Tastebud: Another Round

More than a decade ago I saw the cocktail future while vacationing with friends in Tokyo. I was led through back alleys of Ginza and into unmarked elevators in Shibuya to swank bars where tuxedoed bartenders—they weren’t called mixologists yet—shook, swizzled, and stirred delicious drinks into the wee hours of the morning. Most memorable among them was Bar Tokyo, where four white-jacketed bartenders serviced six stools and the free snacks included transcendent sashimi and other beautifully plated amuse-bouches fitting of our $600-plus tab. And then there was the subterranean Alcohall, where I first saw blocks of ice chipped by hand into the perfect crystalline spheres that rotated in our glasses as we drank.

 

The origin of the Japanese ice ball, as it has come to be known, was based on the logic that minimizing the surface area of ice in a drink will minimize melting and therefore dilution. It’s also totally cool. There are inexpensive molds that help you achieve an icy orb, but most have the problems of trapping air in the water as it freezes, which increases melting, and/or produces an unsightly seam. That explains the gadget every cocktailian covets: the... Read more >

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On the Menu: July 18 through July 24

Guests enjoy dinner in the Beard House dining room. Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Tuesday, July 20, 6:30 P.M. Sunset Summer Cruise Looking for dinner and a view? Guests on this sumptuous sunset cruise will enjoy panoramic vistas of the New York City skyline and an impeccable, regionally inspired menu of canapés prepared by Larry Forgione protégé Philip Campanella while sailing around Manhattan on the magnificent Valiant Yacht. Tuesday, July 20, 6:30 P.M. The Farm Stand The JBF Greens and Food Bank For New York City Young Professionals are joining forces once again for an evening of all things local and sustainable. Guests will sample great food prepared by some of New York City's most talented farm-dedicated chefs and herb

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