Happy Hour: James Beard's Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned


After a long workweek, it’s time to kick back with a simple and satisfying cocktail that uses items commonly found in a home bar. James Beard himself crafted an Old Fashioned recipe that takes the drink down to its essential ingredients. In his own words, “This is my own version of the Old Fashioned, for I loathe ‘fruit salad’ in a drink and all the decorations that usually accompany this simple cocktail.” So drop the cherry, forget the orange wedge, and whip up this timeless drink. Get the recipe here.


Alyssa Haak is a New York City–based writer and editor. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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Staff Picks: Bob’s Cardamom Bitters



Searching for the best small-batch, artisanal products to add to your pantry? Our staff scoured the market for you, and we'll be featuring their picks all month long. Here, see what senior editor Elena North-Kelly has to say about her chosen cocktail bitters, Bob’s Cardamom Bitters. 


“It’s hard to beat the appeal of a whiskey cocktail on a cold winter’s night, but I’ve found that using cardamom bitters takes it to another level of solace. Bob’s Bitters specializes in all-natural, bespoke bitters that are designed from a culinary perspective. I like using the aromatic, slightly spicy cardamom bitters to bring extra warmth and depth to a classic Old Fashioned. Here's the recipe.”



Bob's Cardamom Bitters can be... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Cardamom Old Fashioned

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 late-winter 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: 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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What We're Reading: December 30, 2014


Can American cuisine be defined by Southern cooking? [Yahoo! Food


Ladies are leading the new wave of global whiskey love. [NPR


Bring on the PB&Js: new technology offers a possible cure for peanut allergies. [Yahoo! Finance


Get your Shackstock now, because Shake Shack is going public. [NYT


Earn those New Year’s resolutions by indulging in a few of these over-the-top dishes before the ball drops. [... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 22, 2014


One dough to rule them all: the ultimate sugar cookie recipe. [Epicurious]


Skip the crowded department stores and make these awesome, edible gifts. [Daily Meal]


Addicted to Seamless? You're not alone. [CBS]


What the new diplomatic development with Cuba means for U.S.–Cuba food relations. [NPR]


Take a sweet trip to Spain with this Casa Batlló gingerbread house recreation by Modernist Cuisine. [... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 11, 2014


Goat cheese has become so popular in the U.S., top producer the Vermont Creamery is practically begging for new goat farmers. [Food Politic


Consider making a holiday donation to one of these worthy charities. [Fork in the Road


America loves sandwiches, but can we embrace the smørrebrød? [Serious Eats


Blame Nutella: hazelnut prices are on the rise. [WSJ


A new tweed lets you both drink and wear your whiskey. [... Read more >

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What We're Reading: October 2, 2014


How are avocados like almonds? They both need a ton of water to grow. [Mother Jones


A new company called Anti-Grain aims to bring fruit and vegetable flours to American kitchens. [HuffPo


Did your hometown make the list of the world’s best food cities? [Thrillist


PepsiCo wants to put Pop Rocks in your... Read more >

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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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Throwback Thursday: Jack Daniel's Birthday at the Beard House


It’s officially fall. It’s the end of bikini season, it’s time to go apple-picking, and you can’t go two feet without stumbling over a pumpkin-spiced something.


In a nod to the season of spiked cider and hot toddies, here's a look back at Hill Country Barbecue’s 2009 Beard House dinner celebrating the birthday of Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, known by some as the founder of the Jack Daniel's distillery. Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes was on hand for a very special dessert: a 60-pound cake in the shape of the birthday boy, complete with a whiskey barrel and a bottle of the eponymous liquor. In perfect fall form, the food was decadent, the cocktails flowed, and the cake’s flavor? Pumpkin, of course.


Take a peek at the video below to watch Duff ceremoniously cutting the cake:


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