beard House chefs, and even Beard himself, all prepared in James Beard's historic New York City kitchen.

 

What could be more fun, indulgent, and celebratory than a Champagne cocktail? Based on a Tom Collins, this recipe was originally published in James Beard's first book. While some recipes for this classic mashup of gin and bubbly skimp on the spirit, ... Read more >

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Happy Hour: JBF Award Winner Dave Arnold Predicts Our Cocktail Future

 

The 2015 JBF Food Conference will explore the future of food, from farm to kitchen to table. Featuring experts and thought leaders from across the industry, we'll examine how the choices we make and the steps we take today will impact what we eat, drink, and grow. In anticipation, we're talking to some of the men and women on the cutting edge of our collective food culture.

 

When considering whose brain we should pick about our prospective cocktail culture, there was one resounding answer: Dave Arnold. In addition to being the creative force behind tipple mecca Booker and Dax, a joint venture with fellow JBF Award winner David Chang under the Momofuku empire, Arnold once led the Culinary Technology Department at the French Culinary Institute, founded the... Read more >

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HAPPY HOUR: PEGU CLUB'S HOMEMADE 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 the impending cold season. 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 ... Read more >

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What We're Reading: September 28, 2015

 

The real story behind mold: get the scoop on your cheese plate’s origins.​ [NYT]


Hot dog lovers, rejoice: Chicago's food carts are legalized! [Thrillist]

 

Back to the grind: the surprising reasons why you should a meat grinder to your kitchen wish list. [Bon Appétit]​


Don't have a chance to go apple picking this fall? With this apple pie–flavored sidecar, you'll forget you never stepped foot in an orchard. [... Read more >

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HAPPY HOUR: CLOVER CLUB'S LETTER OF MARQUE

 

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. Cling to those final warm evenings before the autumn chill sets in 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... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Mango–Mezcal Paloma

 

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.

 

... Read more >

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