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.

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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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What We're Reading: January 13, 2015

 

Can you really tell where someone is from by what he calls a subway sandwich? [Yahoo!Food

 

A trial run of the grocery home delivery service Instacart. [The Kitchn

 

Who decided on three square meals a day? [Raw Story

 

Bring on the controversy: the most iconic restaurants of each U.S. state. [Thrillist

 

Urban beekeeping is London’s newest trend. [... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 31, 2014

 

Why do Midwesterners eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s? A look into regional lucky foods and their origins. [Serious Eats

 

Keep your New Year’s Champagne bubbly for up to a week thanks to a new preservation system. [Fork in the Road

 

Airports are revamping their dining options with farm-to-table fare. [NYT

 

The FDA and EPA raise concerns about nanosilver in our food. [... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 17, 2014

 

Turn your slow cooker into a party punch bowl with these hot cocktails. [Epicurious]

 

From bánh mì to saison, a look at how food words enter American dictionaries. [Boston Globe]

 

If you like to load up on the hot sauce, does it make you more of a man? According to a new study, yes it does. [TIME]

 

The perfect holiday dessert combo: candy cane cookies. [The Kitchn]

 

When food takes the stage, there's no saying who's real and who's acting. [... Read more >

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Celebrate Repeal Day with a Beard House Cocktail Party!

 

Prohibition’s greatest lesson may be that you can’t keep Americans from their cocktails. These days cocktails are more popular than ever, from extensive spirit programs popping up in restaurants and bars across the country, to the rise of the bartender as cult figure, to our own addition of the Bar Program category to the James Beard Awards two years ago.

 

In honor of this era of libation infatuation and to commemorate Repeal Day, which marks the anniversary of the end of Prohibition, on December 5​, we’re celebrating the best way we know how: with a cocktail party! Join us at the Beard House this Friday night to sample treats and tipples from some of the best and brightest bartenders and chefs working in New York City. This impressive lineup of mixologists, including JBF Award–winning PDT’s Jim Meehan and Jeff Bell, will curate an extensive drinks menu that... Read more >

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Happy Hour: PDT's Paddington

Paddington cocktail

 

Start your weekend early with this whimsical riff on the Hemingway Daiquiri made with a spoonful of orange marmalade, the fictional Paddington Bear’s treat of choice. Created by David Slape of New York City's famed PDT, which took home our inaugural Outstanding Bar Program award in 2012, the drink balances the punch of its absinthe and rum base with delicate, floral notes of Lillet Blanc and a bright twist from fresh lemon and grapefruit juices. 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: Native Dancer

Native Dancer cocktail from Pouring Ribbons

 

Feeling weary from the workweek? Brighten your Friday evening with a little tiki-inspired magic from the mixology masters at New York City's acclaimed Pouring Ribbons. The aptly named Native Dancer riffs on the ubiquitous daiquiri while adding welcome notes of citrus, cinnamon, and kaffir lime. According to owner/bartender Joaquín Simó, “Don the Beachcomber (the inventor of Tiki) famously stated that what one rum can't do, three rums can. I decided to one-up him and stretch that to four rums.” We recommend making large batches of the cinnamon bark syrup and Don's mix, so you can keep the building blocks for this vibrant cocktail on hand and drift off to your imaginary island paradise as frequently as you like. Get the recipe.

 

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

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Happy Hour: Le Père-Bis Hot Toddy

Jim Meehan's hot toddy

 

It's Halloween, the cool weather has set in, and there's a pumpkin-spiced something everywhere you turn. It's official: winter's coming. And for cocktail enthusiasts, that can only mean one thing: to warm our chilled hands and protect our weary immune systems, it's time to bust out the hot toddy. For this elegant version made with Scotch whisky and chamomile tea, acclaimed mixologist Jim Meehan of the JBF Award–winning PDT uses St-Germain to add delicate, floral undertones to this wintertime sipper. 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 Twitter and Instagram.... Read more >

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Happy Hour: The BACARDÍ Old Cuban

Old Cuban cocktail from BACARDÍ

 

Our national epicurean tour, James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®, has been making stops all across the country this fall for fantastic, food-filled weekends. One of our favorite sips at these events has been the world-renowned Old Cuban. Invented by famed bartender Audrey Saunders during her tenure at New York City's Bemelmans Bar, the drink was specifically crafted with BACARDÍ 8 Años rum as its base, and is now recognized as a modern classic. If you can't make it to one of our final JBF Taste America stops this weekend, don't despair: we've got the Old Cuban recipe right here.

 

For tickets and more information about the chefs and vendors appearing, check out ... Read more >

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