What We're Reading: July 23, 2014

Sandwich

 

America’s favorite lunch item, the sandwich, was once considered unpatriotic. [History Channel

 

A mouthwatering tour of Brussels' chocolate scene. [USA Today

 

Americans are split over raw milk. [Huffington Post]

 

A Kentucky shoplifter orders pizza for cops, but still gets booked. [Food Beast

 

Rise 'n Shine: the best breakfast sandwiches across the country. [... Read more >

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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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What We're Reading: June 25, 2014

 

The story behind Wimbledon’s favorite cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup. [Food Politic]

 

Classic NYC restaurants face closure in the wake of huge rent hikes. [NYT]

 

The Broccoli Cleanse: cruciferous vegetables could be the key to detoxing the body. [NPR]

 

Public health advocates push for labeling energy drinks as a step towards safer consumption. [... 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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Interview with the Violet Hour’s Toby Maloney

The Violet Hour

 

The Violet Hour beckons discerning clientele with many luxuries: a romantic, serene space with floor-to-ceiling curtains, high-backed blue leather chairs, flickering candles and chandeliers; fine-tuned volume levels and elbow room; and an eclectic selection of artisanal cocktails made with painstaking precision. Below, partner/mixologist Toby Maloney tell us how the 2014 Outstanding Bar Program nominee is influenced by its Chicago environs, the poetic inspiration behind its name, and his favorite spring cocktail.

 

JBF: How would you describe the Violet Hour’s mixology style? 

 

Toby Maloney: We’ve been described as minimalist, traditionalist, and culinary-focused. I think we are an amalgamation of all of them.

 

JBF: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the... Read more >

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Daily Digest: April 2, 2014

communal table

 

We're all in this together: the return of communal restaurant tables. [The Atlantic

 

Introducing the gluten-free cosmopolitan. [LAT]

 

Four critics and one restaurant: an experiment on perspective. [WP]

 

Can't get enough food porn? Here are 15 stunning... Read more >

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

Audrey Saunders of New York City's Pegu Club

 

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. When it’s transparent, it’s ready for use.

 

Vermouth: Smaller Is Better

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