Happy Hour: The Violet Hour's Hush and Wonder

The Violet Hour's Hush and Wonder cocktail

 

The Violet Hour, an elegant Chicago watering hole and 2014 Outstanding Bar Program nominee, 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. One shining example of partner/mixologist Toby Maloney's craft is the Hush and Wonder, a rum-based libation featuring a subtle Crème de Violette rinse. With an elegant, floral undertone and bright notes from fresh lime juice and grapefruit bitters, this drink is the perfect start to your weekend. Get the recipe here.

 

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

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Happy Hour: Cucumber Margarita

 

Forget kale juice or spirulina smoothies: our favorite way to drink our veggies is with this ultra-smooth and refreshing cucumber margarita from JBF Award winner Rick Bayless (the delightful cocktail is also one of the featured recipes in our brand new JBF Vegetables app). The tequila–cucumber base is blended and strained to achieve the perfect mix of health and hair of the dog. Sip this during your happy hour, and you might just end up with a bit of a virtuous buzz.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Happy Hour: James Beard's Standard Manhattan

Manhattan cocktail

 

Don Draper’s brooding gaze and chiseled features aren’t the only appeal of AMC’s Mad Men—for serious cocktail enthusiasts, the hit television series also provided a weekly fix of timeless libations. One such example is the Manhattan, which is rumored to have originated at New York City's Manhattan Club is 1874, and is made from a strapping blend of Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a dash of Angostura bitters. Classic, elegant, and strong, this cocktail is the liquid form of Don Draper himself. To start your weekend with unequivocal grace, get the recipe James Beard favored and start sipping. 

 

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

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Happy Hour: Chambord Margarita

 

If you're still clinging to the last days of summer, give this cocktail a spin. The bright raspberry punch of Chambord will take your mind off the changing leaves, and the tequila base will warm you from the inside out. Leave those sweaters in storage for now, and get the recipe here.

 

 

Maggie Borden is assistant editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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Happy Hour: Bar Agricole's Turf Cocktail

Bar Agricole's Turf Cocktail

 

We tapped the team from San Francisco's JBF Outstanding Bar Program award–nominated Bar Agricole for one of their innovative cocktail recipes, and they offered up this sultry riff on the classic martini. According to our research, there are several iterations of the Turf Cocktail, the oldest dating back more than 100 years. This gin-based variation turns up the volume with subtle notes of absinthe, maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters. Elegant, refreshing, and a cinch to prepare, it's the perfect libation to start your weekend... now. 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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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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Happy Hour: Fuoristrada Grillo

Photo by Rina Oh

 

At a recent Beard House dinner, we noticed some unusual packaging for the wine served with chef Mark Ladner’s timballo di gattopardo. The pairing, a 2012 Fuoristrada Grillo, wasn't poured from a bottle, but from a slim, rectangular carton that was not unlike a cafeteria juice box. We reached out to Momofuku beverage director Jordan Salcito, who coordinated the evening's pairings, to learn more.
 
Salcito explained that she was on the lookout for Grillo, a Sicilian grape whose “naturally rich texture and earthy, mineral profile” would complement the timballo’s braised poultry, green peas, and summer truffle. She landed on the Fuoristrada Grillo by Monte Bernadi, a winery known for biodynamically farmed Tuscan bottlings.

 

The wine also had a surprising feature: it was packaged in... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Sherry Bloody Mary

bloody mary

 

Few classic cocktails are more storied than the Bloody Mary, which is reportedly celebrating its 80th birthday this year. With roots stemming from the Russian Revolution and Prohibition, its original name and recipe have long been disputed—but one thing is clear: it's a beloved brunch tradition, hangover cure, and one of the most ubiquitous libations in America today.

 

This weekend, spice up your cocktail routine with a unique twist on the zesty tomato-infused treat. Created by Leo Robitschek of the Bar at the NoMad Hotel, our 2014 winner for Outstanding Bar Program, this sherry-anchored Bloody Mary doubles up on veggies by featuring beet juice along with the classic tomato juice. This inspired variation is perfect for adding a little spice to your Friday evening happy hour ritual—and for reviving you again in the morning if you happened to get a little too carried away. 

 ... 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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